Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Vaccine Hesitancy and Seatbelts

 I've been watching a lot of news lately, noticing how each network has it's own unique spin on events; some worse than others. I also recall reading Numero Zero by Umberto Eco, which very expertly undresses how tabloids, and media in general, modify our perceptions of the world through subliminal messaging. (Trust me, it's a lot more legit than it sounds, and less the tinfoil hat vibe I'm sure that last sentence read as.) With the help of Eco's work, I've been more active in my listening and digestion of television media. Reality TV is relentlessly scripted and contrived. News media, while, for the most part, built on the backs of honest reporters trying to maintain their integrity in a rapidly shifting world, is not innocent either. 

I mention news because I was thinking about seatbelts. (Like how my mind works?) When seatbelts were mandated in the late 60s, early 70s, where were all the anti-belters crying out for blood? Would there have been an equally vitriolic reaction to Uncle Sam enforcing the wearing of seatbelts, if the news media was more like it was today? (That is, pandering to the partisan groups of either side.) I'm genuinely curious what you guys think about that. 

Likewise, the shadow of doubt being cast over vaccines is equally concerning. As Patton Oswalt pointed out in his recent special, Patton Oswalt: We All Scream, Americans came out in droves to get the polio vaccine, in a time when the Conservative voice in America was just beginning to become amplified by the lamentable "Religious Right." It's funny to me, the flip flopping of Republicans, that they would identify as the "Grand Old Party", the party of Lincoln; the same president, mind you, that suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War and decisively solidified the supremacy of the federal powers to combat the treasonous Confederate States of America. It's probably the best, practical demonstration of the cyclical nature of history that I have encountered in recent memory. (I'm sure there are better ones, but that's just my opinion.)

We all agree that seatbelts save lives. It's been demonstrated time and time again by car crash data. 

We all agree that vaccines save lives. Remember when you got polio? You didn't? It must have been that vaccine! 

 Anyways... I recently discovered a new news channel called "Channel 4", a British public service station (similar, maybe, to PBS). If you haven't heard of it, I recommend watching it, especially the coverage of the War in Ukraine. It's top notch reporting. 

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