Popular culture

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Popular culture

This must go. Now.

Apparently, some of my readers in Canada are getting this when they look at any of my Suzanne Somers posts: No other country seems to be affected; at least, no readers from other countries have reported the problem to me. This will not do. The Overlords have been informed. In the meantime, if you are…

There are two times a year that seem to be a time to beware of a serious assault of pseudoscience and quackery. The first time of year is in April, which is Autism Awareness Month. Over the last few years I can be just as sure as night following day, only to be followed by…

Here we go again. The 2009 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, anti-vaccine wingnut and lover of cancer quackery Bill Maher, decided to use the occasion of the season finale of Real Time with Bill Maher to answer some of the criticisms that have been leveled against him. All I can say is this: I’m…

The time has come…

…for Bill Maher to receive the Richard Dawkins Award. It was a huge mistake on the part of the Atheist Alliance International to award it, for the reasons I’ve repeated ad nauseam over the last couple of weeks; so I won’t go there again. What I really want to know is what happened. I can’t…

I promised last week in a post in which I described Bill Maher’s latest pro-quackery remarks (this time, supporting cancer quackery), today is the day that I’m going to ask you, my readers, for some help. As I complained a while back, Bill Maher, who is anything but a rationalist or a booster of science…

Khhaaaaaannnn! I mean, Arriiiaaaaannaaa! Ever since its very inception, I’ve been–shall we say?–less than enthusiastic about the Huffington Post’s medical blogging. Indeed, the level of anti-vaccine rhetoric there from the very beginning, back in 2005, astounded me. If anything, HuffPo’s record has gotten even worse over the last four years, be it Deepak Chopra, or,…

There once was a time not so long ago–oh, say, four our five years–when the anti-vaccine fringe was looked upon as what it was: a fringe group, a bunch of quacks and quack advocates, all in essence one big conspiracy theory movement, in which vaccines are the One True Cause of Autism. At the time,…

Suzanne Somers = Mike Adams

The other day, I ripped a certain woo-meister whom regular readers all know and most, if not all, regular readers mostly despise, Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com. As you may recall, a few days ago he slimed Patrick Swayze the day he died from pancreatic cancer, posting an article saying that Swayze was killed by chemotherapy…

Atomic cold cream

Somehow I don’t think any cosmetics company today could get away with doing an experiment like this to prove how well its cold cream cleans the most dirt and makeup residue from a model’s skin. I’d also really love a copy of the “Atomic Test Booklet” that people could mail the company to request. You’d…

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze

I just learned that earlier today Patrick Swayze finally died of his pancreatic cancer after having survived far longer (20 months) than the average patient diagnosed with stage IV disease (less than 6 months). All I can say is: Rest in peace, Patrick. Not only did Swayze deal with his terminal illness with courage, humor,…

Comic books and rubber bands…

I don’t know why, but I’m tired, lazy, and in a bit of nostalgic frame of mind this morning, which makes coming across this ad dangerous: Not only that, but Faygo is a Detroit company. At least it was when I was a kid. At least it’s still bottled in Detroit. Ah, yes, Faygo red…

I realize that I’ve gotten into one of those runs where it seems that all I blog about is anti-vaccinationist loons, but, before trying once again to take a break from the madness, I had to go to the well one more time because this looks a bit frightening: NBC News’ Matt Lauer will take…

Farrah Fawcett: Dead of cancer at age 62

Unfortunately, I saw this coming, although I had thought that it might be a few more months. Farrah Fawcett has lost her three year battle with anal cancer: Farrah Fawcett, an actress and television star whose good looks and signature flowing hairstyle influenced a generation of women and bewitched a generation of men, beginning with…

Oprah and Jenny McCarthy: A woo too far

Last week I wrote a bit about what I’ve been tempted to call Oprah’s War on Science but settled for the title of a documentary called The Oprah Effect. The reason, as I have mentioned before, is that arguably there is no single person who does more to promote pseudoscientific and dubious health practices than…

Combatting the Oprah Effect

I don’t much like Oprah Winfrey. I know, I know, it’s a huge surprise to anyone who reads this blog, but there you go. Over the last four years, I’ve had numerous reasons to be unhappy with her, mainly because, as savvy a media celebrity and businesswoman as she is, she has about as close…

Jenny McCarthy shows off her intellect

I know, I know it seems like the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel, but some creature that I can’t identify is having a fight somewhere in the neighborhood, freaking out my dog, and now I can’t go back to sleep; so why not blog? In any case, I found out last week that Jenny…

A while back, Mark Hoofnagle coined a term that I like very much: Crank magnetism. To boil it down to its essence, crank magnetism is the phenomenon in which a person who is a crank in one area very frequently tends to be attracted to crank ideas in other, often unrelated areas. I had noticed…

I know I’ve been ragging on The Huffington Post a lot lately. Trust me, I take no great pleasure in doing so. Indeed, more than anything else, it’s been a major frustration for me. It’s bad enough that HuffPo has been a hotbed of anti-vaccine propaganda and pseudoscience ever since its very inception, continuing through…

After writing about a new low of pseudoscience published in that repository of all things antivaccine and quackery, The Huffington Post (do you even have to ask?), on Tuesday, I had hoped–really hoped–that I could ignore HuffPo for a while. After all, there’s only so much stupid that even Orac can tolerate before his logic…

Note the followup post to this one, in which Orac admits error. You just have to read it, given how rarely Orac messes up when speculating… Our cancer center has a large, open area interspersed with patient waiting areas, one of which is the clinic where I see patients, that I frequently must traverse to…

Embedded video from CNN Video Over the weekend, a lot of readers sent me links to Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s appearance on Larry King Live. (If you can’t stand watching the embedded video of the segment, the transcript is here.) Fortunately for me (and, I hope, you), a “friend” of mine has written a…

…but sadly, it’s not. Jenny McCarthy has struck again. Yesterday, given the release of Jenny McCarthy’s new book espousing antivaccinationism and autism quackery and the attendant media blitz the antivaccine movement has organized to promote it, I predicted that a wave of stupid is about to fall upon our great nation. Well, the stupid has…

Random (deserved) swipes at Jenny McCarthy

Anyone who’s read this blog for more than a month knows my dismal opinion of Indigo woo girl, ex-Playboy Playmate, and gross-out comedienne Jenny McCarthy, who since having a child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has transformed herself from D-list celebrity to A-list, where the “A” stands for “antivaccine.” Her combination of obnoxiousness, the…

Since its very inception, the Huffington Post has been a hotbed of antivaccine lunacy. Shortly after that, antivaccine woo-meisters like David Kirby, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Kimg Stagliano, and, apparently, one of the editors (Special Projects Editor Rachel Sklar) were joined by all-purpose woo-meisters like Deepak Chopra. True, for a brief period of time there…

Crank alert! Age of Autism has announced that David Kirby and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be on the David Bender Show at 1:15 PM today. It would be nice if, to counter the antivaccine activists, reality-based listeners would call in, although I am very pessimistic that Bender would give them a fair shake, given…