The Real Culture War Is Over Vaccines

Yesterday, I was talking to a few people about COVID vaccines. Two of us were fully vaccinated, and another was scheduled to get his. One of our Zoom group, Sandy, a young woman, declared that she was not going to get the vaccine, even if required by her job. She insisted that "everything I've heard" tells her that we don't know if it's safe, that "we don't really know what's going to happen to people 5 years from now," and "I never get a flu shot," and "It's only been a year."

After a few fruitless minutes that included "You're being crazy," "Who tells you that garbage?" and "Jesus fuck, get the fucking shot" (that was me), we decided to change the subject. That's when Sandy added, "And you know they're lying about the number of people who died." We asked what she meant. "They just say it's COVID when it's something else," she said. We pushed again. She got huffy and exclaimed, "I know friends who say they've had family die in the hospital from something else and they put it down as COVID."

"You personally have had people tell you this happened to them?" I asked. She said she had. Rather than saying, "Oh, bullshit," I said that I'd like to know if the dead people perhaps had conditions that were exacerbated by COVID. 

Sandy is not dumb. She claims that she stays out of politics, but that's the kind of lie that lots of people repeat when what they really mean is "I believe some fucked up shit and don't want anyone to know or to challenge me on it." Unspoken through all of this was where Sandy was getting her information. I avoided saying, "Fucking shut off the fucking Fox 'news' already," although I have said that to her on other occasions. She said she doesn't watch it but "it's on when I go visit my mom." Which, again, is just another way of saying, "Yeah, I suck that shit down along with every nutzoid meme my crazed Facebook friends post and every link to a sinister-sounding YouTube video telling me how liberals use coronavirus to mind control you."

This is the real cancel culture right here. It's not Dr. Seuss shitcanning books with racist images. It's not the genitals of Potato Heads. It's not even saying, "Well, I guess fuck Harry Potter" because JK Rowling is transphobic. No, the culture war that's being fought that matters far more than any of that is on the minds of people when it comes to coronavirus and the vaccines. Then the disinformation being spread by the most-watched and -clicked conservative news sources is about life and death, not if you've got the sads because If I Ran the Zoo is hitting history's dustbin. 

What Fox "news" and the rest have done is to turn the COVID vaccine into just another sock they can all jack off into and toss into the laundry basket brimming with stiff footwear. See, getting vaccinated isn't about making you a good citizen, a healthy person, or a considerate human being. No, it makes you a tool being manipulated by Joe Biden, Anthony Fauci, Big Pharma, and probably AOC and socialism and, sure, Hillary Clinton. 

For example, on Fox, obviously, Tucker Carlson, who always looks like he's wondering if he just farted or sharted or full-on shit himself, is backing the anti-vaxxers by "asking questions" about the vaccine: "How effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine? Don't dismiss those questions from anti-vaxxers, don't kick people off social media for asking them." Yes, don't dismiss people who think that there are microchips in the shots or still cling to the completely discredited idea that all vaccines cause autism. Doing what conservatives always fucking do in blowing up one small thing, Carlson took the tiny - no, infinitesimal number of cases of blood clots in Europe and used that to discredit the vaccine as a whole. He talked about a case where someone died of a brain hemorrhage after getting vaccinated and asked, "Should this scare you? We don't know, but the rest of us deserve an answer. Instead, our leaders are acting as if the science were totally settled and you're not allowed to ask questions." In Europe, 37 cases were reported out of 17 million people injected. That's statistically zero. At best, it's what we might call "a rare side effect." The diabetes drug Jardiance caused 12 cases of rotting of the taint in 1.7 million users, but no one's rushing to tell people not to take it. (Yes. Taint rot.) 

How is this cancel culture? Because they are treating the anti-vaxxers like all the other things they claim have been "canceled" by the left. If you think Confederate monuments should stay up, why should you be condemned for that? If you think boycotting Goya products is wrong, why should anyone be allowed to tell you you're wrong? And if you think the vaccine is dangerous despite virtually every single bit of available science saying it is not, well, aren't you allowed to say science is wrong despite having absolutely no background in medical research? Shouldn't we all just accept your God-given, American right to dissent from reality? What happened to freedom? Hey, I'm just asking the fucking questions here. 

This is a dangerous fucking game the right is playing, often with full knowledge that they're just conning the rubes and milking them for all the pillows they can buy. Then again, other Fox shows, like Hannity, which is on right after Carlson's, hosts are whining that Biden isn't giving Donald Trump enough "credit" for developing the vaccine. So which is it? Either the vaccine's a dangerous thing that Biden is using to murder you or it's a blessing dropped right from Trump's chafed loins. 

Of course, such contradictions don't matter to their viewers. They'll get outraged for one thing, then outraged for the opposite, even if it kills them, and that's just fuckin' fine as long as it makes liberals cry. 

It's a great cosmic fucking joke that we used to unify and celebrate when America made a great scientific advance and now it's just an excuse for another volley of arrows from the right in an idiotic war of their making. So now we break down as a country between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, a situation ripe to create variants and misery, which, if it happens, will only prove to the anti-vaxxers that the vaccine is worthless, just like they told us.