Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/8/19
If you understand anything about vaccines, you know that they don’t cause autism. They just don’t. We don’t know what causes autism. But it’s not vaccines.
But here we go – another study is showing that vaccines do not, in fact, cause autism.
So what pisses me off? Why the fuck are we still studying this?
I don’t blame the scientists for doing so. I mean the anti-vaxx movement keeps coming up with bullshit science to link autism and vaccines in the ultimate game of confirmation bias so someone needs to keep doing actual research to counter the constant barrage of bad information.
Anti-vaxxers crawl out of the shadows every time something like this surfaces because they really want to believe big bad pharma is out to kill us all by ensuring we don’t get polio. It is a pretty sinister plot they have uncovered and the only side effects to being wrong are outbreaks of measles and whooping cough.
The other thing that bothers me is this idea that people with autism are somehow more broken than they would have been had they contracted polio. Rather than treating autism as a challenge to be managed and understood, anti-vaxxers want to believe we can just cure it. The implication that being on the spectrum is worse than dying of a preventable disease is about as bad as suggesting we shouldn’t teach blind people how to read braille because what’s the point?
Unlike flat Earthers, who are just stupid, anti-vaxxers are dangerous. They get people killed. And they divert money from studying how to help people live with autism or from determining the actual cause of autism to more studies about how vaccines don’t cause autism.
A police officer spotted a man on private property and asked him what he was doing. OK so far.
The man responded that he lived there and was picking up trash. At some point during this exchange, the officer drew his gun and called for back up. Eight more officers were required to determine if the man was a threat even though all he was holding was a bucket and a “clamp” (his words) to pick up trash.
The “clamp” was characterized by officers as a “blunt object.” They really wanted him to put it down.
This story has a (sort of) happy ending because the man was not actually shot and killed. After the eight officers were able to ascertain that the guy was not a threat to his own residence and he was not carrying a weapon, they left.
Now it’s easy to say “well the guy shouldn’t have gotten belligerent and everything would have been fine.”
Except he shouldn’t have been confronted in the first place. He lived there. He was obviously picking up trash. Other people told the police that he lived there.
It was an abuse of power that almost escalated into a tragedy.
Oh yeah, and the guy in question was a black man. That doesn’t surprise anyone, does it?
Meme that Pissed Me Off
So what is this meme trying to say?
I assume it is shaming the person on the right for being who they are and lionizing the person on the left for being who society expected them to be. It is suggesting that almost 70 years from now, we will have reverted to a society of mostly people on the left and we’ll just be really embarrassed that some of us ever dressed like person on the right.
Maybe not. Maybe this meme is celebrating the person on the right. Given the person who shared it on my wall, though, I think not.
I think instead it is another in a long line of memes meant to suggest society is going to hell because people aren’t behaving like we think they should behave. Worse, they aren’t behaving in an unacceptable fashion behind closed doors so we don’t have to know about it.
I’ve done a lot of weird things in my life and there’s nothing I’d be embarrassed for my grandkids to find out about. Because why should they think I was like the guy on the left when I wasn’t?
For all we know, the guy on the left enjoyed wearing corsets and being flogged with a riding crop (with it completely fine if that was his thing). There just aren’t any pictures of it.
I’m so sick of people shaming this generation for not being a different generation. The shit our grandkids are up to is going to surprise all of us. We might not approve of all of it.
But maybe we need to deal with the fact that they don’t give a fuck what we think.
The bill in question would have required the parents, the child, and the courts approve of marriage where the child is under the age of sixteen.
The argument by the Republican legislators who voted down the measure was “you don’t need court approval to get an abortion so why should you need court approval to provide a baby a stable home?”
They argued the current law, which requires only approval of the parents and the child (who could be easily coerced but never mind) mirrors the law that requires a minor to have parental approval for an abortion (which is bullshit but also never mind). They didn’t see why the courts should be overworked with children trying to get married when their parents obviously would have their best interests in mind.
I mean, there’s lots of evidence that no, parents don’t always have the best interests of their children in mind. Especially when they are marrying off twelve-year olds. There are lots of great parents out there. Almost none of whom would approve of their fifteen year old son marrying his teacher.
Suggesting a court needs to step in and say “whoa – this is fucked up” doesn’t seem like a bad use of the court system.
And yeah, I know there are situations where a couple of fifteen year old kids fall hopelessly in love and need to get married immediately. It seems like the sort of thing that shouldn’t require a lot of scrutiny.
Except hang on, it really should. Because are the kids being pressured into that decision? I mean, the decision is almost certainly a bad one but people make bad decisions about marriage all the time. At fifteen, they make bad decisions about almost everything.
This isn’t about bad decision making, though. It is about kids possibly being forced into a decision that could affect their entire life without some kind of neutral party checking the whole thing out.
But of course it gets tied to abortion because a fifteen year old girl making the decision to end a pregnancy that might ruin her life is so much worse than a couple of fifteen year olds making a decision that will ruin both of their lives.
I get that gun control is a divisive issue. Like super divisive. Not abortion divisive or “is Donald Trump a narcissistic psychopath or a champion of the
wealthy working class” divisive. But divisive.
In New Hampshire, some folks are pushing for restricting gun access to violent offenders. Basically, the law is primarily written to protect victims of domestic violence by making sure their ex-partners have restricted access to firearms.
Unless one is using the slippery slope fallacy, this feels like something we can get behind.
So while victims of this kind of violence were testifying, several Republican men wore strands of fake pearls (not that there is anything wrong with men wearing pearls if they want but seriously – they did not go with the suits at all), which could easily be interpreted as a mocking statement that gun control advocates were clutching at pearls. Or they could represent the Women’s Defense League, a pro-gun women’s group whose leader referred to some members of the gun control lobby as “harpies.”
Either way, the legislators were taunting victims of gun violence. I’m sure they don’t characterize it that way because they don’t understand that maybe you ought to treat these people with some kind of fucking respect.
You don’t have to agree with their suggested solutions to gun violence. It’s pretty clear you don’t.
But flaunting that belief in their face is something only done by cold-hearted assholes. And someone is probably going to say “well anti-gun politicians do such and such a thing when pro gun advocates are testifying!”
And that could be right and yes, maybe we should all respectfully listen to anyone who isn’t a Nazi (because fuck Nazis).
On the other hand, quit the whataboutism bullshit. You don’t get to say “well they do it too so that makes everything all right” when just the opposite is true. If everyone is doing it, everyone is wrong.
Also it’s probably a false equivalence anyway but never mind.
How about they just do what other politicians do and miss the meeting for personal reasons? By showing up wearing pearls, they made it clear to the people testifying that the only reason there were there was to make sure everyone knew they didn’t give a fuck about what was being said.
And finally, a Plea
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know a few times a year, I raise funds for my theater company, Fearless Comedy Productions. We are currently getting ready for our 50 hour comedy Marathon, Die Laughing.
In preparation for that event, I’m engaged in a fundraising battle with my friend Breanna Cecile. We are each trying to raise $500 prior to the beginning of the fundraiser on March 29th. If we get there, we get a crocheted Porg hat!
The catch is whoever gets to $500 last will have to pay for both hats. And I’m behind. Way behind.
So if you enjoy this blog, please consider tossing even $5.00 towards my fundraiser here. I’m very proud of what Fearless does and I also very much want to defeat Breanna (also – if she gets to $500 and I don’t I will have to pay for hers and then I won’t even get one)!