Sunday, February 7, 2016

Religion Causes Quantum Autism

"Cut the head off
Grows back hard
I am the hydra
Now you'll see your star"

Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar

The Amazing Meeting has gradually been replacing TED as my source of inspirational Youtube videos. While lacking that glitzy tech expo gadgetry and gimmickry for sheer "wow" factor, skeptic conferences are thankfully also less tainted by TED's chronic corporate infestation, and the speakers seem more uniformly intelligent without being intermixed with sideshow attractions. Except of course for the magicians. Abracadabbling aside, TAM provides an interesting look at "woo-woo" in everything from kickboxing to neuroscience and the unhappy intersection of same.

So I ran across a TAM video about vaccines. After a decade of immunity, the richest country in the world now has measles. So TAM invited a guy to talk about the last noticeable outbreak two decades ago in Philadelphia, when the biggest culprit, unsurprisingly, was religion. Parents refused to vaccinate their kids 'cuz geebus.

Note to self: launch new bumper sticker - "Jesus is my lymphocyte."

In any case, good talk. Wildly ineffective I'm guessing in muzzling superstition but still, good facts well laid out there, doc. "A" for effort.
Poor guy.

So, over the past couple of years the biggest measles outbreak hit the Amish in Ohio, serving as one more timely reminder that as religious nuts go, the Amish count as harmless only compared to the head-choppers in the other hemisphere. However, what made all of us throw our hands up in despair was the Disneyland outbreak - and by the way, note the CDC rats spinelessly refusing to sully the Disney name. If only the Amish had as many lawyers as Disney, the section on their outbreak would also have been shrouded as "a religious group in Ohio."

The Californians who got hit weren't backwater or slum-dwelling religious nuts but nominally well-educated yuppies sipping superstition with their lattes. They're the "healing crystals" and astrology crowd. Here we have a wonderful melding of religion and Nietzsche's forewarning of the shadow of the dead God haunting us for millennia to come, because these over-entitled baboons weren't born into superstition. They actively chose superstition. Of course they didn't go for that crucifix and holy water stuff. Refusing vaccinations 'cuz geebus? Oh please honey, that look is so last century. They picked up the new, cutting-edge, celebrity-endorsed fad. "Autism" has such a thrilling, sleek and trendy 21st-century ring to it, much better than plagues and miasmas. Gout's disgusting, but autism's such a nice, clean, antiseptic, respectable middle-class affliction. It could only get better if it were quantum autism. (In fact, give it a couple of years.)

Buzz-buzz, the words go. The human ape's desperation for hierarchy will not be denied. In the absence of priests, the masses find new moral authority to subsume them and it's so much more fun to genuflect before a Playboy model, ain't it? Decade after decade, generation after generation, century after century the faithful mumble their mantras. Daniel Dennett wants me to believe churches are crumbling but I still trip over them on every street. Nietzsche sang at God's funeral but then he never met Deepak Chopra. Dr. Offit recounts the last time a religious exemption from measles didn't quite play out as advertised, and the decades seem to slip away. Fun fact: antichrist superstar Marilyn Manson hardly ever sang about religion, but the true warning embodied in his stage persona fell on deaf ears.
Whose mistake is Jenny McCarthy anyway?

So you know what, maybe it's time to stop trying to beat the puppet-masters and join them. Admit this whole "rational thought" angle's bunk and start spewing catchphrases. "Religion causes autism" - pass it on! Why and how? It does 'cuz sez me and that's how so there. Write it on one of those grade-school folded-paper fortune tellers; fundies eat that shit up. Draw it in maple syrup on a pancake and inform homeopathy addicts that a quantum Quercus fluctuation in the eleventh Acer dimension told you to tell them to vaccinate their damn kids! Then when those kids miraculously survive to adolescence, be there to show them just how to piss off their airheaded yuppie parents: by turning against blind credulity.

One way or the other though, we have got to corrupt the youth of Athens. This shit got old twenty-three centuries ago.

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