The Anti-Vaxxer Arc: A step-by-step guide for an anti-vax invasion of a pro-vax page
Today is a very special day, and not just because it’s a national holiday. No, much more importantly, I have a guest contributor for this post. Yes, this means that there are now twice as many blog authors here as there are readers, but you know, it’s all about the quality here at Skewed Distribution. So let’s give a warm welcome to Chillin’ Out Vaxin, Relaxin’ All Cool, also known as COVRAC, who can usually be found at his most excellent Facebook page.
Anyway, COVRAC and I decided to write about the phenomenon known as the Anti-Vaxxer Arc. This occurs when an anti-vaxxer gets overly-excited, decides to invade a pro-vax page, and graces its denizens with his or her mad science skillz. I know you are familiar with this scene, reader, as the basic structure rarely varies. But just for fun, here are the steps you need to follow if you are an anti-vaxxer who wants to stick it to a pro-vaxxer.
Step 1: The Invasion
Barge on to Facebook page, blog, or message board that is largely populated by individuals who understand and appreciate the safety and benefits of vaccination. Be secure in the knowledge that you, and only you, possess information and logic unmatched by the world’s experts–all of whom are apparently either paid off by Big Pharma, or were on holiday when the latest ZOMG bombshell dropped on Natural News.
Step 2: The Opening Salvo
Declare that you are “not anti-vaccine” or are “pro-vaccine choice”, and that you have “educated” yourself about vaccines. The “educated” part is the most important, as it established that you are indeed educated. The very fact that you are aware of your educated status and can declare it so confidently is a clear signal to the uneducated to stand back or they will receive a most unpleasant education themselves, if you catch my drift. It helps to play “Maneater” by Hall and Oates at this point to get you in the mood.
Step 3: Commence Ignorance
Begin making incredibly misinformed and ignorant statements, none of which has any scientific support, and using the word “educate” in every third sentence.
Examples include, but are by no means limited to:
- Vaccines do not work
- Diseases were already declining before vaccines ever existed!
- My grandparents weren’t vaccinated and they are still alive!
- It is better to get these diseases “naturally!”
- If only everyone breastfed, we wouldn’t need vaccines!
- Vaccines are full of deadly toxins and will incinerate you upon contact!
- Bill Gates is using vaccines to cull the global population because… see #6!
Step 4: Total Science Fail
When asked for any scientific support for above statements, provide “articles” from discredited medical professionals like Mercola, Tenpenny, or Humprhries, or links to sites like Alex Jones, Natural News, or Whale.to. These sites have really nice web design and you are sure that they are reliable. Well, not Whale, but really you don’t have too much else to choose from if you don’t use Whale, now do you?
Step 5: Surprise Counteraquack
Since you have never before tried out your belief system anywhere other than an anti-vax website, get a nasty shock when people provide references to scientific papers that directly refute all of your statements. You have never been challenged before on your beliefs, so this can get pret-ty uncomfortable in a hurry. If you comment back at all, use the best web vocabulary you have at your disposal, such as “LOL,” “LMAO,” and the highly effective consonant replication method (eg. OKAYYYYYYYYYYYY, SSSSSKEWEDDDDD!).
Step 6. Lather, Rinse, Once More into the Breach
Try to change the subject to a different Thing That is So Bad About Vaccines. There are so many to choose from when you have Whale, aren’t there? Say a little prayer of thanks for Whale (and for living in a state where you can get a religious exemption by simply bearing false witness), and continue to repeat steps 5 and 6 until you are late for your Reiki treatment.
Step 7. Fall Back to Conspiracy
Well, for shoot. You’ve unloaded all your big guns and nuttiest links and you’ve been met with a wall fulla scientific studies and information from suspicious acronyms like the CDC, FDA, and NIH. You even tried to post some links to scientific studies that you found on Whale, but they were not as convincing as you expected, though you have to admit to not reading or understanding them all that well yourself. You know what you know (and what nerds would take the time to read those studies anyway) so that poppycock must be…conspired poppycock! The only tactical maneuver available is to handwave this scientific assault away by claiming that the peer-reviewed literature, as well as the governments (all of ‘em!), are in the thrall of pharmaceutical companies. Here is when you get to use the second best farm animal/human portmanteau ever (the best being “galpaca”).
Step 8. Become The Victim
Get your feelings hurt when people begin to get frustrated, and yes, perhaps even angry, when you refuse to address the scientific evidence presented and they respond with some creative sarcasm. Start whining about how “mean” people are being when you are being so polite and you are NOT anti-vax and you “just came to the site to ask questions/educate people/have a dialogue/not troll because you are educated and not a troll.”
Step 9. Parting Shots
Well, this “poor sweet victim” routine hopefully persuaded some underdog-loving readers, but it really doesn’t satisfy. Time for total protonic reversal – insult the posters who are refuting your claims! Some possibilities include calling them “pharma shills”, telling them they “haven’t done the research”, or declaring them “brainwashed”. If you were particularly pwned, wish harm upon those shilly shysters.
Step 10. The Agony of Defeat
Hmmm… This is not going well. You’re pretty much getting plastered with scientific evidence, and yes, you now really have pissed off some people because you defended child abusers and/or insulted the mentally disabled. There is only one way out. Prepare for your extraction by announcing that all of the posters at the site you invaded are rude and uneducated and that you have better things to do with your time, so you are LEAVING WITH CAPITAL LETTERS PREFERABLY!
Step 11. Get Out of Here It’s Going to Blow
Flee the scene. But don’t forget the self-destruct system – you wouldn’t want this pwnage falling into the hands of those evil Vulcans with their forsaken logic and science and their meddling dog, too. If on Facebook, delete the thread that you started which clearly demonstrates how sadly misinformed and unknowledgeable you actually are about vaccines.
Step 12: The Refractory Period
Hey, remember that scene at the end of Memento where (spoiler alert on a twelve-year-old movie that you probably are not going to see if you haven’t already but really you should) he deliberately forgets what just happened so that he can go on believing what he wants to believe? Do that. Will you lie to yourself to be happy? In your case, yes you will.
Which leads us back to…
Step 1: The Invasion
COVRAC and I know that my reader has had sightings of this phenomenon, so please feel free to share!