Regular readers of this blog since before the move to ScienceBlogs a month ago have probably wondered when everybody’s favorite blog mascot would return. It’s likely that Christopher Mims and the rest of the ScienceBlog editors probably hoped that he wouldn’t, so as not to associate the Seed Magazine name with such strangeness. Perhaps even my fellow ScienceBloggers, some of whom may not be familiar with the wonder that is Orac’s mascot, may find themselves scratching their heads and wondering, “WTF?” while wishing Orac would restrain his stranger impulses.

If only it were so easy. Orac has some–shall we say?–issues to deal with, and blogging is one way he does so.

Those who have joined us more recently, perhaps as a result of Orac’s joining ScienceBlogs, probably wonder what the heck I’m talking about (unless, of course, they saw Orac’s birthday wishes to PZ Myers a couple of days ago). Even then, they probably still can’t quite figure out what this is about. Not to worry. Not everyone groks Orac’s mascot.

In any case, ever since he was introduced well over a year ago in an article I wrote about weird things pharmaceutical representatives give out, his–shall we say?–presence has grown. Sometimes he appears without much comment; sometimes he helps Orac debunk alties, particularly quackery related to his–um–special area of interest. Sometimes he just shows up.

ScienceBlogs or no ScienceBlogs, Orac’s mascot will not be denied. It just wouldn’t be Respectful Insolence without him.

Oddly enough, our caped crusader dedicated to Truth, Justice, and Regular Bowel Movements (not to mention colon cleanliness) has a theme this year, and, even more oddly, it’s one you might not have expected. Last year, our intrepid mascot who will put his head in places that one would normally think one’s head shouldn’t go traveled the world. This year:

EneMonths 2006 cover

And where do we find EneMan today?

I bet you didn’t know that EneMan was responsible for inventing paper currency!

EneMan 200603

Now why would EneMan have wanted to invent paper currency? Consider, as any altie would tell you, EneMan, having been created by Fleet Pharmaceuticals, must be a pharma shill, right? (I would tend to disagree. EneMan may work for Fleet, but he’s no one’s shill.) Thus, it should be obvious to any altie why EneMan would want to invent paper currency. It’s too difficult for pharmaceutical companies to count up their obscene profits if they’re limited to barter or to currency made of gold or other precious metals. For one thing, there’s only a limited supply of precious metals, and paper currency removed the limits on the profits that pharmaceutical companies could make. Pretty clever, that EneMan, to have thought of this over a millenium ago.

If you don’t believe this explanation for the origin of paper money, just remember that it makes as much sense as a lot of other altie claims, such as Hulda Clark’s claim that all cancer is caused by an intestinal fluke or the common altie canard that vaccines somehow damage the immune system. Of course, it could just be that EneMan is counting his money won playing poker. You may not know it, but, underneath that happy-go-lucky exterior lurks the heart of a card shark. (Also, other players always fear that EneMan may exercise his “special talent” on them if they beat him too bad.)

As always, a list of the Caped Colon Crusader’s appearances since the very beginning:

ADDENDUM: People ask me when Orac’s other, less savory, mascot will make an appearance. Sadly, it may be soon. I’m still mulling over whether I should do it for a particular instance where it might be appropriate. The problem is, the brain-eating comes in response to something that strikes particularly close to home. In this case, it might be better to keep the creature locked in its crypt for a while longer. (Of course, one must ask: When is it ever better to let the creature out?)

In the meantime, check out more of the adventures of our caped crusader every month as he travels through time, not unlike a certain Time Lord.


  1. #1 Khalil A. Cassimally
    March 12, 2006

    I didn’t understand a thing. But it’s not you, it’s me.

  2. #2 Orac
    March 12, 2006

    Don’t worry. Sometimes it takes a few appearances before one can understand the wonder that is EneMan.

    I also realize that the above post was a bit incoherent, so much so that I almost took it down for rejiggering. Then I remembered that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. My posts can’t all be works of bloggy goodness.

    But I’m working on upping the average.

  3. #3 Ali
    March 12, 2006

    For some reason, in my mind, juxtaposing the word “shill” with Eneman’s name gave the word “shill” and entirely different meaning.

  4. #4 Joseph O'Donnell
    March 12, 2006

    I’m afraid that should EneMan depart I would have to launch a “Bring back EneMan” campaign. I imagine it would involve getting drunk before commenting and incoherently writing “Bring back EneMan” a lot.

  5. #5 Sean Foley
    March 12, 2006

    I, for one, am glad he’s back. Like an emetic, you just can’t keep EneMan down.

  6. #6 John
    March 12, 2006

    Every blog needs a bit of regular silliness.

  7. #7 Abel PharmBoy
    March 12, 2006

    Folks probably were equally confused by me being the only commenter on your PZ birthday greetings. Glad to know that JM O’Donnell and others are big fans of EneMan. Being the spouse of a doc, I am the happy recipient of all sorts of Pharma marketing crap. I am well known to relieve stress (and psychotic thoughts) by squeezing my purple Zyprexa brain ‘marketing tool.’

    BTW, did y’all know that Doug Farrago, MD, publishes a print version of the worst/best Pharma marketing crap in his Placebo Journal? Got it for PharmGirl, MD, and PharmDadInLaw, MD, and there are tons of pharma ad parodies and real-life collections of the most wasteful pharma-crap. See (registraton required) – sorry that Doug got to it for profit before us – we could each fund our research labs on what he probably makes off of the print version of his ‘journal.’

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.