Jim Carrey’s a pretty funny guy. I grew up watching him cavort across my screen in all manner of ludicrous performances, like a drunkard mongoose and regardless of whether the film was good or not, I usually found some favour within it. I would still count Dumb & Dumber amongst my all time favourite films and I have lost count of the number of times I have watched the convulsing police officer drink Lloyd’s bodily excretions; you simply cannot put a price on physical comedy. Carrey subsequently did what most OH-MY-GOD-I’M-SO-RICH-LET’S-URINATE-ON-EACH-OTHER-FOR-FUN actors in his position do and shacked up with the first female he saw with a halfway decent face and ample mammary glands. Unfortunately for him however, this happened to be Jenny McCarthy, idiot extraordinaire (I’m not sure if that’s her official title). Why? Well, put simply Dr Jenny feels contrary to almost universal scientific opinion, and links vaccinations to autism. Her and Carrey’s views are by no means unusual – by any account, the world is inundated with morons. What makes their moronity particularly noteworthy, is their irrefutable office in the tabloid auditorium. People listen to them.
Edward Jenner, the father of immunology initiated an almighty shift in the management of communicable preventable diseases, when he inoculated a 6 year old boy suffering with smallpox, with pus from a cowpox pustule. The boy was cured and the first vaccination had taken place. In 1979, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Smallpox an obsolete diagnosis. It had been removed from the spectrum of human disease. Let me reiterate – Jenner had made a considerable dent in the removal of short people in our world. Of course there are those that still remain and they are recognisably irritable and obstreperous but the problems of knowing where you’re going to keep them, what you’re going to feed them and how often you’re meant to take them out for a walk are issues of the past. Because of Jenner, the world is a taller place.
Next on the agenda of disease eradication is Poliomyelitis, a mortally inflicting neurological disease which although holds no cure, is confidently preventable by means of the Polio vaccine. Via means of a concerted and applaudable effort from the WHO, the condition has been cut down with devastating precision to the tune of a 99% reduction in incidence and today only three unfortunate countries are claimed as endemic – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Considerable headway had been made to declare the disease obsolete by 2018 via the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, until some ominous reports of the murder of vaccination volunteers emerged from North Pakistan. Astonishingly, both the CIA and the Taliban were implicated but the program has pressed on regardless. Maybe that manner of response was to be expected, maybe not, I really don’t know. In either case it makes for disconsolate reading.
Let’s be clear; no child born today should be die before their fifth birthday. The communicable preventable diseases that once rendered childhood a formidable and precarious journey are exactly that – preventable. Our resources should be extended from the affluent surpluses of the entitled, to the provision of improved public health for women and children, the world over. Our efforts should counter the dire inequalities our political constructs have established and give every human on this planet a chance to live.
Only not according to McCarthy. Not according to Carrey. Citing anecdotal evidence concerning the constituents of vaccinations and an association to autism, celebrities in the anti-life lobby feel qualified to unsettle a lifetime of immeasurable action taken on behalf of the medical community to rid the world of communicable diseases. Quite where or how this competence was attained has escaped me and if anyone has an idea I’d be extremely grateful for some input. Please email me at fuckjimcarrey@SMOKIN.com. I don’t know – maybe McCarthy felt a need to point a finger of blame, given her kid has autism. Perhaps Jim Carrey had nothing better to do. Perhaps they stumbled across the work of a very refined sort of pleb, Andrew Wakefield. Let’s talk about him.
Andrew Wakefield was an English Surgeon working at the Royal Free Hospital in London when he made the eye brow raising association between the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination and autism. I say eye-brow raising because that’s all we do in England really – raise eyebrows. We lack the capacity for full blown animation, but trust me, beneath those eye-brows, we were climbing across the ceilings. In a paper published in The Lancet in 1998, Wakefield suggested that a link was to made between the rising incidence of autism and possibly inflammatory bowel disease and the use of the MMR vaccination was of blame. Via succeeding reports, he advocated a triple stage vaccination, with each component of MMR given at separate intervals. The medical community went ballistic. Parents who had already been sat on the fence, jumped well and truly off into a lifetime of poor decision making on behalf of their hapless children. I was too young to be aware of what was happening at this point, so I can’t tell you what my reaction was. It probably wasn’t too constructive, I assure you.
Anyway, what Wakefield omitted to mention was the following. Several years prior to his ludicrous paper, he had been hired by a solicitor called Richard Barr who had intentions of bringing a class action law suit against the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine. The idea of this collaboration was to bring the vaccine into disrepute. Around the same sort of time, Wakefield craftily pitched in his own vaccine patent for Measles and made his merry way to the bank, laughing malevolently and rubbing his hands with glee. I might have made that last part up. In either case Andrew Case was a very naughty man. In the end, following some remarkable investigative journalism, Wakefield was exposed for the twat he was and his medical career was swiftly ended, at which point he fled to the US to be embraced with open arms by the anti-vaccination lobby. Americans eh? All of this I could probably ignore, I possess the necessary requirements of apathy, but this is where the situation really begins to stink. His original paper was based on un-ethically conducted investigations on 12 children. TWELVE CHILDREN. Is that a representative population? Where is the sample size calculation? What was the inclusion criteria? What was the p value? WHAT’S WITH THE SHITTY STATS BRAH? I can put up with a lot but I have no time for poor mathematics. No time whatsoever.
Every 2o seconds a child will die of a vaccine preventable disease. 17% of the global mortality of children under the age of 5 will be due to innocuous causes. There are 30 million children in the world today who are at risk of never having the chance to live due to failure to vaccinate. The issue is one of poverty and inequality, of inhumane politics. Not of celebrity science. If a parent fails to vaccinate their children, their stupidity is not simply reflected upon their own unfortunate child, but also that of the community their child resides in. Herd immunity will only get you so far. The Anti-Vaccination Body Count have set up an online graphic representation of the lack of insight by Carrey, McCarthy and co, in an simultaneously hilarious and tear-jerking affair. To summarise, since 2007 there have been 113918 preventable illnesses in America, the result of failing to vaccinate and a further 1126 deaths. As of 2007, there have been no directly causal diagnoses of autism made following vaccination. Not a single one.
With respect to Jim, I’ll look forward to his next film, if he ever tries to make another. I’ll laugh at the funny bits and leave the cinema, having thrown a palpable portion of my pay cheque at some faceless multinational, thereby placating the conditioned materialistic part of my mind for the best part of several hours. Consumerism – Woo! As for vaccinations, 1.5 million children will die this year because of preventable diseases and that, is no laughing matter.