Saturday, January 10, 2015

Satire And The Art Of Having A Bit of Fun

I had a bit of fun today making a stereotypical "freak the f-out" poster inspired by a very silly FB conversation that got out of hand very quickly.  We all agreed... that just couldn't be good, someone had to start the fight.  In any case, it fell flat, but I had fun with the writing assignment.

I took the writing style from Natural News, facts first (however dubious), a bit of history, the scary results with a bunch of plausible-sounding bunk followed by unsubstantiated claims which then dissolve into poor grammar and a bit of outrage. It would have been shorter, but my friend (A. Goldberg) wanted a bunch more thrown in for good measure.

Just on the off-chance that someone takes any of this as fact... I made most of it up.  It's bunk.  A big fat pack of lies. Fiction, satire, not to be taken as true... mostly.

Here is the truth in this fiction:
- Monsanto & Pfizer are both real companies, Monsanto was founded in 1901, Pfizer in 1845?
Monsanto is probably evil, but no doubt they've done good things through the years by accident.  They concentrate on agriculture and farming and make chemicals and fertilizers and are known for their work in genetically modified organisms or GMO's.  Some good, some arguably bad. Rather famous for trying to patent pigs.  A bunch of what you buy in the grocery store has come through them at one time or another.
Pfizer is a drug company with a long and glorious/notorious history.
- VDS is real.  It's a parasite in Africa that is pretty icky.  No vaccine, no medicine to treat it.  Surgery is an option and all of the symptoms except autism and prostate cancer are actually associated with the disgusting worm.  There are charities devoted to helping people afflicted by it and to help educate and prevent the spread of the noxious beastie.  After all of that, it's only in 4 countries and is pretty rare these days.
- The American chestnut tree was nearly wiped out by a blight in the early 1900's that was brought over on the Chinese Chestnut.  Both the Chinese and American chestnuts are edible, however the Horse Chestnut is neither a chestnut nor edible, so don't try it.  There are a couple organizations that are trying to save the American Chestnut through cross breeding and genetically modifying the tree.  One very promising plant has been crossed with part of a wheat gene, but it needs more testing before it can be planted outside of laboratory environments. You can read more about the American Chestnut here:
- Aside from being yummy, the American Chestnut doesn't have any special medicinal or herbal properties.   It is fabulous wood, and our house was built from it.
- At this point the blight is everywhere, and there is little hope that it can be eradicated. To my knowledge it doesn't have any uses in medicine or otherwise.
- 1 in 7 men really will get prostate cancer.
- Autism is a complex wide spectrum disorder that effects many people of all ages.  It is a rather "new" diagnosis, which is why people are so freaked out about it, but it is not a new disorder.  It is not known what causes it, but there are both genetic and environmental components. Some forms manifest as mild personality quirks, others are debilitating, painful and the people who suffer from it are completely disabled.  You can learn more about autism here:
I hesitated to use autism in this spoof because it gets flagged so much in anti-vaccine propaganda, but decided to go ahead anyway because it gets flagged so much in that.
- Vaccines have known side-effects.  When you or your child get a vaccine, read the paperwork that comes with it.  The chances of any adverse reactions are low, but can still be serious.  I suggest reading up on the vaccine schedule and familiarizing yourself with the actual product via the product website.  You can ask your doctor for this information and while they might waffle they can and must give it to you.  Don't let it scare you, but don't be ignorant either.  If something does happen, report it to your doctor AND the company who manufactured the vaccine.  Both of these steps are important for public safety.  You can also notify your local health department.
- Turmeric and coconut oil are nice foods.  They do not contain angle spit, dragon's blood or any other mythical properties.  Please don't feed me coconut or palm oil, I'm highly allergic... coconut does contain a trip to the hospital for me.  I'm not going to tell you what to brush your teeth with, but don't try to kiss me after oil pulling with that vile fat.  Seriously.

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