I'm taking longer to draft my latest in the series, Permanent Crisis Is The New Normal — Prosper Anyway #1, so I'm putting up something about 2 cool things I've seen the last couple of days—and I am extremely discriminating.
First, what is the vapors or vapours?
In archaic usage, the vapours (or vapors) is a mental, psychical, or physical state, such as hysteria, mania, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, lightheadedness, fainting, flush, withdrawal syndrome, mood swings, or PMS in which a sufferer loses mental focus. Ascribed primarily to women and thought to be caused by internal emanations (vapours) from the womb, it was related to the concept of female hysteria. The word "vapours" was subsequently used to describe a depressed or hysterical nervous condition.
Over 4000 years of history, this condition was considered from two perspectives: scientific and demonological. It was treated with herbs, sex or sexual abstinence, punished and purified with fire for its association with sorcery and finally, clinically studied as a disease and treated with innovative therapies. However, even at the end of 19th century, scientific innovation had still not reached some places, where the only known therapies were those proposed by Galen. The evolution of these diseases seems to be a factor linked with social "westernization", and examining under what conditions the symptoms first became common in different societies became a priority for recent studies over risk factor.
Today, the phrase "a case of the vapours" is most often used either melodramatically or for comedic effect.
Yes, I've joked about it for years—along with fainting couches and clutching at pearls. Accordingly, I was quite keen to read this clever and funny piece by Margaret Anna Alice Through The Looking Glass: The Vapor, the Hot Hat, & the Witches’ Potion. It began for me as a clever analogy but soon enough I realized I was deep into allegory.