Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Secrets "They" Don't Want You To Know: Vaccines and the Bottom Line for "Big Pharma"

Ah, the glories of journalism fan mail: I got a hilariously misspelled and almost all-caps email accusing me of shilling for "BIG PHAMRA" [sic] because I am pro-vaccine.

As far as conspiracy theories go, this doesn't even make internal logical sense: pharmaceutical companies make very little money selling vaccines, but they can indeed make a fortune treating measles, polio and other diseases which vaccines can cheaply  eradicate. Andrew Wakefield, whose now-discredited "study" started the whole anti-vax nonsense, was proven to have undisclosed financial ties to various pharmaceutical companies; had his BS claims been true, Wakefield would've got very, very rich off them. 

Seriously: if anyone is "shilling for Big Pharma and/or Phamra" here, it's the anti-vaxxers who are destroying herd immunity and making lots of people good and sick -- the measles vaccine isn't very profitable, but treating the measles sure is! And iron lungs are exponentially more expensive than the polio vaccine, too.

Remember, if you must be an anti-vaxxer, make sure you buy up lots of stock shares in pharmaceutical companies first: if you're going to shill for Big Pharma and increase the net amount of human suffering in the world, at least make some money off of it! Jenny McCarthy does.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day (for those who care about such things)

Today of course is Valentine's Day, a.k.a. Discounted-Holiday-Candy-Sale Eve, which I noticed in a professional-consumer-journalist capacity by researching and writing this article explaining the legal difference between "chocolate" and "chocolaty" candy for sale in the U.S.

But on a personal level I'm ignoring Valentine's Day, as I've done every year since the millennium turned and some time before that, too. (I always figured if your relationship's in good shape you needn't to make a to-do over it, and if your relationship's in bad shape then making a to-do won't fix anything.) The only time my significant other and I ever "did" anything for Valentine's Day was the very first one after we'd started living together. Specifically: I sat home, all alone, while he went out with another woman.

About a month or so before that V-Day, which that year fell on a Friday, Jeff came home from work and started telling this long, rambling story, and I could figure out "Okay, he's obviously nervous about something and  beating around the bush to get to it, but what is it?" 

He kept talking about this female colleague of his and how she's getting married this Valentine's Day, and another female colleague is engaged but her fiance has already moved out of state for a good job, and she's supposed to be a bridesmaid at the first woman's wedding, and she's really nervous because her fiance will not be able to attend and she needs a man to escort her because she's part of the bridal party and there's no way her fiance can make it from Pennsylvania to Connecticut that evening unless he takes the day off from work but they really can't afford that and she needs a date because she promised she'd be a bridesmaid and ....

I finally interrupted Jeff. "So Modesty wants you to be her escort at Linda's wedding?" Jeff nodded, and I said airily, "Oh, yeah, you've got to take her. A woman can't be part of a wedding party unescorted. That looks wrong." And I still remember the look of happy relieved amazement on Jeff's face.

A couple days later Jeff came home from work with a tiny gift-wrapped box for me; Modesty bought me a gift to thank me for the loan of my boyfriend. When I first got the box, I said, "Aw, hell, I'm always happy to pimp out my boyfriend in exchange for gifts!" and when I opened it and saw a small Swarovski crystal globe of the world (that was when I still actively added to my Swarovski collection, before the company switched its focus to making tacky bling-bling jewelry crap), I added "Tell her she's allowed to fuck you. But only once! If she wants another go-round it'll cost her another piece of crystal."

So that's my sole Valentine's Day story: for mine and Jeff's first V-Day together, I sat home alone and pimped him out to another woman in exchange for sparkle-tchotchkes. (Although, since I only got the one crystal piece out of the deal, I'm pretty certain he didn't actually fuck her.)
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