Flip Side: On Second Thought … It’s Good… it’s Bad. Then it’s Good Again.

Hiding peanuts from babies in the first year of their lives is the last thing you want to do; the sooner they get exposed to peanuts, the less likely they will develop dangerous allergies later in life. Who knew? Not scientists, that’s for sure.

There’s more. According to Consumer Reports, gluten might not be as nutritious as other foods, could make you gain weight and increase your arsenic intake. No one saw that one coming.

“Truths once carved in stone are now being challenged.”

It’s not just on the health front that conventional wisdom is being turned on its head. Former supporters of Net neutrality now think that letting the government regulate the Internet like a utility might be a bad idea. And the French guy who wrote the book about inequality now says that his theory does not apply to economic events of the last 100 years. Everywhere we turn,
truths once held to be self-evident are being turned on their heads.

Consider other truths once carved in stone now being challenged: People are not saving enough for retirement. Yes, they are. They’re saving plenty. Anyway, their kids will take care of them.
People will be fine. Don’t worry. Be happy. Listening to loud music will hurt your hearing. Nope, audio experts now say that listening to loud music makes your hearing better. It forces the cochlea to reconfigure the auditory canal—or something. Especially heavy metal, which is a terrific toner.

Ethanol is a total scam and a stupid drain on taxpayers’ money. Come on, who are you going to trust: the ethanol industry or your lying gas tank? Sure we had good reason to think that ethanol was a joke, a con job, a hoax, but now we know otherwise. Ethanol is great. And the guys who produce it are unsung heroes. Class acts, every last one.

Baseball is boring. Wrong again. For decades, we’ve all operated under the assumption that baseball is positively lethal, especially Mets-Padres doubleheaders in August. Nope—whiffed on that one. Baseball is actually incredibly exciting. Its subtle charms are just not readily apparent to the naked eye. But they’re there! We’ve got the facts and figures to prove it.

Classical music is dying. Pshaw. Didn’t you see that last Celtic Woman special on PBS? Those gals have violins, don’t they? Exercise helps you lose weight and stave off heart disease. Says who? More junk science. Another myth that needs debunking.

Bank depositors earn a mere pittance on their savings. Lies lies, lies. Who starts these rumors anyway? The Blackberry has had it. History will prove otherwise. The Greek economy is a joke. Is not, is not, is not! Stop saying things like that! You guys are so mean!

In uncertain times such as these, are there are there any rock-solid truths, immutable truths that provide us with a reassuring sense of continuity and peace? Yes.
1. Chicken soup helps a lot when you have a bad cold.
2. Madonna will never, ever go away.
3. Boys will be boys.
4. Kentucky will win the National Championship.
5. If Kentucky doesn’t, Duke will.

You heard it here first.

SHARE
Joe Queenan is a regular contributor on business issues, corporate culture, and financial follies to Barron's and The Wall Street Journal.

PARTNER CENTER