I honestly thought that if I ever ran a headline centered around butter coffee, it would have to involve Paula Deen. Amazingly, it does not.
Some of you may have heard about Bulletproof Coffee (Gizmodo ran an excellent piece about it back in January of this year). If you haven’t, it is the dumbest product of which I can possibly conceive, and I’ve watched Shark Tank: it’s a drink composed of coffee, unsalted butter, and coconut oil extract. It would be bad enough if that level of grossness were just another paean to Americans’ reverent, undying butter worship, but it gets worse: Asprey has somehow convinced people this noxious concoction is healthy and world-changing and oh my God I don’t want to live on this planet any more. Now, Asprey wants to expand Bulletproof’s reach, opening an actual coffee shop dedicated to the product in Santa Monica, California, hopefully to be followed by locations in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and “anything West of the Mississippi.” He’s also marketing other products, including a drink called Fat Water that is exactly what it sounds like.
His bread and butter (har!) is still Bulletproof, however, and his messiah complex about it runs so much deeper than you might realize if you haven’t read about it before. A summation of Asprey’s personal story since he invented and started consuming Bulletproof, via Quartz’s Alice Truong (all bold additions mine):
The story goes that he lost 100 pounds without counting a single calorie (Asprey at his peak weighed 300 pounds) (this sounds wrong), raised his IQ by 20 points (I am positive this is not how brains work), lowered his biological age (“THIS DRINK TRANSCENDS THE PHYSICAL LAWS OF NATURE”), and slept fewer hours (well, yeah, if you’re shotgunning butter coffee, that’s not surprising)—and he now feels better than ever. All at 460 calories per serving.
There’s a part of me that immediately thought Truong was making those claims up just to mock Asprey, but no, he actually believes that shit:
“My mind works better now than it ever has in my life,” Asprey says. “I don’t have joint pain all the time. My back doesn’t hurt all the time. I don’t lose words. I feel generally pretty joyful. I really like my life.”
The drink is also apparently quite popular, if you can believe Asprey (which you cannot, but he seems to be correct on this point, if no others). He claims people are drinking it by the millions, and while I pray to any deity listening that’s wrong, Bulletproof’s website traffic is up and podcast (of course there’s a podcast) downloads are over 15 million. If you’d like to blame a region for this, feel free to target Silicon Valley, where cognitive dissonance regarding health issues runs strong and deep. You could get liberal California parents to feed their kids literal dog shit if a charming enough celebrity told them it was healthy and “alternative” and said enough mean things about Big Pharma.
Truong deserves a ton of credit here, too, making sure to point out the myriad flaws in Asprey’s unscientific approach to Bulletproof. When confronted with this information, Asprey’s response is staggering:
“I don’t think we know everything yet,” Asprey retorts, noting most of the naysayers haven’t given the diet a chance. “If you’re going to stand on a soap box and say it’s impossible, yet there’s millions of people doing it, at some point you have to ask what’s wrong with you. Everyone around you isn’t crazy.”
Think about that argument for a second. Let it marinate in your brain. Really consider all angles of the fact that Asprey was told “here is the evidence that your product is crap and you are full of shit,” and his response was, “a lot of people think it works, so YOU must be the wrong one for not thinking it works, Wrongy-McWrongsalot.” Consider all the ways in which that is a crazy person thing to say. Perhaps remind yourself that such a statement is entirely contradicted by the fact that Vanilla Ice, at one point, had a successful career, or that Pogs were popular, or that many people enjoy NASCAR. I can’t believe we actually have to spell this out, but a thing being popular does not mean it is good.
Bulletproof is obviously horseshit, but the fact that it’s genuinely popular enough for Asprey to have raised $9 million and to seriously eye long-term expansion plans has to be considered the clearest evidence yet that America is doomed. The Pax Americana is over, people; all we have left to look forward to is the decline.
Frankly, we deserve it for allowing things like this to happen. Look at that lead image, readers, and know that we deserve our ignoble end.
Image via marekuliasz/Shutterstock.
Contact the author at WilyUbertrout@gmail.com.