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.
The White House Correspondents dinner was this weekend. It is an event in which a comedian is hired to roast the President and the White House Press Corps. For the second year in a row, Donald Trump opted not to attend.
Because he’s a coward who isn’t capable of listening to a single negative thing said about him. That alone should piss you off. Donald Trump is a coward. Doesn’t matter the awful things that may or may not have been said. He couldn’t take the softest of softball jokes about him.
At least he knows it, I guess. So he holds a campaign event where everyone loves him and then tweets about an event he didn’t attend like some kind of smug asshole. Which is the role he was born to play.
Michelle Wolf spoke truth to power and she didn’t pull punches. The predictable result was conservative politicians upset because she made jokes about Trump’s pussy grabbing (he said it you magnanimous fucks) and Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ lies (not her appearance – watch the actual video).
In the end, she called out the press and that is probably why they turned against her. She pointed out that whether or not the press corps likes Trump, they made him. They profit from him and even as Trump takes unending potshots at them, they are secretly happy to have him around.
She then pointed out that Flint still doesn’t have clean water.
You can complain that she wasn’t telling a joke when she said that. You can even argue that her comedy routine wasn’t funny (I laughed but comedy is subjective). But the fact is her final message – that all of this is bullshit because the people of Flint should be able to drink water and none of us give a fuck about that any more – got lost amidst reporters falling all over themselves to feel sorry for Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Mostly this is so bad it’s funny but you have to be a little upset at the fact they made this horrible and cluelessly racist video that uses the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (and titled “The Fresh Prints of Bill Here” – I’m not kidding) to educate children in a way Schoolhouse Rock did much better back in the 70’s at all.
The mostly Republican and all white cast put together for the express purpose of teaching kids how legislation works while simultaneously setting poetry back several thousand years is hypnotically painful. Barely ten seconds in, there is a remarkable effort to make the word “chamber” rhyme with the word “there.”
And while I’m sure whoever produced this video will argue that it is about how a Utah State Bill becomes law, it really is exactly the same process covered by a certain bill sitting there on Capitol hill. That video also didn’t feature a bunch of white people unironically trying to dance like black rappers.
The legislators featured in the video can almost be excused for their clueless behavior because it probably wasn’t their idea. But someone thought this up. And shot it. And edited it together. And at no point did it occur to them that what they were doing was going to be a spectacular failure.
I just think you should look at the picture first. Because it says a lot.
First off, the doll section in Target is way bigger than that. Second, what is that behind the doll in the yellow top? Isn’t that a white doll? Third, interesting how she chose names that are traditionally “ethnic” to make her point. Fourth, who stocks dolls lying sideways? Maybe someone taking a picture to share on Twitter so she can become internet famous for being racist?
And fifth – even if what she said was true (and it wasn’t) – wouldn’t “too many” dolls of color be a good thing? I mean these are probably all of the black dolls in the toy section. I’m not sure how many Hispanic or Asian ones there were. Maybe more. Probably less.
The number of white dolls (outside the frame) were likely at least twice the number of dolls of any other ethnicity.
But this girl thought it would be great to point out how racist it was that there were eight dolls for black girls who may have wanted a toy that resembled them.
Once it was pointed out that her picture was bullshit, she apologized for being insensitive (good) and eventually deleted the Twitter account.
This is what People of Color deal with every day. When there is a little bit of representation, someone complains there is too much representation. There is this idea that being white is supposed to be the default setting and any time someone who isn’t white shows up, they are stealing what is supposed to be ours.
We get to play life on the easy setting but we feel like it isn’t easy enough.
Post racial society, huh?
This report, which the church very pointedly doesn’t deny in it’s vehement tirade against the news organization that broke the story, suggests some troubling things.
Now I know we could all simply dismiss this entire mess because people aren’t that awful but history tells us that, yes, people can really be that awful. There is currently a person that awful working in the white house. And our President regularly listens to what Mr. Bannon has to say.
America is, we are told, the greatest country in the history of countries (sure we are) so we ought to be super upset about this entire problem. However, with the possible exception of Vatican City, we are the most smugly Christian country in the history of countries and that means any report like this must be viewed with suspicion because Christians just don’t do that sort of thing!
And to be fair, most Christians don’t do that sort of thing. We should really get upset, though, when some self professed Christians actually do that sort of thing.
The response so far seems tepid. It isn’t the sort of “what the FUCK” kind of response you like to see when a church is accused of enslaving people. I mean the health care vote is a big deal and it affects all Americans so I understand why we aren’t quite as concerned about a few Brazilians.
Once we get this health care thing sorted out, though, can we spare a few thoughts for people tricked into slavery?
Oh fuck. We’re never going to be done sorting out this health care thing, are we?
You know what is great about Wonder Woman? It was directed by a woman. Not because women should direct female helmed super hero films but because hardly any women direct feature films. Is it because they don’t want to or because Hollywood is notoriously progressive until it comes to actually giving women jobs?
Before you answer that question, keep in mind that Patty Jenkins directed Monster in 2003. Charlize Theron won Best Actress for the film. The next feature film Jenkins directed?
Wonder Woman in 2017
The article above talks about Colin Trevorrow, who was handed the keys to Jurassic World after having made one mildly successful Independent film. He’s now the announced director for Star Wars Episode IX. He also directed the new, apparently horrible, film Book of Henry.
The problem here is men with no experience are handed the keys to major films all the time. Women with experience are not. Know how many movies Kathryn Bigelow has directed since she won an Oscar for Best Director in 2008? Two.
Maybe someone tried to hand her a Star Wars movie. But I’m betting they didn’t.
The issue here isn’t Colin Trevorrow getting work. It is the fact he is being handed major blockbuster films when more experienced women don’t even get a call. I mean, Michael Bay makes unintelligible crap but at least his films make (for some inexplicable reason) gigantic piles of money. When Trevorrow was given Jurassic World, there was no evidence he could do the same.
Except for the fact he was making a Jurassic Park movie so of course it was going to make gigantic piles of money.
If you handed a Captain America movie to a woman director, it would also make piles of money. So why doesn’t that happen? They only super hero movie handed to a woman so far is the movie about a hero who is a woman.
It can’t be sexism right? It has to be something else.
No. It’s totally sexism.
Forgetting for a moment that facts are things that are true, Wisconsin State Representative Jesse Kremer stated that a biology professor could not counter a student’s claim that the earth is 6000 years old because that is a fact.
I know that some embarrassing percentage of Americans actually believe there is evidence to support the notion that the Earth is younger than written history. In this case, “embarrassing” means “more than none.”
Further, I know those people vote. And I know some of those people run for office. I even know some of them get elected. I just have a real problem with the idea their beliefs are so mainstream as to allow them to suffer no ill consequences from saying them out loud. This guy isn’t going to have any trouble being re-elected.
There is going to be a huge contingency of people saying he’s brave for speaking truth as power.
Except – and I can’t stress this enough – it isn’t truth. It’s bullshit.
You can believe the formation of the Earth was a long miracle without dismissing all of the evidence that exists. There is not a single scientific fact that supports it was a short one.
I’m a playwright. Some people reading this probably knew that. Others had no idea because (and this isn’t false modesty), “Jenny Bandage vs. the Unpronounceable A.K.R.O.N.Y.M.” is never going to have the kind of reach enjoyed by “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” or “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
I hope, though, that I have a better understanding of the creative process than the estate of Edward Albee or the still very much alive David Mamet.
The Albee estate put a stop to the casting of a black actor in “Virginia Woolf” for reasons that are, surprisingly, kind of logical. Mamet threatens to charge theaters $25,000 if they hold a post show discussion within 2 hours of a performance. And look – it is their work. It’s possible that they both saw what the film industry has done to the works of Stephen King and they simply want no part of it.
On the other hand, they need to lighten up a little bit.
Where the fuck does Mamet get off telling people they don’t have the right to talk about his work? Is he going to be there? Does it matter if someone doesn’t like it or interprets it wrong? Where is the harm to his work? By all current reports, Mamet is a right-wing misogynist jackass and people still produce his work.
In a world dominated by left-wing socially conscious tree huggers (guilty).
As for the estate of Albee – even if there is a really good reason for their objection, the work should be open to interpretation. It should be open to exploration. The play will not suffer irreparable harm if a black actor is cast in a role that was written for a white one.
I’m pretty sure Shakespeare wrote for white guys* but Denzel Washington did pretty OK in “Much Ado About Nothing,” didn’t he? If Shakespeare was going to object in anything about that film, it would probably be Keeanu Reeves, amiright?
As a playwright of considerably less renown, it angers me to read about playwrights (even dead ones) controlling the interpretation of their work. Theater is a collaborative art in which artists hand off their work to other artists and sit back to watch what happens.
Mamet won’t even allow the pronouns in “Glengary Glen Ross” to be changed so a director could cast a woman in any of the roles.
Lighten up, asshole. Your work is not at risk if a couple of women are cast in a male role or if the audience would like to talk about your play.
*Othello being a notable exception although I’m betting that character was originally played by a white guy.
Note – I was out-of-town last week so I have two weeks of stupid shit piled up. I probably won’t get to all of it so I apologize if your favorite annoying thing didn’t make the cut.
Andrew Snelling is a Geologist who is also a creationist. This in itself makes no sense because in order to be both, you need to basically ignore all the evidence that would make you a credible geologist. But he’s got a PhD so we have to accept that he knows stuff about Geology even if he doesn’t actually believe any of it.
So he wanted to do some research, including collecting samples, in the Grand Canyon. Such things are allowed but you have to apply to do so and his application was rejected.
So he’s suing for religious discrimination. You know, because Christians have it so hard in our country.
Heh. Geologist. So hard. Get it?
Anyway, his claim was rejected because it was presumed he would use the samples to “disprove” existing science about the Grand Canyon and since the Grand Canyon is, you know, a protected landmark, they don’t want people taking rock samples to do bad science. Sounds like his application didn’t really say what he was going to use the samples for, either.
Which is probably because he knew he couldn’t say “I’m going to use the samples to prove the Grand Canyon is no more than 6000 years old even though recorded human history goes back further than that and I’m a fucking idiot.”
So he basically asked to take samples without really telling anyone why and they said “no – you can’t just take samples because you have a degree in Geology. You have to have a reason.”
And he’s responding “you hate me because I’m a Christian! I’m going to sue.”
We don’t hate him because he’s a Christian. We hate him because he uses his Christianity as an excuse to be a bad scientist.
I’m sorry I took the last two weeks off. Life intrudes sometimes.
We all know that we are entering week three of the Trump Presidency. I am trying to figure out how to write my blog so it isn’t just a weekly rant on all the horrible things Trump says and does. But I’m two weeks behind and he has been busy.
There is a lot of other stuff going on that pisses me off. It’s just that Trump is so fucking noisy.
Look, we all know that I don’t like our current President very much. I think I have very good reasons for believing he will go down as the worst person ever to run our country.
But I’m feeling like I need to stick with stuff he’s actually done. And therein lies the problem.
Earlier this week, Trump had a phone call with the Mexican president. Shortly after the call, news organizations reported that Trump had threatened to send American troops across the border to deal with some “bad hombres.”
A few hours later, it was reported that such a threat never happened.
Days later, however, a bunch of my liberal friends are still talking about Trump invading Mexico.
In a world where Trump is openly hostile to any news organization that doesn’t kiss his ass, the press actually has a responsibility to make sure what they report is accurate. Trump is doing all sorts of shady shit. Hell, this week he said this during remarks about Black History Month
Last month, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. It turned out that that was fake news. Fake news. The statue is cherished, it’s one of the favorite things in the—and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson, and we have Dr. Martin Luther King. But they said the statue, the bust of Martin Luther King, was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that’s the way the press is. Very unfortunate.
If you read the transcript of the speech, it was almost entirely about him. This isn’t made up. It’s something he actually said.
And what was he talking about? The way the press keeps reporting shit that didn’t happen. In this case, of course, it was a mistake the reporter in question corrected almost immediately.
The press has to do better. In the rush to break stories these days, they don’t take the time to verify what they are reporting. And that allows Trump and his minions to do all sorts of horrible stuff because they can point to the small number of erroneous reports as a reason why nobody should believe anything the press says.
And to all my liberal friends out there: please let’s all make sure we know what the fuck we are talking about.