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PARACETAMOL CHALLENGE: GOOD IDEA OR GREAT IDEA?
Young adults around the world have embraced what many sociologists are calling society’s best idea yet: the paracetamol challenge. This herculean task involves chugging down a bottle of over-the-counter pain medicine in what doctor’s call “a death defying demonstration of youthful vitality."
Dr. Frederik Hogan was an early champion of the paracetamol challenge. “Our society has grown soft and decadent,” says Dr. Hogan. “In the old days, the young would have to undergo a rite of passage into adulthood. Today, no such rites exist, and that’s why so many of our children refuse to grow up. We live in a world where 30 years old require safe spaces when they’re confronted with words or ideas that they find offensive. An increasing number of people now live in a state of arrested development, a perpetual adolescence that never ends. The paracetamol challenge is a return to the past, a return to the days when people had no choice but to grow-up."
The idea of downing an entire bottle of paracetamol isn’t a smart one, and that’s why it’s so brilliant, says sociologist Rita Tungsfeld. “The reason people aren’t growing up is because we’ve lost touch with our primal, irrational selves,” says Rita. “The key to saving society from itself is encouraging people to behave like self-destructive imbeciles. If they survive, they deserve to live, but if they die, the rest of society will be better off. It’s Darwin in action."
The young adults who have taken part in the paracetamol challenge aren’t interested in overarching theories that explain their thoughtless risk taking. “Look, I’m not swallowing an entire bottle of pain killers because I want to grow up,” says 23 year student jackass James Butterscotch “I’m swallowing that bottle so I can brag about it online. I love all the attention I get from complete and total strangers i’ll never meet in real life."
19 year old florist Mary Zenia agrees. “I took part in the paracetamol challenge because I wanted more shares and retweet,” says Mary. “My self worth is measured by online adulation by people i’d almost certainly hate in real life."
Rita doesn’t care about what the paracetamol challengers say. “As a sociologist, I'd never let the facts get in the way of a good theory,” says Rita. “That’s how we progress as a society."
Doctors who are actually good at their jobs are imploring people to not take the challenge.
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