A petition is circulating to put a halt to the current Gardasil vaccine campaign.
When we were on vacation last week, my kids were reintroduced to cable television. At one point, after they’d watched a few shows, I asked the kids to count how many big pharma commercials they saw being advertised. In a short amount of time, quite a few had flashed across the screen. Since they couldn’t fast forward through the commercials, which the kids admitted were getting annoying, they turned the volume down, talked amongst themselves, and waited for the drivel to be over. I was proud of them.
Not too long ago, they’d have been glued to the tube and ready to repeat whatever it was they heard…
After getting Ronan off to school one morning several years ago, I could feel a migraine coming on. Rest, in the form of a quick nap in a darkened room, is usually all I need to stave off a headache, so I asked my children to play a little quieter so that I could do that. My kids had what they thought was a better idea. They recalled what they’d heard on TV and thought they’d offered me some health advice instead.
Mommy, just take that medicine. It makes headaches go away. Then, you’ll be all better.
Three of my kids nodded to each other and then smiled at me – Yeah, there’s that one that makes you feel better. You can take that one. It makes headaches go away fast. The commercial said so!
I asked my oldest to repeat herself. She repeated only the last part: The commercial said so!
Pro-vaccine plots on PBS shows had me begin to limit my children’s television time already. The day that my children suggested that I just pop a pill was the day we decided to completely cut cable out of our lives for good. Sure, I miss sitting on the couch and vegging out to mindless television at the end of a very long day, but I don’t miss the annoying, in-your-face advertisements that had my children questioning me. It was a pivotal day for me as a parent and one that I’ll never forget.
That day, I looked at my daughter and said, “Honey, Mommy doesn’t need any medicine. I just need a quick nap. Give me 20 minutes, and I’ll be okay and ready to play with you again.”
I could tell she wasn’t convinced that a quick nap would do the trick, but she shuffled the little ones into the playroom and found a quiet game that they could all play together. I closed the curtains and laid down on the couch in the living room for 20 minutes. I slept. Hard. And woke up refreshed and headache free as I knew I would. After I’d gotten up from the quick nap, I unplugged the TV.
Twenty minutes. It was all I needed to get rid of the headache. It was all the time that my daughter needed to trust me again, too.
I called the cable company later and told them that we didn’t need them anymore. Trying to convince me to keep a service I didn’t want or need, the representative attempted to offer me more incentives – prime movie channels! live sports events! more channels than I’ll ever have time to watch! I listened to the pitch and then politely said, “No. No, thank you. We’re done with cable.”
If I want to watch television shows, I can still do that. I may be a season or two behind with what the rest of the world is currently watching, but without cable TV, I can still veg out at the end of a long day and watch a show or a feature-length movie. The best part is that I’m not forced to sit through anything that targets ‘anti-vax’ parents as idiots. I’m not forced to watch big pharma commercial after big pharma commercial after big pharma commercial during a daytime talk show. I am free to pick and choose what I want to watch and when I want watch.
I may pay a small price to have other viewing options, but I can still enjoy television – mindless or otherwise, through several avenues: online streaming, Redbox, Netflix, and even YouTube. Now, YouTube has gotten a tad annoying with their choice of ads that they feature – and that you can’t skip, but I can mute the volume and look away. My kids know to do the same when they see questionable advertisements, especially ones that big pharma pays for. Sadly, the big pharma commercials, like the latest HPV vaccine advert that I heard other parents discussing, are the ones we can’t always skip over.
Since we made the decision to cut cable television out of our lives all those years ago, I was unable to see the latest HPV vaccine advertisement when it aired on TV. Turns out, I didn’t need to have cable to see it – I was able to find the commercial online at the end of last week. I was not impressed: Merck HPV vaccination commercial.
Others were not impressed either. Citing the commercial false and misleading, a petition has been created, which you can share in your groups and on social media sites.
I can’t mute every advertisement we hear on the radio or rip out the ones that I see in print before my kids are exposed to them, but I do my best to keep adverts, especially the ones sponsored big pharma, out of my family’s life. I’m encouraged that others are doing so as well.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.