Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hear no evil

Not listeningWow, you guys are the best. You know what really helped me, other than a good night’s sleep? It was hearing that several others are also on a short fuse. Somehow knowing that I wasn’t alone in my frustration and irritation eased the distress. I don’t want anyone else to feel the way I did yesterday, but I appreciate those of you who sympathized and said you were kind of feeling the same thing. Like I always say, I get by with a little help from my friends. I think someone might have said that before me, but I’m not sure who. As far as homilies go, though, you can’t beat it with a drumstick! [wink]

I was in a much better frame of mind today, and even when something did grate on my nerves, it wasn’t quite on the last one. I was able to just laugh about it and shake it off. In my previous entry, I mentioned something about giving valid advice to people and having them ignore it. That’s always bugged me. If you’re going to ask me a question, and I give you the answer you didn’t want and you choose to ignore it, why did you waste my time by asking me the question? If that’s what you’re going to do, don’t bother asking me and wasting both your time and mine, okay?

I get very frustrated when people don’t listen to me, and especially frustrated when it’s something that I happen to know quite a bit about. It happens to all of us, I know, but it doesn’t make it any more tolerable for me.

Today I was talking to someone on the phone, and the subject of autism came up. This person has a relative in another state who happens to have a kid diagnosed with autism. This person said, “And the mother thinks—and I agree with her—that those inoculations had something to do with it.” *ding ding ding ding* Many of you know that that is one of my hot-button issues, if not THE hot-button issue for me. I said, “I completely disagree. They have shown over and over that there is no link between vaccines and autism.” This person said, “But they didn’t see any signs of it until after the shots.” I said, “That’s often because the signs of autism show up and can be diagnosed around that time. There isn’t a connection between vaccines and autism. This is kind of my thing.” The response?


WhateverThat’s right. When talking with someone who actually knows a bit about the subject and has read extensively about it, they ignored my comments by saying, “Whatever.” I am not an epidemiologist, and I don’t pretend to know all the details of vaccines; I don’t know the schedule of vaccines, and I don’t really know what all is recommended; my expertise was in trying to grow or identify the infectious diseases that were present. But most of us in the lab followed trends in diseases, and tracked the statistics released in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and I also checked Indiana’s numbers. Not to mention reading up on trends around the world and tracking where outbreaks occurred, and why. So when I talk about vaccines, I’m not talking out of my ass.

I guess I can chalk it up to people not wanting to have their ideas challenged. I guess it’s easier to listen to a young mother say that she firmly believes that her child’s autism is due to vaccinations than have a microbiologist explain that it is faulty science and has no basis in reality and came about because an unethical physician conducted bad research on a whopping TWELVE kids. No matter that the physician’s paper was yanked from the journal in which it was published, the research was denounced, and the doctor’s medical license was stripped. No matter that over twenty subsequent studies, involving thousands of children, showed absolutely no correlation. It’s easier to listen to junk science and accept it than to try to have someone who actually understands the issue and has read plenty about it explain it in detail. It’s easier to dismiss what I say than to make an effort to listen to me and maybe learn something about it.

Is it any wonder that I don’t get closer to such people? Is it any wonder that I’m feeling more than a little misanthropic lately? Is it any wonder I’m sane at all? I think someone said that before me, but I’m not sure who. Maybe when Charon ferries me across to Hades, I’ll think of it. [wink]


  1. i wrote a paper on the psuedoscience involved that allowed wakefield to make those claims.

    ps. i didnt get fully vaccinated until i was 8 and i still test on the spectrum. whatever doesn't explain that either.


  2. It is amazing how people settle into their beliefs, and have no desire to learn and change. Sigh.

  3. These anti-vaccine nuts really need to be stopped. All the childhood diseases we thought we were rid of will come back with a vengeance.

  4. "Whatever"
    I hate that. So utterly dismissive of your feelings and opinions.
    A couple of years ago I was having an email discussion with a West Coast friend about marriage equality.
    She's Catholic, so, even though she sued birth control, had premarital sex, and dated a married man, she drew the line at gay marriage.
    I reminded her that i'd been at her wedding and shared in her joy, and it would have been nice to have her share the same for me someday.
    Her response? Yes, "Whatever."
    My response? "See ya." i don't need that in my life.

  5. You go Bob! Great don't need friends like that.

    Great Post Beth.

    Hugs, Rose

  6. i know someone from J Land who believes completely that her son has Autism due to his vaccinations and she refuses to vaccinate him or her daughter. She loves the doctor you speak of here. Nothing anyone can ever say will change her mind. I say nothing to her. Nothing. Would do no good to argue. So, you are right. Some are going to believe whatever they want.

    i listen to what you say are very smart and know so much about things.

  7. That you are not sane. That you are stark, shivering mad. That you are at the upper levels of lunacy. That you are everyone's favorite maniac, is why we love you.

    Keep telling the truth and explaining things as they are and soon you will be locked up in a padded cage for all the world to see.

    Good for you.


  8. Sheesh. If someone asked my opinion on something in my field of expertise and then dismissed it with a "whatever," I think that would be the last time I ever waste my time giving them advice. At the very least, this person should have tried to keep an open mind. It sounds like he/she was just asking for validation.

  9. Ah Beth, I know exactly what you mean. I find far too many people who don't want information just affirmation of whatever misguided belief which they hold.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?