The American Idiot

“Well maybe I’m the f**** America
I’m not a part of a redneck agenda
Now everybody do the propaganda
And sing along to the age of paranoia.”–Billy Joe Armstrong

It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall as parents talked to their kids throughout time about history. Usually, the phrase “it was a long time ago and people didn’t know any better” is involved. This is particularly true when it comes to matters of science and technology.

Kids are usually incredulous when they hear about things like leaching. My students always listened in awe as I described how George Washington died. We almost always assume we are living in an enlightened time. In many respects we are. We have amazing medical technology and advanced surgical procedures. Furthermore, we are learning more every day.

Yet, there is an undercurrent of stupidity that is nearly impossible to describe. I won’t describe it. I refuse to. Instead, I will bring it directly to you. Following is an excerpt of someone’s diatribe about why they aren’t getting the vaccine. Of course, we will follow with minimal commentary, but otherwise enjoy.

“I’m not really avoiding the vaccine due to potential medical complications, or because of the speed with which it was produced.

Personal liberty is not the reason I’m avoiding it, either. . .

My primary reason for refusing the vaccine is much simpler: I dislike the people who want me to take it, and it makes them mad when they hear about my refusal. That, in turn, makes me happy. . .

I have decided that because the vile political Left, which I despise in the abstract, wants me to take their coveted vaccine, I simply will not. . .

My newly formed and well-developed opinion on vaccines is this: if those bastards want me to get the jab, I’m not going to do it, because it annoys them.

Perhaps you think I’m being obtuse. I do not care.”

The following was written and published by Peter D’Abrosca. Yup, he was actually willing to put his name on this. I certainly will not be the first person making this point. After all, I found this somewhere (Daily Kos). However, it is a point that bears repeating. The pandemic will undoubtedly make the history books.

It’s not only the school history books that we are after. My great grandmother died in the 1918 Flu epidemic. Her loss obviously greatly impacted my grandmother and her brothers and sisters. Those ripple effects shoot up generations. So, hearing about how people treated the pandemic back then was not just an abstraction. It impacted millions of families around the world and here in the United States. It’s sad that with all of our medical advances and knowledge that you could argue we are handling the current pandemic somehow worse.

It’s a paradox that our children will have to explain to their children and then onwards through when we are all a distant memory. Fortunately, we have entries like this one that can help explain why this happened. When you boil it all down, it had nothing to do with knowledge or even beliefs. It was all about spite. Scientific and medical knowledge somehow became conflated with leftist thinking.

People have done this forever. We throw the baby out with the bath water. Students are always amazed when they realize that phrase has actual historical roots. It’s just amazing to see this on a grand scale and admitted openly like this. Usually, our stubbornness is on matters much smaller and we keep it to ourselves. Somehow, we are aware of our own idiocy.

The anger that D’Abrosca attributes to those on the left doesn’t exist in this case. My response fluctuates somewhere between shock, uncontrollable laughter, and pity. I’m not upset that you have chosen to sacrifice your own health to spite us. I’m more flabbergasted than anything.

If there is any ire with the anti-vaxxers of this world it is that their world view is incredibly selfish. Any idiot is free to do idiotic things as long as their idiocy doesn’t impact any of the rest of us. Sadly, anti-vaxxers have never understood that their stupidity can and will impact others. When COVID is still a thing years from now people will ask, “but I thought there was a vaccine? Why didn’t everyone just take it?” Well folks, here is your answer.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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