The Moore Common Cold
by Daniel Benjamin Homan
keywords: Albert Moore, greatest human disasters, invention, debate, Cold War, science, treason, laughter [this document has been flagged for repeated bias and does not currently meet wikipedia’s citation standards]
The Moore Common Cold, created by Albert Moore (1984-2048), is a viral augment of the common cold (transmitted orally or via injection) in which the traditional physical symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat, congestion, and low grade fever) are replaced by five psychological states (confusion, annoyance, melancholy, denial, and conclusion). The consensus amongst historians is that the notorious [notable] scientist Albert Moore completed the Moore Common Cold on March 15th, 2020. Considered Moore’s most dismal failure [greatest achievement], The Moore Common Cold, or The Cold, as it came to be called, has been all but eradicated.
The impetus why Moore sought to reinvent the common cold is still heavily debated. Milak Tysunami, a prominent Moore biographer, suggests that research began as a direct result of Moore’s own history of childhood sickness (rumored to have rendered him sterile and reportedly the cause of his divorce in 2010, though never confirmed by Moore himself or his ex-wife, Elizabeth Robinson). Other theories include monetary considerations, temporary insanity, and Moore’s reported fictitious disorder. Soon after The Cold’s announcement, scientists began to question why Moore, then a prominent microbiologist at Stanford University, was not instead seeking a vaccine to wipe out the common cold completely.
According to a worldwide poll taken in 2023 [note, erroneous citation], a majority of the citizens of the world already understood the need to preserve the common cold. Even amid criticism from the World Health Organization, Moore set out to reinvent the cold, arguing that human beings, like most other animals, require the structure and familiarity that only the common cold can bring (the common cold dates back as far as the Egyptians, whose hieroglyphs depict coughing and other symptoms). In addition, the common cold, according to Moore, is the only shared human experience. For example, a little boy in Boston will experience the same cold, roughly, as a little girl in Calcutta (excluding access to tissue paper, aspirin, decongestants, water, and shelter).
The first incarnation of the Moore Common Cold was a viral pill which, when taken, would combine all of the common cold’s symptoms into one: nausea (later called The Ralph Cold). In a press conference, Moore explained, “This new cold will simplify what is, to most, an exhausting experience. No longer will we have to endure constant, inevitable change. A new era has arrived.”
In preliminary clinical studies, Moore’s augmented cold performed well, with a 54.3% approval rating among a trial of 1047 patients. The pill garnered further support from global think tanks; million of people throwing up, leading economists predicted, would stimulate the economy and lower health insurance costs (pharmaceutical hegemony over government was largely diminished in 2009 with the World Health Care Initiative, ratified by all countries with the exception of The United States and Somalia). Additional studies confirmed that the Ralph Cold would improve the job market as many industries would see sharp rises in demand (furniture, rugs, cleaning supplies, throat massage, tea, janitors, Ovaltine). The Ralph Cold gained even further traction when leading health scholars projected a worldwide decrease in food consumption and a near-total solution to global obesity. Opponents countered, quickly nicknaming Moore’s brilliant new cold the Bulimia Bug. In 2015, months away from the pill’s release, environmental groups sued Albert Moore with claims that the Bulimia Bug would speed up deforestation though a projected astronomical sawdust usage and would further exacerbate global warming [still in debate]. As a result, investors pulled from the project and it was quickly abandoned.
On July 3rd, 2020, Moore announced the creation of his new cold and distributed an informational pamphlet on the internet to promote the cold entitled “Moore Fun, Moore Laughter.” The specifics of the Moore Common Cold were guarded almost as tightly as the secret ingredient to Coca Cola’s formula (which, of course, turned out to be beta vulgaris, the common beet). Within months of its announcement, the Moore Common Cold, according to numerous surveys, became the most common topic of conversation internationally. Weather had finally been supplanted; the cold was king.
Moore insisted on total secrecy as he negotiated the release of The Cold. Meanwhile, peripheral [respected] scientists struggled to propose, amid an overwhelming lack of scientific data, how it might even be scientifically possible to redesign the common cold, let alone determine its impact on society. Skeptics accused Moore of “selling snakeoil” and sought to discredit and bar him from all scientific organizations.
Moore Transcript, September 24th, 2020: On Coney Island, New York, reportedly chosen by virtue of it nearly serving as the site of the 1964 World Fair, Moore defended his soon-to-be-released genius.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to clarify and finally put to rest some of the vicious rumors that have been circulating since The Cold’s announcement. In a few short weeks, the Cold will arrive in your local doctor’s office, at supermarkets, and, for a limited time, as part of the McDonald’s Happy Meal for children or the kid inside us all.
First and foremost, the rumors. The Moore Common Cold will not make anyone insolent, dicabacious, or flimvoyent. In truth, I’ve never cared for rumors, especially those using words that have yet to be accepted by any self-respecting dictionary. Nor will the Cold make you impotent or sterile. Only your own insecurities and demented psychoses can do this, as well as most products found in your local supermarkets.
Many have asked, what’s wrong with the regular old cold? Well, in the past, humanity has been forced to endure an average two to three weeks a year of boring, self-deprecating sickness. Moreover, the common cold accounts for 189 million days missed in school and 125 million sick days for work, an enormous blow to our educations and economies. Bt now, stuffy noses and sore throats are a thing of the past.
What if I said that the Moore Common Cold would add untold volumes of laughter and entertainment to your daily lives, as well as improve your general health, all while being sick? Scientifically speaking, the Cold is a complex mix of delicately-twisted Riboflavins and a healthy dose of genetic engineering, for in our research, we discovered that it was impossible to eradicate the common cold completely. That is, we could not and most likely will never destroy the pathogens that bring about the cold, as these germs simply mutate too quickly. But we were, ladies and gentlemen, able to alter the common cold’s key symptoms through the process of genetic bio-injection. I see the confused, glassy, glazed looks on your faces. If you will, I would like to extend a metaphor. Close your eyes.
Now, imagine five stout German soldiers marching in gray uniforms down the steps of the Bundesrat. These soldiers are efficient and practical, but mostly a downer. Am I right? Now, if we took those soldiers and put, for example, a duck hat on one–and by a duck hat, let me be clear, I mean a hat that is in the shape of a duck and not a living marmaronetta angustirostris, as there were some complaints from PETA during early tests. On that note, let me assure you all that such duck-related tests have ceased. And so, as I was saying, we basically dressed a soldier in a duck hat to make the common cold more fun for the general public. Hopefully that will put to bed your questions.
But you will find that the Moore Common Cold is more than simple window-dressing, ladies and gentlemen. The new cold will improve your ability for introspection. Some have wondered why have we chosen these five symptoms, confusion, annoyance, melancholy, denial, conclusion. So often, we are stuck in mindsets and, as we grow older, we lose our ability to change, to adapt, to imagine, to laugh. Did you know that every time you laugh you add eleven minutes to your life? Our gelotologists, those who study the psychological effects of laughter, have found that my Cold will actually lengthen the life span of every infected person on earth. Imagine that. Eighty years of life, multiplied by the fifteen to seventeen days the average human has a cold, multiplied again, let us not forget, by an average Moore or M ratio, which measures subsidiary or ancillary effects–that is, others laughing at the expense of those with symptoms. Yes, we have ensured that the average human lifespan will shortly be extended by three years. Three years!
And so, I thank you, ladies and gentlemen. It has and will always be a pleasure serving the human race.
On August 20th, 2020, Moore released a video on youtube.com (which currently still enjoys a status of third in hits and comments, trumped only by a teenage girl’s questionable drunken rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar and the giggling baby). In the video, Moore explains the Cold’s five distinct stages and confirms they are significant improvements over the old cold, which he encouraged supporters to call, “The Moldy Old.” The following is a transcript of the first in a series of promotional videos developed by Moore’s advertisement sector, Cold Productions, and represents a typical conversation between one person with a cold and a non-infected person.
Friend 1: You look sick
Friend 2: What? What are you talking about? (confusion)
Friend 1: I knew it. You’ve got yourself a cold, pal.
Friend 2: Why are you always so goddamn glib about things, Johnny? (annoyance)
Friend 1: Seems like it’s moving pretty fast, I–
Friend 2: Just leave me be. I want to curl up and die! (melancholy)
Friend 1: Funny, I didn’t think the more common cold made you feel sick, per se.
Friend 2: What cold? I’ve never had the cold in my life. (denial)
Friend 1: Now that’s just silly. But I think we can agree on one thing.
Friend 2: With the Moore Common Cold, hilarity ensues! (conclusion)
Albert Moore: Remember the laughter.
Effect on Culture
As Moore predicted, the people of the world soon took to the Cold upon first sickness. A far more interesting alternative to the “moldy old,” within five years, according to studies, the Moore’s Cold was preferred by 67.5% of the world populace. By 2032, the moldy old was virtually wiped off of the face of the earth. Moore Common Cold parties quickly sprang up, as the five stages of the cold were found to facilitate more interesting social situations, “akin to a game of psychological Cranium©,” says Moore in advertisement #16.
To a large extent, the success of the Cold nearly quashed rampant drug and alcohol use, especially among young people, who began to intentionally contract the Cold through the sharing of food and drink. Suddenly, to get a cold became fashionable, and the practice of passing infection became known as deskgumming with derivations, “that’s so deskgum,” and eventually, “he’s the gumdesk.”
Cold Cult [psycho-biologists/Church of Laughter, subtitle currently in dispute for bias and subject to review]
Soon after the Moore Common Cold’s release, Jonathan Telmundy founded the Church of the Cold, later called the Cold Cult (for comparable institutions, see Scientology, L Ron. Hubbard, Tom Cruise). Cold Cultists were [are] rigorous defenders of the Moore Common Cold and believed [believe] that Moore’s Cold was [is] in actually a manifestation of the collective unconscious, and further that it alone has delivered to all humans a shared spirituality. Cold Cultists numbers were estimated to range from approximately 8.2 million to 1.4 billion [world census data largely found unreliable after 2020 due primarily to stages 2 and 4 of the Moore Common Cold and it, in addition to this article, are subject to review].
Arts, Literature, and Music
World culture was profoundly impacted by the Cold. Popular music, perhaps, mutated the most quickly, adopting the five stages into its repertoires. As a result, bands were able to emotionally and physically reach fans with greater accuracy. The five stage names were immediately snatched up by indie rock bands, and popular hip hop groups such as Derizzy, Conclusitaza, and Five States of Mates, dominated the Billboard music charts.
The arts, the novel, the play, and cinema were also changed fundamentally, as the merits of characterization and plot came to be judged largely by motivations resulting from a particular stage of The Cold. Artists soon realized the genius behind Moore’s five symptoms–that the stages of The Cold exactly mirrored life experience. Christian Strognar, the popular Ethiopian writer, says in his biography of Moore, A Hundred Lives:
It is amazing to me that sickness, once the scourge of humanity, has now enabled me to live a hundred lives, passing like caterpillar to butterfly four or five times a year. Its inventor Albert Moore must have glimpsed into the human soul and replicated our pain, our pleasure, beyond even the abilities of Shakespeare. Yet I continually ask myself, if Moore could boil down the cold to nausea, why did he not simply make happiness and sadness the two stages, or for that matter, just laughter? But this is not for me to judge the work of a genius, only to appreciate, to be thankful that he has opened my eyes. Remember the laughter. Remember Albert Moore. [note, false link].
Literary critics were also quick to point out that there were now three new lenses in which to view art: non-infected, Moore Common, and hybrid, easily tripling literary theory.
In 2034, Moore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the Cold and world leaders rallied around him, bestowing 334 national honors. As a token of his appreciation, Aurush Patel, then the Prime Minister of India, offered Albert Moore the Madusar Palace, which Moore began to use as his primary residence in 2035.
In 2038, the first reports of irregularities began to crop up [erroneous, reports of such irregularities date back to 2021 but were largely kept out of public eye by Moore and Cold Cult lobbyists (see Moore vs. United Journalists)]. Numerous [infinitesimal] cases began to crop up of patients frozen in one stage state, with one stage lasting abnormally longer than others, and imperfections within the stages themselves. Although these maladies produced a verifiable Renaissance in absurdist plays (see Cold Dreams, Annoying Conclusions, Denial For Never), a class-action suit against Moore was issued. though the father of The Cold denied the charges and eventually the cases were dismissed.
Yet complications also arose in the judicial system, as the cold defense had become a staple of criminal law. Certain stages of the cold were considered more useful than others, with confusion and melancholy most often cited in defense cases, and annoyance and denial commonly on the side of the prosecution, with conclusion on the side of both. Various stages of the cold were also used to corrupt or corroborate witness testimonial, leading to soaring court costs, resulting in the quadrupling of the worlds’ law schools nearly overnight. In short order, the entirety of the world judicial system was called into question and eventually, the cold defense was ruled unconstitutional (Cold Cult vs. the World Judicial System, appeals pending).
The Cold War
Early in the winter of 2040, political scientists noticed startling trends in warfare that would soon supplant the Democratic Peace Theory. First proposed by Dean Babst, the theory asserts that democratic nations are less likely to go to war with each other–the theory later became a justification for George W. Bush’s Iraq War, but was disproved as a result of the subsequent Iraq Wars.
The Moore Cold War Theory, posited by Xhobasa Terune of South Africa, identifies that wars are no longer fought as a result of age-old clashes of culture, race, and religion, but by the particular stage of The Cold for:
1) gross population (democracies–see menstruation).
2) individual leaders, (dictatorships).
Within ten years of the Cold’s introduction, Japan had warred with Paraguay, Russia with Canada, Israel with Greece, and perhaps the most infamous, the costly and logistically near-impossible war of Cuba and Kazakhstan. Since the introduction of The Cold in 2020, Terune recorded the incidence of war was 3.5 times higher among countries.
Another leading political scientist, Xi Chang, would soon refute Terune’s model. A year later, Chang delivered to the United Nations an addendum to Terune’s Moore Cold Theory entitled, The Moore Factor, which illustrates that aggression and the likelihood of war is accelerated by a Moore factor of .67 as a result of state of the Cold and exacerbated by infection/non-infection rates. Simply stated:
1. States are more likely to go to war with another state if both are infected with the same stage of the Cold.
2. States are more likely to go to war with another state if both are infected with different stages of the Cold.
3. States are more likely to go to war with another state if one is infected with the Cold and the other is not.
By 2042, most countries in the Northern Hemisphere were at war, and likewise in the Southern Hemisphere. The Northern and Southern Hemispheres (which came to be known as the Winter/Summer War cycle) also were engaged in seasonal conflict. In a few short years, the world was all but consumed by what became known as The Moore Cold War, and then The Cold War.
Interview with People Magazine, Albert Moore, March 21st, 2045:
The following is the final interview with Moore before his death.
Reporter: I’ll mention that Mr. Cody was unable to interview today, as scheduled, due to his movement into stage two. In any case, I’ll begin. The world has almost virtually been destroyed by war, and many say that you and you alone are to blame. Comment?
Moore: Is it spring yet?
Reporter:–er, yes. Just today. As I was–
Reporter: As I was saying, many are still struggling to understand how such a massive hoax could have been instrumented on the world, and why you would unleash such a Pandora’s Box on your fellow world citizens. Care to comment?
Moore: Hoax? I’ve brought laughter to the world, I’ve–
Reporter: With all due respect Mr. Moore–
Moore: Dr. Moore–
Reporter: Do you have any regrets before your trial, Dr. Moore?
Moore: (mumbling) Misunderstood. No, no, of course not. My gift to the world.
Reporter: But the Cold has set back the course of human civilization by five hundred years. You face allegations of corruption, of profiteering, treason, and crimes against humanity. You have single-handedly become the impetus for the destruction of the human race. Comment?
Moore: Is it so terrible to seek company?
Reporter: Um, okay–Your ex-wife committed suicide a few years ago, reportedly from sleeping pills. Her note said, and I quote, “It was my fault. You can’t be happy all the time. Oh Albert, why didn’t you take it out on me?
Moore: Next question.
Reporter: The governments of the world are trying to force you to develop a vaccine. Are you going to comply?
Moore: No refunds–
Reporter: But people should be given–
Moore: An experiment, a god-damned placebo, alright? Don’t you get it? I’ve seen inside the human soul, and it’s full of those chalky Valentine’s hearts.
Reporter: Are you actually trying to claim that–
Moore: (sobbing) This interview is over.
By the summer of 2045, over 4.2 million lawsuits and subpoenas had been issued against Albert Moore to develop a vaccine against the Cold (the original virus had since mutated and is rumored to be beyond control, though this fact was denied by Albert Moore until his death). Moore had hidden a four-nucleotide security DNA code in the Cold to ensure that no bio-hackers could augment his invention, similar to a technique pioneered by past technological entrepreneurs (see Bill Gates, Windows, Steve Jobs, iTunes). Protests sprung up in every major city of the world. “Bring Back the Moldy Cold before I’m Old,” by country music star Alan Jackson Junior, reached number one on the Billboard chart for a record 31 months. Reporters hounded Moore, who was walled up in the Madusar Palace where a crowd of over 1.2 million had convened, reportedly confused and annoyed. When interviewed, many protestors denied that they were even there, while others wept bitterly, begging for salvation.
Four hundred and thirty-five countries had warrants for Moore’s arrest, and a coalition of over four hundred and thirty-three countries (excluding India and Switzerland) were considering the atomic annihilation of the Madusar Palace. During this time, Moore was, according to his press secretary, “very perplexed by the world’s reaction and unable to comment.” Protests continued into the spring, through summer, fall, and winter. Fifteen music festivals, thirteen carnivals, and fifty-seven parades were held over a period of a year and a half. Ironically, this would be the first time in human history of total world peace.
Transcript, March 9th, 2048:
Finally, on March 9th, 2048, Moore’s lawyer, Mark Toddy made the following statement:
Mr. Moore, being in a state of melancholy at the moment (rumored to be Moore’s favorite of the five), is unable to comment today, once again. But, he asked that I read the following statement:
Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten the code which would unravel the nucleotides of the Cold, but I can only hope future generations will return to the laughter. It was the impetus for the Cold and continues to be my gift to humanity. Like Prometheus, Oppenheimer, Redenbauker, and all the other greats, humankind has taken my gift and corrupted it. But again, my hope is that future generations will learn to live, love and laugh again.”
Albert Moore died on March 15th, 2048 (reportedly in a state of denial).