Respectful Insolence

I get comments, too

Ha!

PZ isn’t the only person who gets wingnut comments. I get ‘em too, and yesterday I got a doozy from a guy named Keith Dunlop in response to my post about a homepath bringing his quackery to poor AIDS patients in Africa:

THE MAIN POST ABOVE IS FROM A DRUG COMPANY MASQUERADING AS CONCERNED SCIENCE. THIS IS NON OTHER THAN AN ATTEMPT BY THE DIRTY TRICKS DEPARTMENT OF A DRUGS COMPANY TO MINIMIZE RESEARCH INTO ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF TREATING THIS PHENOMENA FOR THE SAKE OF EVIL AND PURE PROFIT.

MR SHERR HAS BEEN HOUNDED, VILIFIED, THREATENED, FOLLOWED AND COWED BY THE BIG PHARMA FRONT PEOPLE WHO HAS POSTED THIS, WHO CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED AND OPERATE UNDER ANY NUMBER OF “FALSE FRONTS”.

THE DRUG COMPANY POSTING THIS SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ITSELF AND HOPE THAT THEY ARE NEVER REVEALED. THIS IS THE NEW AGE OF WITCH HUNTING – ONLY ITS CORPORATE DRIVEN. THEY SEEK TO DISCREDIT ANY GENUINE AND CONCERNED ENVIRONMENTAL EFFORT OR ALTERNATIVE NATURAL TREATMENT. DIRTY TRICKS DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE.

INDUSTRIAL PHARMA ARE THE DIRTIEST MOST LOW LYING SCUMBAG SET OF PEOPLE AND WE ARE ON TO YOU. BE CAREFUL. AND STOP HARASSING PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU ARE PARALYTICALLY SCARED THAT SOMEONE WILL FIND A COST FREE WAY TO TREAT AIDS AND RENDER YOUR MULTI BILLION OPERATIONS USELESS.

STICK TO YOUR BIZ JETS AND MULTI BILLION DOLLAR PROFITS. AND PRAY THERE IS NO POWER ABOVE AS YOU WILL SURELY ROT IN HELL.

I found this post particularly amusing after yesterday’s massive rant against JAMA and its failure to pollce an obvious big pharma conflict of interest, so much so that I giggled when I read it.

Personally, I keep wondering where my massive checks and business jets are as payment for my servile pharma blogging. Sadly, somehow they never materialize. Come on, pharma! Aren’t my attacks on homeopathy worth something? Anything?

Come on, can’t I at least have a ride in the black helicopter?

Comments

  1. #1 Big Pharma
    March 25, 2009

    Come on, can’t I at least have a ride in the black helicopter?

    No, Orac, you can’t. Oh, and we realized that we sent you two pens and a notepad last month. This was inadvertent, please send back the other pen.

  2. #2 Brian H
    March 25, 2009

    Obviously you’re not shilling hard enough. Shill harder, and you can save up Pharmapoints(tm), which can be redeemed for many great novelties and gifts from The Man!

  3. #3 adina
    March 25, 2009

    Yeah, but A MESSAGE ALL IN CAPS is much more powerful than evidence.

  4. #4 Rae
    March 25, 2009

    Caps locks for cruise control, much?

    I sense a distinct lack of “Comic Sans” in the force… :-p

  5. #5 Badger3k
    March 25, 2009

    Sorry Orac, you’ve been exposed. We have agents on their way to you with a little pen-like thing to look at. You won’t remember a…what was I saying? Who are you people ?

    I have to go now.

  6. #6 Joe
    March 25, 2009

    Orac, I have told you before- we do not have black helicopters. That is just malicious slander from Big SCAMMA. Our helicopters are deep blue.

    What heliport is most convenient for you?

  7. #7 Brian Deer
    March 25, 2009

    Oh, the shouting haters. I get ‘em too:

    “FUCK YOU. YOU ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH. YOU ARE JUST TRASHING PEOPLE THAT ARE TOTALLY DEDICATED TO FIND CURES FOR A HORRIBLE DISEASE. PROTECTING YOUR SELFCENTERED ASS, TRASHING OTHERS FOR SELFGAIN, OR PROTECTING YOUR BUDDIES AT A CORRUPTED PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY. WELL, NOW I’M TRASHING YOU RIGHT BACK. YOU ARE TRASH. WE’RE EVEN.”

    Don’t you just luv ‘em!

  8. #8 Mario
    March 25, 2009

    Ah, the old pharma shill gambit. Orac, on your old stomping grounds, the newsgroup misc.health.alternative, a poster called PeterB has recently returned with a post “Industry is blogging this newsgroup”, accusing the people on the side science who are posting there of being paid by Big Pharma. The interesting thing is that PeterB seems to get paid by Big Supplement to post there. He once identified himself with a supplement producer who was taking some legal action as “we are taking action”. When asked about that, his response was along the lines of “so what if I get paid to post here”. All rather suspicious if you ask me.

  9. #9 Heraclides
    March 25, 2009

    Maybe I shouldn’t risk ruffling feathers, but what do you make of BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine? [http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmccomplementalternmed/] It’s peer-reviewed (although the sceptical might say “by who?”), but regardless of that: why a special journal solely for CAM? Surely if the research has merit, it can be sent to the relevant specialist medical journals that already exist?

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2009

    I am mystified about the suggestion to BE CAREFUL as the writer is convinced that you will SURELY ROT IN HELL.

    What’s the point in being careful if you’re doomed? Better to party with them Pharma Bucks.

    Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!

  11. #11 PalMD
    March 25, 2009

    when i was on MN Atheists radio last weekend discussing alt med and med denialism, one caller robocalled to complain about me. The one who got through the robocaller was quite offended by my radical vaccine-lovin’ ways. I was apparently also in the arms of Big Pharma, but I guess i forgot to tell them that thanks to Pharma rules I CAN’T EVEN GET A DAMNED PEN ANYMORE!!11!!

  12. #12 Daniel J. Andrews
    March 25, 2009

    Really, I just need to know…what is it with cranks and capitalizing their letters, either all of them or some of them?! Someone must have done a study on this by now? Is it just confirmation bias where we only remember the capital letter crank websites/emails and forget the normal punctuation usage crank websites/emails? Or is this a statistically significant correlation? If so, why? What type of wiring is going on in the brain?

    By now they must know capital letter writings are mocked and parodied (for at least 40 years, and I’ve seen flat earth tracts from the late 1890s with capital writing so I imagine ‘normal’ people have been poking fun at this style for well over a 100 years). So why have cranks changed their style at all, and if not, why not? Not understanding this is like an itch that I can’t quite scratch.

  13. #13 Danimal
    March 25, 2009

    Ouch!!! All those caps hurt my eyes.

  14. #14 wilsontown
    March 25, 2009

    I can’t quite fathom the logic behind the phrase “…PRAY THERE IS NO POWER ABOVE…”

  15. #15 Marilyn Mann
    March 25, 2009

    I too have had the experience of being called a pharma shill lol.

  16. #16 Skeptico
    March 25, 2009

    AND PRAY THERE IS NO POWER ABOVE

    … then to whom would you be praying?

  17. #17 Matthew Cline
    March 25, 2009

    I’ve never been accused of being a pharma shill, but I have been accused of being a CDC employee.

  18. #18 hat_eater
    March 25, 2009

    Why cranks write in all caps so often? I guess they must be feeling helpless. They have laid out “teh truth” bare innumerable times before the eyes of sceptics, and yet we stubbornly refuse to see. What else can they do but START SHOUTING?
    As to why they don’t change the form of their arguments, since when are they behaving rationally when challenged? The efficacy of the arguments, both their form and their substance, is irrelevant to them.

  19. #19 qetzal
    March 25, 2009

    … then to whom would you be praying?

    A power below, obviously. (Who else would a pharma shill pray to?)
    ;-)

  20. #20 Mu
    March 25, 2009

    I think the all caps is to make up for lack of content. If you only can write 100 words at a time, you get at least 50% more space covered in all caps. 100% if you can manage bold tags.
    It’s like in grade school, when you’re supposed to write a 2 page story, you write BIG

  21. #21 Interrobang
    March 25, 2009

    All caps is what you use when you’re really dumb and can’t figure out hard things, like the rules of capitalisation in English. All caps is also easier to deal with if you’re a hunt-and-peck two-finger typist; you don’t have to ever worry about having to hold down the shift key.

    My landlady used to turn in her correspondence-school essays all in caps, and I know it was because a) she’s dumb as a bag of rocks, and b) she can’t type worth a damn. She’s recently gone to the i wouldn’t know an upper-case letter if it bit me on the ass school of typing, but cranks don’t use that because it lacks impact.

  22. #22 Kemist
    March 25, 2009

    How do I get to be a BigPharma shill ? Would do anything to get more than I get, especially now that I’ve lost my posh (coughcough) salary. And I’ve not even gotten the pen last year.

    Nobody ever tells me anything. :-(

  23. #23 DLC
    March 25, 2009

    The really amusing ones spend time and space telling you how evil you are, how you will be punished either now or in the afterlife, and how you deserve it. And then they conclude with
    “Sincerely”

  24. #24 Big Pharma VP
    March 25, 2009

    We don’t pay for beating up on homeopathy, it’s just too easy. I’m sorry if someone at Big Pharma misled you. However, I understand Big CAM, who’s profits probably exceed Big Pharma, probably has some “marketing” funds available.

  25. #25 BIG PHARMA
    March 25, 2009

    Come on, can’t I at least have a ride in the black helicopter?

    Come on, you know you’re too low on the minion hierarchy. If we did, we’d have to kill you first.

    – BP

  26. #26 hatch_xanadu
    March 25, 2009

    Oh, how, how will we ever track down the identity of this elusive one called Orac? He cannot be identified! It’s terribly unfortunate, because we want so badly to appoint him Director of our DIRTY TRICKS DEPARTMENT.

  27. #27 Mojo
    March 25, 2009

    The fact that a significant proportion of homoeopaths (and other sCAMsters) are unable to cope with the idea that someone would do something without being paid for it says something about their general mindset, doesn’t it.

  28. #28 JustaTech
    March 25, 2009

    PalMD, I must say I’m sorry to hear you don’t get pens anymore. Why, I, a tiny little tech have pens from 6 separate companies on my desk right now. Granted, my lab doesn’t *buy* anything from these companies, but I still have their pens.

    The ALL-CAPS posters remind me strongly of a commenter on the AV Club boards, one ZODIAC MOTHERF#KER, who has become some kind of force over there. He also always posts in all-caps, but is known to use paragraphs. So it’s likely he’s just nuts, but not a kook.

  29. #29 Lorax
    March 25, 2009

    You only get one ride in a black helicopter…….

  30. #30 tms
    March 25, 2009

    Hey Orac,

    After complaining that you shill for Big Pharma, has anyone of these ranters made you a better offer?

    tms

  31. #31 Pareidolius
    March 25, 2009

    I was shrill with a big farmer once . . . does that count?

  32. #32 Paul Murray
    March 25, 2009

    Sigh – Big Pharma and Homeopathy. Rather like the PRC govt and Falun Gong really: just because one of ‘em is a bad guy, doesn’t nessesarily mean that the other one isn’t also.

  33. #33 Aquaria
    March 25, 2009

    what is it with cranks and capitalizing their letters, either all of them or some of them

    To add to what Interrobang described so well above, I’ll add a few other possibilities:

    1) Laziness, part duh: Some forums don’t have html tags. Chances are fair to middling that the gateway sites for these cranks probably don’t, so they don’t know it’s available at a new site, or don’t even bother to look it up. Even if they realize some folks can use fancy bold and italics, these yokels are too stupid to learn how to do it.

    2) Now for a sane reason. Some folks (like me) do a lot of work in all caps, such as. having to fill out forms that my workplace is too cheap to automate. Since I have to write so many things by hand, all caps reduces confusion. It also stays inside a block, no below the line crap that can get cut off/misread, like j, g, p, etc. If you write enough of that stuff, ALL CAPS is normal to you. Not that I think this is why cranks use ‘em; just that it’s a possibility. I know that regular typing looks weird to me when I first come home from work after looking at all caps all day.

    Why, I, a tiny little tech have pens from 6 separate companies on my desk right now

    Technically, we’re supposed to throw away gimme pens where I work, but nobody does. We have drawers full of them. We can’t use them as quickly as we get them in the mail.

  34. #34 dreikin
    March 25, 2009

    Orac, I have told you before- we do not have black helicopters. That is just malicious slander from Big SCAMMA. Our helicopters are deep blue.

    Wait – Big Blue’s in on this too? No wonder they’re so rich..

  35. #35 Kemist
    March 26, 2009

    I CAN’T EVEN GET A DAMNED PEN ANYMORE!!11!!

    Go to the ACS (American Chemical Society) conference, you’ll get your fill of company shill stuff : pens, cups, caps, mousepads, rubic cubes, geeky t-shirts with chemical jokes on them… One company was even giving out ice cream (to make out for the unforgivable lack of cookies and coffee at the actual conferences… except in the the computational chem section).

    Or any big science conference at all.

    Generally

    Big = lots of promotional material
    Small = better food

  36. #36 blf
    March 26, 2009

    Orac, the problem isn’t that you’ve pissed off Big Pharma. Despite confusion about the colour of the helicopter, they’re rather happy with you. The problem is the Lizard Overlords are not happy with you, and they’ve leaned on Big Pharma. The clew is in the ALL CAPS. Despite their awesome physical and telekinetic powers, the superority of their woo, and their not poisoning themselves with vaccines, they’ve never quite managed the finer points of typing. When all you’ve got is many opposable thumbs tipped with fire-sprouting, retractable, razor-sharp claws, hitting more than one key at a time is awkward.

    Of course, I can’t tell you why they’re unhappy with you. At least not on a public forum. But you know anyways. Stop pretending! Start kowtowing the line!!

  37. #37 Dawn
    March 26, 2009

    @Aquaria: I also work a lot in all caps for the coding I do (it’s the way I was trained). But, when posting comments, I use caps for emphasis because I haven’t figured out how to use HTML tags. I have read other people’s explanations on how to use them, but I need to be shown because I just don’t get it (and don’t want to spam someone’s blog comments with practice attempts)

  38. #38 Andrew Dodds
    March 26, 2009

    I’ve been called a pharma shill before, for daring to suggest that vaccines have a use..

    Still waiting for the vast research grants that apparently accrue for anyone daring to suggest that there may be some truth behind global warming.. apparently trucks stuffed with currency turn up the moment you suggest any vaguely-related research project.

    What with pharma shilling, global warming shilling, and nuclear industry shilling, I barely have time for my Evil Athiest Conspiricy shilling anymore.. I really need one of ships in my brain to means you can do without sleep, apparently there’s a lack of scheduled abductions in my area due to flying saucer traffic control.

  39. #39 Dianne
    March 26, 2009

    As long as we’re ranting about pharma and their pen habits, I’ll add my rant…

    I don’t mind the rules about no pens, declare your conflicts, usw. I make enough money to buy my own pens. Plus I can always steal them from the ward clerks. But I am bothered by how little data there is on whether or not these sorts of interventions (making it against the rules to accept pens or cookies, making everyone show the conflict of interest slide at the beginning of their talks, etc) make any impact on prescribing practices. I’d like to see a study of whether prescribing practices are changed (hopefully for the better, i.e. more evidence based) or at least that attitudes are changed in some way by all these new rules. Otherwise, they’re just more bureaucracy and a waste of time. When you’ve only got 10 minutes to give your talk at ASH, that 30 seconds thrown away to the COI slide hurts. Dammit, I could have shown another graph instead of giving people 30 seconds to contemplate the fact that I’m too pathetic for any drug company to bother bribing me.

  40. #40 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2009

    But, when posting comments, I use caps for emphasis because I haven’t figured out how to use HTML tags. I have read other people’s explanations on how to use them, but I need to be shown because I just don’t get it (and don’t want to spam someone’s blog comments with practice attempts)

    Dawn – Preview is your friend when it comes to trial and swear learning of html tags

    Another tip – save the tags in a document or text file for handy copy paste when you want to use them.

  41. #41 AJ Milne
    March 30, 2009

    Oh, the shouting haters. I get ‘em too…

    Well then, as a small, token thanks for you to weigh against all that shit:

    Thanks, Brian and Orac both, for doing what you do, and for being good at it. And I do hope you do keep in mind that you’ve probably saved more than a few lives doing so.

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