Okay, okay. I know. I was doing so well there for about a month. Slacker. Been a weird month, give me a break.

But I guess WHO has officially declared a pandemic. So I’m curious to everyone’s thoughts on this.

I haven’t really been following because…well…no one else really has either…right? I mean it’s kind of fallen out of the news…

I wonder if this will cause a reboot in news and panic?

Nearly 30,000 infected, but only 141 confirmed deaths….

I don’t know what to make of this really.

Thoughts, words, rants, questions, fantasies, delusions?


I disagree with the CDC

Hi.  Reed here.

The CDC put out a report, according to, saying that “Swine Flu Parties” are a bad idea.

Initial reaction:  Whaaa???

PigVaginaKleenex Then, I got to this part:

"It’s a big mistake putting individuals and children at risk, and the CDC does not recommend that people follow that course," he said.

The idea, which reportedly first surfaced on speciality Internet sites, comes from "chickenpox parties," where sick children infect healthy ones with the chickenpox virus.

Parents who do this usually oppose vaccinating their children, or want them to have stronger immunity against more virulent strains.

Reaction:  Oh fuck me.  Jenny McCarthy, if I ever meet you, I will kick you in the testicles.

I’ve given a little bit of thought to these parties where, according to Wonkette, “you invite somebody infected with the dread swine flu and then roll around on that person’s dirty Kleenexes,” and I must say that I now disagree with the CDC.

These parties are a fabulous idea!

If you’re dumb enough to think that purposefully infecting yourself and your children with a lethal virus about which we only understand a little bit, please be my guest and invite as many of your Aniti-Vax friends. Avoid bringing your children, but if you must, at least we get their portions of your genes out of the gene pool too.

Honestly, we were evolved to love and nurture our children while protecting them from harm.  Without that instinct, we wouldn’t be alive.  If you’re perfectly willing to put your children in direct exposure to a virus about which we know very little but which has killed 44 people, there is something mentally–and probably genetically–wrong with you.  Please exit the gene pool.


Cross-posted on Homosecular Gaytheist.


Hello readers. Thanks for bearing with me while I took a much needed vacation at home in Roanoke. I didn’t look at a newspaper, television, or allow myself to discuss Swine Flu at all…and it proved to be very restful indeed. But now, as I sit in the Roanoke Regional Airport…waiting for the fog to lift, it’s time to get back to work. Here is a snippet from a news article I read this morning about the WHO discussing moving to level 6, the last and highest pandemic threat level…

WHO chief Margaret Chan warned against over-confidence following a stabilization in the number of new cases of the H1N1 strain that has proved deadly in Mexico.

“Level 6 does not mean, in any way, that we are facing the end of the world. It is important to make this clear because (otherwise) when we announce level 6 it will cause an unnecessary panic,” she told Spanish newspaper El Pais.


Now for any of you who keep up with my Twitter feed…maybe you noticed the other day that I had a somewhat ominous sounding “tweet” along the lines of “panic and hysteria spread faster than the flu”. This thought occurred to me as I was sitting in LaGuardia on Thursday evening watching a news segment and you could just see how panicked everyone was…and how the media was feeding it.

I’m amused by this “unnecessary panic” I wonder exactly what kind of panic is necessary…

They keep saying things like… “no need to panic” but if they really meant it…they wouldn’t use the word panic…they would raise us to a Pandemic Threat Level 6…but panic is exactly what they want. Not a full scale break down of systems, rioting, and the apocalypse. But a little healthy dose of panic…a healthy dose of panic to take the eyes off of the economy.

“Not the end of the world,” says Margaret Chan — no, it’s not. It is just the sort of slight of hand thing the government and media need to get us to look the other way for two ticks.

Wow…I bet this sounds terribly conspiratorial of me. Apologies.

Maybe it’s because I’m sitting in an airport. Ugh. Anyway…I have on a spiffy new hat. So comment away. Not on the hat…on the blog.

A U.S. Death and the Morals of Epidemic

As I’m sure most of you have heard by now, the U.S. has had its first Swine Flu related death. A 23 month old toddler. It’s terrifying and sad, and now we have to wait and see if it gets much worse than this.

In other news, I’m giving a very brief presentation today in Art and Catastrophe about Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year and his concern with human behavior in epidemic. Quite and interesting time to be writing this paper, let me tell you.

Here are a few of the things Defoe worries about….and I wonder if we will have to worry about them too:

–if there is a higher being responsible, punishing us for our wicked, immoral behavior. I think you all know by now my thoughts on this, but it is worth mentioning. it was a much more popular belief in Defoe’s time (that the plague was a punishment for sin <and sin itself is a disease…but I digress>) — but I wonder if there are still those out there that hold with this. Why not? If the gays caused 9/11…why not the plague?

–self-preservation and abandonment. the two go hand in hand and can not be separated. at what point does self-preservation take over? take over to the point of leaving loved ones in order to save oneself? as Defoe says, “the best physic against the plague is to run away from it”

–the dilemma (a dilemma which does not really occur in non-plague related catastrophe literature) of what I have lovingly termed (hijacked from Major Henry West in 28 Days Later) “people killing people” — what Defoe calls “in the nature of the disease that it impresses everyone the is seized upon by it with a kind of rage, and a hatred against their own kind” — a desire to spread the illness.

BUT whether the desire to spread is there or not, we have to remind ourselves that due to the nature of disease it is all just “people killing people”—right? One person becomes infected, they spread it to five people, those five people spread it to five more people each…..they all die from it. Yes, it is the contagion that kills, but we CAN NOT over look the physical act of one human passing the disease to another. Our need for society and physical closeness with other humans is what ultimately brings our downfall.

For more thoughts on this I recommend the “People Killing People” chapter of The Contagious Narrative PDF.


[now…off to present this thing that i just pulled out of my butt this morning! thank you…thank you…….]

Swine Flu Roundup

Hi! I’m Reed.

* I’ve spent the past two days looking at the Twitter Search page for swine flu and #swineflu and I’m thoroughly enjoying the ignorance of diseases displayed by the Tweeple.

* These graphs are from Daily Kos, of all places:

This is where we were on Saturday:


This is where we were on Monday:


So that little line moves a few pixels to the right and the world stops turning for 80% of the morons on the Internets.  FLYING PIG MEXIFLU!!!  OMGZ!!!!!11!  I IS BECOMES DEATH DESTROYER OF SWINEZ!!!1!!!1!!one!!!  amidoinitrite??

*Here are some fun articles showing interesting side effects and fatuous misconceptions of the Swine Flu breakout:

AP: Israeli Jews find the name Swine Flu offensive and non-Kosher.

Daily Kos: Will Republicans stop filibustering Kathleen Sebelius’ nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services thanks to Swine Flu outbreak? (Of course they won’t.)

Friendly Atheist: Atheism is more popular than Swine Flu for NYT readers.

Republican Faith Chat: God hates America, Mexico, idolotry and progessives, so He created Swine Flu

XKCD: Swine Flu exposes Twitidiocy

Roanoke Times: VA Gov. Tim Kaine declares state health emergency even though there are no cases of swine flu in VA

– Reed Braden

Oh!  And I has a blog!  KTHXBAI!