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The Age of Autism challenges the Pharynguloid hordes

Readers may be wondering why I haven’t written about Jenny McCarthy’s latest brain dead outburst against Amanda Peet. (Actually, brain dead is too kind a description of it, given that Jenny’s retort in essence boils down to her having an “angry mob” on her side making Amanda “completely wrong.”) It’s because I decided to try to resist for once in my life. And I was doing really good at it, too, even though several readers sent me links to various stories about Jenny McCarthy’s outburst. Still, I resisted. Even after antivaccinationist financier J. B. Handley wrote a post demanding of Amanda Peet, How Much Are They Paying You?, I held back and didn’t respond to Handley’s obvious use of the Pharma Shill Gambit, complete with a photo of a prostitute sticking money into her stocking. Oddly enough, I didn’t notice a post right below it (more on that later).

Then, damn it, I also noticed that P.Z. had to go and set loose his Pharynguloid hordes on the accompanying poll that went with this post. Regular readers know that I’ve never been that thrilled with P.Z. Myers’ penchant for sending his Pharynguloid hordes over to infest dubious Internet polls. It always struck me as a bit childish and bullying. On the other hand, I must reluctantly admit that at times it’s pretty hilarious. Lately, I’ve been coming around somewhat, and I think that perhaps P.Z.’s mistake is not so much that he does unleash the hounds on stupid Internet polls but that he does it too often. In other words, it’s become boring and predictable. I also realize that, with about 1/10 (or less) of the traffic that P.Z. garners, if I were to send my Respectfully Insolent mini-horde to crash a poll, the likely result would be embarrassment and ineffectiveness. And, I must admit, his unleashing of his poll crashers on a poll asking who is right about vaccines, Amanda Peet or Jenny McCarthy was pretty funny.

Even so, early this morning after having seen P.Z.’s post, still I resisted blogging about it. After all, what could I do? The last time I checked, the vote was running around 94% to 6% against Jenny McCarthy.

Then, as I was taking a break to eat lunch, I noticed that something really and truly hilarious had happened. (Remember the post I hadn’t noticed before?) The antivaccinationists at the Age of Autism tried to rally their troops to challenge the hegemony of the Pharynguloid hordes by exhorting them to go and vote in the poll, too! The flea rose up to challenge the elephant! Truly, comic gold.

You know, for perhaps the first time ever, I actually feel a bit sorry for merry band of antivaccinationists over at AoA. They have no clue whatsoever what they’ve just provoked, as PZ has sent his ravening hordes directly to AoA.

The horror, the horror. For the antivaccinationists, that is.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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