Friday, July 15, 2011

On coffee and superstition

"Your father laughs. 'This coffee is no good, ' he says.  'It makes my heart race.  It tastes bitter.  Why do I drink it? Habit and superstition.  I believe it sobers me when I have been drinking.  I believe it sharpens me when I am tired.  I believe than an offer of coffee to friends equals the hospitality of a thousand welcomes.  You and science would tell me that coffee doesn't sober, doesn't relax, doesn't revive, doesn't welcome; that it shortens my life, costs a fortune, disrupts the economy of Brazil, and if left too long in the coffeepot will corrode the silver.  But try to stop me from drinking it! I don't care for the dictatorship of science.  Nor do your neighbors.  Freedom of choice.  Deceive yourself at will, that's the motto of the nation.  Harness superstition.  Turn it to your advantage.  Milk it dry!"

-Jim Crace, "The Talking Skull," in Continent

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