Thursday, May 19, 2011

"I love the java jive and it loves me."

Over the years I've heard many contradictory news reports about coffee's health effects. Because I drink a lot of coffee I'm always cheered by good reports, like when a recent story on NBC news said that coffee was good for men. Coffee, either with caffeine or decaf, helped to protect against prostate cancer.

That is indeed good news. For someone else. It's too late for me, since I had my cancerous prostate removed over two years ago. I've been drinking coffee for 40 years. According to the news story, based on my coffee consumption I should have had the healthiest prostate in the country. It didn't work for me; if it works for you other guys, then good for you.

I make my coffee medium-strong, unlike Starbucks. To me Starbucks is so strong that if I drink a large cup I bounce when I walk. I don't know how much caffeine is in a cup of that stuff, but if a 40-year, pot-a-day coffee drinker like me can get a buzz, then think of people who don't normally drink a lot of coffee consuming a large Starbucks. They probably feel like they're on amphetamines. Too much caffeine means the jitters for me.

Speaking of caffeine: I found these ads selling decaf Sanka in 1948 very creative. These beautifully illustrated ads, which come from issues of Life magazine, are exercises in fear and paranoia, a nightmarish, noir look at sleep interrupted by the mind’s dark imaginings and caffeine.




Perhaps the campaign wasn’t as successful as the Sanka people hoped, because the ads, which ran between January and May, 1948, were replaced later in ‘48 with another campaign, which did away with the scary montages and gave the reader a more routine advertisement.

(Note that the word 'HE' shows up in gray letters in the word 'CHEER'. Is that some sort of subliminal message, that a man will be just as happy drinking Sanka as a woman?)

This ad, from the same year, is for Chase & Sanborn, and shows a housewife that their coffee in the morning makes for a happy husband. It turns "bears" into "dears." And, unlike Sanka, his cup is fully loaded with caffeine. No jitters for him, and hopefully no prostate cancer, either.



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2 comments:

DEMiller said...

Maybe they had to stop those scary ads because people blamed them when they slept through a burglary.

El Postino said...

There are times I can fall asleep, even after a cup of coffee. That's what happens after so many years of tanking down gallons of the stuff.

The burglars can come in and watch me snoozing on my couch.