As the owner/operator of a human child, one of the things that pleases me most about modern parenting is not having to watch my little boy die from something stupid like diphtheria or the measles or the dropsy or whatever. I have vaccines to thank for that. Vaccines that are nothing at all like cars, despite what this inane anti-vaxxer video shows.
So you know what I’m talking about, here’s that video in full. If you’re the sort of person that likes to punch things when you encounter something deeply, frustratingly stupid, now would be a good time to wrap your fists in a blanket or some bubble wrap or something:
The animation style and art direction isn’t bad, I’ll give them that. But, beyond that, holy crap is this an insipid pile of slothshit. The very fundamental premise of the video, that somehow vaccines and automobiles are comparable items, is ridiculous.
Actually, we can even go one step beyond that — the even more fundamental concept that this animation posits: if there’s a “narrative” that’s true, it should “apply to other things.” What the fuck are they talking about?
The idea that if some given concept or set of concepts is true, it should apply to any arbitrary other thing is richly, deeply, gleefully stupid. Let’s just try exactly what they say, but use, instead of “vaccines” and “automobiles,” bananas and a red-hot ingot of magnesium.
We can pick three true things about bananas, just like they picked three things about vaccines: bananas have peels, are readily edible, and will not melt your face off if you hug one. This “narrative,” as the animation says “if it’s really true, should apply to other things.” Like our red-hot ingot of magnesium!
Let’s see: does our red-hot magnesium ingot have a peel? Um, not really. Is it readily edible? Only if you’re some giant space robot, maybe? Will it not melt your face off if you hug it? Shit, sorry.
See? That basic premise — things that are true for one specific thing are also true for other specific things — is, of course, idiotic. A chimp with a railroad spike bisecting his brain that you sat through 15 minutes of an Intro to Philosophy class could probably confirm this.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising the whole “if the Automobile Industry was run like the Vaccine Industry” thing falls apart. Cars aren’t vaccines. You’re not forced to buy new cars because unlike vaccines, cars aren’t a huge factor in preventing the spread of disease, and not buying a car won’t cause all manner of public health issues. In fact, it won’t cause any public health issues, because cars and vaccines are not even remotely comparable here.
Because, you see — and this is a subtle distinction — a car is a physical, mechanical device designed to convert some form of stored energy into rotational wheeled motion, which can then be guided to take humans to destinations, while a vaccine is a substance that, when injected into a human, stimulates the production of antibodies and provides immunity against diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a given disease. Like I said, it’s subtle.
This whole thing is so inane and based on such flawed logic and half-truths it makes me want to scream. Vaccines work, and work very well at what they’re supposed to do. They’re why we don’t live in fear of polio today. I’m sure there’s some risks involved, much like how eating a sandwich has a choking risk, technically, but that risk is so far outweighed by the good it’s not even funny. Vaccinate your kids.
And, just a reminder, in case it gets confusing again: vaccines are not cars.