so recently there’s been a lot of talk about this whole “swine flu” epidemic that’s racing around the globe, and not just a lot of talk around the compound here, but a lot of talk around THE WORLD. we’re all very excited about our upcoming demise at the hands of this shiny new infection, which is currently burning up the charts with ever-increasing levels of “pandemicism” or whatever the hell it is that the WHO rates. i’m not even very sure what the WHO does; honestly, the main thing i know about the WHO is that it needs to change its acronym, because it always reminds me of the excellent rock band the Who, and that’s a comparison that a bunch of science dudes from around the globe are NEVER going to win as long as there are glossy photos of Roger Daltrey rocking it out hardcore on the internet.
“can you see the real me, World Health Organization? can you?” seriously, what scientist can compete with that?
there are, however, a few things about this pandemic that have been disappointing to me so far:
01. the lack of the public’s moral support. everyone seems so UPSET about this concept, and it can’t just all be people trying to fake it to get out of work; the way i see it, if we don’t embrace this pandemic, we’re not going to have a really good one. look at SARS: it was basically a lot of big talk, followed by a distinct lack of consumer support (i mean, who do you know that really EMBRACED SARS), followed by this fizzling sound of people being totally alive. Americans and others, i know how much you love to consume post-apocalyptic movies and books and so on… so why aren’t you getting behind this thing?
02. the media’s scaremongering. conversely, while i do support pandemics as a concept, i certainly DON’T support a lot of big talk about them when there’s nothing there, and this perpetual white-hot state of panic we’re living in thanks to the media is getting a little bit old. so maybe we need a media scale to go along with this “5-6-7, open up the pearly gates” noise the WHO is always talking about. actually, i’ll make it a simple one: if over 1000 people worldwide or 1 person in my hometown die of this disease, then you can talk about it all the time. if not… well, as the man would say, you can cram it with walnuts.
03. the name, “swine flu,” which just reminds us all of that 1976 fiasco with its disappointing flu and man-crippling vaccines and the like. granted, i understand why we’re using similar names, but it’s not going to help anyone take it seriously (or, even better, TOO seriously) if it gets confused with that Ford-era mess. but we’re not going to be calling it H1N1 (for reasons of that name being too lame) or “Mexican flu” (for reasons that i trust are immediately apparent)… so i guess what i’m saying is that we should just call it Captain Trips and hope for the best.
04. my grandfather trying to guilt me to death (ha!) over this whole plague of 2009. i was delivering a prototype of this bit to him about how we need to rally behind this swine flu thing if it’s going to be successful, to which his response is, “you know, you shouldn’t be happy about this kind of thing, because it may mean your loved ones die.” now aside from the fact that i think we’re all aware there’s an element of comedy at work here (i mean, i am a notorious character in that way) and he’s being a total buzzkill about it, i ALSO think this is the wrong way to look at it. forget about the loved ones that will die: what about all the people who are terrible, terrible human beings that will ALSO die? when life hands you lemons crawling with disease, make toxic lemonade! or something, come up with your own analogy.
plus, as i tried to tell him, i think some of us have been prepping for a zombie or otherwise-caused apocalypse now for some time; if we don’t get one, all of my stockpiling of canned food and firearms is going to go completely to waste! how are we going to end up fighting each other with chainsaws in the desert while adorned in the rags of a bygone civilization if we don’t embrace these apocalyptic scenarios?
how can such excellent battles be expected to come to pass if we’re all running around washing our hands and not coughing on each other?
still, luckily for us disappointed types, however, there’s one thing we can never be disappointed by: Vice-President Joe Biden’s desire to lose his damn mind over this. i will quote the article with the best title (“Biden’s flu safety tips: don’t go anywhere or do anything“) on this:
“The vice president’s office was on full alert this morning. Not because of the flu. But because Biden was talking about the flu. And sure enough, moments after he spoke, his staff had to issue a statement clarifying what he meant.
Avoid every location
Biden told viewers of NBC’s Today show that they should avoid cars, planes, classrooms, trains, subways, and confined spaces in order to protect themselves from the flu. If all of those choices are not good, where could you hang out? Biden suggested the “middle of a field” was a good idea.
“I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places right now,” Biden said to calm worried citizens about the flu.
“I would not be at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway,” he added. “From my perspective, it relates to is mitigation. If you’re out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes that’s one thing. If you’re in a closed aircraft, a closed container, closed car, a closed classroom, it’s a different thing.””
another excellent thing to come out of this coming pandemic is me finding the greatest photo of Joe Biden to date
alright, alright, i know it’s a little bit of a set-up to juxtapose “said to calm worried citizens” with remarks about how we should avoid EVERYTHING, but seriously, Biden could have come out on stage and answered a query about the swine flu by screaming “LET’S GO CRAZY, BROADWAY-STYLE” and it STILL wouldn’t have been such a poor-quality answer. though it should be said that i generally support the use of “let’s go crazy, Broadway-style” in most any circumstance. still, Joe Biden, you are SO the gift that keeps on giving.
and yeah, i know, this post won’t be very funny if the swine flu wipes out a ton of people. i will apologize at that point, okay?