New Blood for the Blues
For centuries there has existed a rare, temporary medical condition striking a dozen or so tourists annually in Florence, Italy, the cradle of Italian Renaissance, and a city which simply groans under the weight of her myriad masterpieces. For these few tourists, encountering masterpieces pretty much wherever the eye lands, creates symptoms including amnesia, dizziness, and disorientation, and often requires a hospital stay. French novelist and writer Marie-Henri Beyle, known as Stendhal, was struck with the malaise in 1817, thus finally giving the illness a name: Stendhal Syndrome.
Boulder, Colorado has recently experienced an opposing variation of this rare malaise, in that rather than the visiting tourist being struck, it is the locals who are visited by it. And it’s not as much a visual attack, it’s an oracular one. It’s known as “JRS,’ or Jason Ricci Syndrome, and it clobbers Boulder periodically. The symptoms are the same. The treatment, however, rests not in minimizing the exposure, but intensifying it. The patient becomes incapable of resisting finding JRS-related masterpieces online and listening for hours on end, abandoning sleep and nutrition. And on occasion, all mental reason.