El Coyote Gordo (supergee) wrote,
El Coyote Gordo

Mother's day

On this auspicious occasion I remember my own mother, who passed along to me a number of ideas that have educated and enlightened me, one of which is that Mother's Day is a commercial shuck. I also remember the man we called Benno Brutalheim.

Mother is half the word I imagine the Rude Pundit applying to Dr. Bettelheim, who had some good ideas (fairy tales should not be bowdlerized, Freud was ill served by his translators), but also some really awful ones, the worst of which may have been the idea that autism is caused by "refrigerator mothers" not loving their children enough.

Today that idea has fallen into well-deserved disrepute. One of my favorite psychologists, Jerome Kagan, listed it next to masturbation-induced insanity as Dumb Things We No Longer Believe. But it was not always thus; I have read of mothers forced to wait in the cold outside the doctor's office as symbolic punishment.

One unintended consequence is that a woman whose child has autism may seize upon any scapegoat, no matter how implausible, so it's Not My Fault. In particular, Jenny McCarthy was presumably relieved to learn of a Scientific Study that blamed vaccination for her child's condition.

It wasn't much of a study. At first it seemed to have been done with insufficient caution and controls, but it has since turned out to be deliberately fraudulent. It was enough, and now the state of Washington, among others, is faced with an outbreak of pertussis that could have been prevented by vaccination.

What makes it worse, of course, is the way government has been starved of the funds needed to deal with the crisis by the Gospel of St. Ronnie, with its dogma that Government Is the Problem (unless it's messing around in Asian countries we don't understand or making sure that Jamie Dimon is covered if he rolls snake eyes). Sometimes I think humanity will stupid itself to death.
Tags: rant
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