Dog sense: sniffing out regurgitated folly

by Joel Linton (originally published in the Columbia Standard under the pen name, "Ralph Gilchrist.")

There is a disturbing trend in society - one called "regurgitation," or "dog sense." A proverb of wise King Solomon puts it, "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly." What is the this dog-sense nonsense? I will follow it from the onset.

People in a society discover or invent a new thing to do. This something, either legal or illegal in society, becomes popular and wide spread.

Then the more sensible minds in that society discover that the new thing is harmful, so harmful, in fact, that the thing is outlawed by the society.

Yet there remain many who are so attached to that thing (addicted, one might say) that they continue to do it illegally in secret.

Time elapses. Enough time, in fact, that the belief that that specific thing is wrong becomes dogma. It is dogma, but members in society have forgotten why it was considered wrong, why it was originally taboo. So a tradition is formed.

A proverb of wise King Solomon puts it, "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly."

From this state, two things happen. If those who never stopped the activity are still around, they begin to regurgitate the debate. They bring up the same assertions: This thing is not wrong. The tradition is wrong. They argue, among other things, that these are archaic beliefs, that the modern world is more enlightened, etc.

The problem is that people lose the reason for calling a thing taboo, so they do not know how to respond to those of the dog-sense mentality. Sometimes, for a period of time, the dog-sense prevails. Society rolls back the taboo, and then eventually the same consequences that made the action taboo in the first place come to the surface. And the society has to ban the action again. But take notice: the damage was done.

For instance, marijuana. Someone I know frequently smoked marijuana in the 60's. After he got married, he and his wife tried to have children, but she ended up with several miscarriages. This was because the marijuana he had smoked had accumulated in the endocrine glans, like the testes, and had affected them.

Another weird side-affect of marijuana: it causes mammary gland development in men because of an increase in estrogen. Marijuana gained popularity again in the 80's and 90's because these side-affects were long forgotten.

I invite you, reader, to write The Standard ( and share what you believe are the regurgitated issues of the 20th century, and, if you are very ambitious, of all human history.

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