01/06/2018

Sex and Draghi and Rogan Josh

BY Julian Gorham

For years it was assumed that humans are the only animals to experience sexual pleasure.

We can, however, make educated guesses about what motivates other species beyond their innate urge to reproduce.

Scientists now say that sex would be a very strange thing for animals to seek if it didn’t bring some form of pleasure – it increases risk of disease, it wastes energy and it can seriously increase the likelihood of something coming along and killing you.

The same goes for eating – pleasure is the basic motivator. Is any of this news to pet food brands? And what will be the effect?

 

During a dinner at Frankfurt’s Senckenberg Museum (I kid you not, the home of Germany’s most extensive collection of dinosaurs) Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, told the crowd his favourite joke.

A man needs a heart transplant. The doctor says: “I can give you the heart of a five-year old boy.” “Too young.” “How about that of a forty-year old investment banker?” “They don’t have a heart.” “A seventy-five year old central banker?” “I’ll take it.” “But why?” “It’s never been used!”

While unlikely to win any prizes at the Edinburgh Fringe, Draghi’s joke conveys a simple but important message: central banking is about making rational, cool-headed and unemotional decisions in often difficult circumstances. The ECB website reflects all of these qualities.

But isn’t that also why nobody understands it or cares very much about it?

 

Names are vessels that carry many ideas and associations. Take Rogan Josh – the lamb neck curry, rich with tomatoes.

Some say it is from that broad spectrum of dishes which we in the West crudely call ‘curries’? Others trace the evolution of the dish, and its ingredients, to the Mughals as they travelled from Persia to Kashmir.

Along the etymological trail there’s ‘red hot’ and ‘passionate’ and ‘intense heat’ and the biblical name ‘Joshua’.

Stories (fictional and real) include British and Irish soldiers serving it in the time of the Raj in India, a legendary pirate who was the scourge of the Caribbean Sea, and a rogue who was friends with Joshua in biblical times.

Did you also know that Rogan Josh was an Australian racehorse of some pedigree, having won both the Pinjarra and Melbourne Cups in the late 1990s? Perhaps it was the curry.