My accountant and close friend, Manoj, is an Indian (no, not feathers and war paint, although I have been after him for a good long time to start a "Native Indian" movement, just to confuse people). In any case, Manoj was born in India and lived there into his 'teens, when his parents packed-up and moved here. For a long as I've known him, he has been foaming at the mouth about the wonders and glories of South Indian food, so, when a new (the first and only) South Indian restaurant opened recently, not too far away, it was a foregone conclusion that we would go and try it out.
The food was VERY different from what I had come to expect Indian food (No; not Native American parched corn and pemmican -- the other kind of Indian) to be, with a lot of vegetarian; a tendency toward sweet and tangy, and some very unusual empty crispy-puffball-kind-of-things. Manoj loved it. I liked it, too, but found it very strange.
What was REALLY strange, though, was not the food, but something that I found on display in a corner of the restaurant set aside for the sale of imported goods and various spiritual toys and goodies:
[NOTICE TO ALL THE INTERNET TROLLS READING THIS: Start getting both of your typing fingers limbered-up; you're going to go just berserk about this one!]
STARFIRE WATER™ is a clear, non-carbonated liquid sold in 500ml transparent bottles decorated with (among other scientific and "mystic" symbols) a caduceus, a cross, a "pi" sign, an infinity symbol, and a Star of David. It's bottled by "Sacred H20 Tek, Ltd.", and bears on the front of the bottle the slogan: "Sacred Sound Resonance Transmission" (Could it be an audiophile product?)
The back label, though, is the masterpiece. It says (Under the [either meaningless or utterly incomprehensible] other slogan, "THIRST THE FIRE"):
"Legend has it that the mystical "Starfire" was the liquid manna of the divine, used by the ancients for ultra-focus, extreme performance, and even enlightenment.
In that vein we introduce STARFIRE WATER™, a proprietary alkaline, performance, bio-holographic 'living' water produced using breakthrough 21st century, quantum water technology. STARFIRE WATER™ is treated with ultraviolet, ozonation, infra-red stimulation and electromagnetism for a negative (-) ion charged water, as in nature, allowing deep, cellular intake through your aquaporins, the floodgates to hydration. Vortex induced, using a solar-helix and pyramid-grid system, to give it a hexagonal structure, and infused with monatomic elements, we are able to achieve a water with cosmic healing energy. This water is amplified with a psionic wave oscillation tuned to the Universe's frequency, helping to synchronize you with the heartbeat of our Earth. STARFIRE WATER™ is treated with a Sacred Sound Resonance Transmission™ to vibrationally transform you on the deepest molecular level. All together, we've created the world's finest premium, alkaline, performance, 'living' hexagonal super-structured water."
At the bottom of the rear label are two more "slogans" - each of at least the same quality and intellectual tone as the others: "HYDROGEN CONVERGENCE™" and "THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE NEW AGE IN WATER™. Finally, just so you'll know that this is not just some mystic scam product fit only to lurk in the "stuff for sale" section of an Indian (NOT Arapahoe) restaurant, the label proudly declares (just below "HYDROGEN CONVERGENCE™") that the serving size is 8 FL OZ (240 ml) and that each serving contains "99.9% DV" of (99.9% of the Daily Value? Did the FDA or some other real authority really set forth daily requirements for even any one of the following ingredients?) "Reverse Osmosis H20", "(Ionic Sea Minerals) Caco3> ionized", "Etherium Gold™ (Noble Mineral)", and "Ionized Ancient Coral Calcium *a significant source of calcium and exotic minerals*".
If you think I'm kidding, or that there is no such thing as a South Indian (No, not Seminoles; not the ones with the pumpkins and the turkeys and the corn, either) restaurant, here's (Trolls, get ready!) the website for STARFIRE WATER: www.starfirewater.com. Go there! If you do, you'll see that not only is it true, but that it's endorsed by Mariel Hemingway, one of the great scientific minds of our time! (One thing, though, on the site, her last name is misspelled as "Hemmingway" (there should just be one "m"); do you think that could be to protect the innocent?)
And now, at last, in these closing paragraphs of this 100% ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND CHECKABLE article, I want to make my real point: This article is NOT about food or water or restaurants, or even about Indians of whatever stripe (NO, that's NOT a war paint joke, or even a sly attempt to bring zebras into the discussion). What it's really intended to be is a lesson to all of us, but particularly the Trolls out there, about fools, money, miracles, and bullsh*t; and the very best way I can think of to make that lesson absolutely clear is the old bumper sticker: "Even paranoids have enemies"
Even though High End audio is a fine and satisfying hobby and a glorious way to bring great music into our lives, some of the things that the Trolls and the Unbelievers say about it ARE correct: Some of it IS voodoo. It DOES have some small element of silliness and some small percentage of fools who will eagerly pay too much money to buy bullsh*t that's not even as valuable as Jack's "magic" beans.
So what? And who cares? Let people have their fun! If they want to believe something silly, LET THEM!
In EVERY industry there is nonsense - even water, and, frankly, the either-outright-lies-or-incredible-idiocy of the STARFIRE WATER™ label and website seems more than adequate to rival anything I've ever seen audiophiles "swallow". Let the Trolls go and hassle somebody else. Audiophiles have already had too much of their attention.
And, for that matter, tell them not to hassle STARFIRE WATER™, either. Anything that Mariel Hemmingway endorses can't be all that bad!