By Dan Olmsted
Age of Autism started as a blog six years ago this week, and our signal accomplishment, to quote Sondheim, is that we're still here. A number of other publication have come and gone, changed venues and editors and formats and focus. We at Age of Autism remain committed, somewhat paradoxically, to ending the age of autism. But until that day comes, you can count on Kim and Mark and me and our valued Contributing Editors and sponsors to keep up our daily pirate radio broadcasts, so to speak, to our fellow members of the rebel alliance. You know who you are, and you know why we're here.
I've often said that "the glory" of Age of Autism is the community that has grown up around it, a community visible every day in the comment section that accompanies each story. Recently your voices seem louder and stronger than ever, reflected not only in the daily "hits" on our site, but in the hard-hitting, thoughtful and revealing comments.
Of course, strong comments follow strong content, and a number of posts recently have stirred fascinating response threads. The Canary Party's Not a Coincidence video on Gardasil Vaccine injury, Rolf Hazlehurst's eloquent explanation of the vaccine court catastrophe, Cat Jamison on bullying parents over vaccine concerns, Julie Obradovic on Jon Stewart's casual cruelty, Laura Hayes on questions to ask vaccine injury deniers have tapped into a deep vein.
That's kind of a theme lately. I must say that the festering nastiness (many of you will recognize that phrase) of the so-called skeptics -- those who believe their superior access to the Great God Science entitles them to hurl Old-Testament style damnation upon heretics who witnessed their child's vaccine injury and want to alert fellow parents -- is a continuing astonishment, even six years on.
Newcomers, like the coldly vile Doris Reiss and execrable Emily Willingham, pop up to replace flameouts like former cupcake writer, now formally employed pharma shill Trine Tsouderos. Reliable goofs like David "I'm an assistant professor, don't cross me" Gorski soldier on. Dave has been complaining lately that AOA, which he calls "the anti-vaccine crank blog," has been ignoring his puerile logorrhea, so let me throw him a namecheck: I've been working on a piece that will blend post-modern deconstructionist literary criticism with neo-Freudian analysis, with the working title: "Scatology as Signifier: Fecal Imagery as Impacted Self-Loathing in the Work of David Gorski."
I'm loathe to highlight individual comments by our readers, but for our anniversary I'll make an exception and end with this observation from Cia Parker about Little Dorit on Emily Willingham's blog about the execrable, coldly vile Vaccine Injury Compenstion Àct:
"So this law is saying that it's all right to damage children with vaccines, that causing a high percentage of vaxed children to get asthma, allergies, ADHD, seizure disorders, bowel disease, and/or autism, is all right as long as very few get measles or chickenpox. That parents are ignorant if we refuse the vaccines, that we're deluded if we see our children react to vaccines with severe damage and report what we saw, like hundreds of thousands of others are doing. ...
Seizure immediately after a vaccine? That's not proof of anything. Loses language and develops explosive diarrhea the day after shot? That's not proof either, happens all the time to the best of us. Dies during his nap after the vaccine? Obviously a well-defined case of sudden infant death syndrome, not ever caused by anything in particular unless it's sleeping on your stomach.
"Japanese babies stopped dying of SIDS en masse once the pertussis vaccine for infants was stopped? You think that's proof of anything? Certainly a venue very compatible to your views. That must be why you said last week on Shot of Prevention that allowing parents to sue in normal courts rather than being compelled to bring their case before the kangaroo Vaccine Court would be bad for parents, bad for society. What you meant is that it would be bad for society to have to compensate the injured for their severe vaccine damage, much better to just let them suffer out of the public eye and party on!
"Whoopie! Vaccines for everyone! What a thrill to force everone to play vaccine roulette over and over, what a relief when the bullet passes you by, what a bummer when it doesn't! But that's the breaks, aren't you glad you didn't get mumps or chickenpox the way everyone did fifty years ago?"
I'm privileged to get up every day and share this struggle and adventure with Cia, and all of you. As I said in my welcome letter six years ago, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride."
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.