October 24, 2008

Alright, after  several days of illness, time to get back on the horse.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word tea as, among other things, “The leaves of the tea-plant, usually in a dried and prepared state for making the drink; first imported into Europe in the 17th century, and now extensively used in various parts of the world” and “A drink made by infusing these leaves in hot water, having a somewhat bitter and aromatic flavour, and acting as a moderate stimulant; largely used as a beverage.”

I shall now endeavor to prove that a further amendment to this definition ought to be “promotes courtesy and imperialism.”

Tea is widely consumed the world over, but there are a few places where it holds a special place of privilege. I’m thinking, of course, of England and Japan. Tea holds an inordinately privileged position in both Japanese and English culture. English High Tea and the Japanese Tea Ceremony are both well-known and thoroughly idiosyncratic traditions, deeply ingrained in their respective cultures, knowledge of which constitutes a certain badge of pride amongst the constituents thereof. Both Japan and England are widely recognized as highly civilized cultures, rich with tradition and particularly well-known for a certain politeness and courtesy. Tiny, economically powerful, internationally historically significant island nations with an impressive reputation for courtesy, and both drink tea… Of additional merit, only Britain, Japan, and their former colonies drive on the left side of the road (this is attributed to the need of a right-handed swordsman to keep his scabbard away from traffic and his sword arm closer to potential opponents).

Thus, we have a pair of nations sharing many political similarities, a few physical similarities, yet virtually on opposite sides of the globe, and likewise sharing an inordinate fondness for… Tea.

Consider: A culture begins to drink tea. As a result, there is a higher general intake of caffeine than another society which generally does NOT drink tea. This leads to an abundance of energy (not to mention irritability from caffeine headaches), which leads to aggressive and expansionistic policy. Of course, this energy almost tears the country apart – especially in light of the limited land resources of the tiny island nation – and courtesy becomes incredibly important to prevent civil war, and centers around tea because tea is seen as a source of power. From this, the energy is pointed outwards, and the age of empire begins (not to be confused with the computer game). As a warlike and domineering people, they are ever on the verge of violence, and as such come to pass each other on the left hand side, allowing for the ever-present possibility of violent conflict. Finally, they bring these customs to their colonization efforts, resulting in the pattern we see today. And it is all thanks to tea.

Perhaps if Manhattanites drank more tea, New York would have a more friendly reputation, and/or really be the capital of the world…

And… to get to five hundred… Comment on this!

EDIT: Also, they are both Constitutional Monarchies. Don’t know how I missed that one… Of course, this says NOTHING about the degree of research I carry out before writing these things…


3 Responses to “Tea”

  1. Chris Says:

    Haha, dude that’s the best argument ever! My question to you is, if tea makes you polite expansionists, what does coffee make you?

  2. thehamp Says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: