The Refusers prove Orac’s corollary of Poe’s law once again

Remember The Refusers?

They’re the antivaccine band with the recycled classic rock sound lacking a shred of originality or chops that flooded the blogosphere with their crazy in the form of Clash wanna be songs like Vaccine Gestapo, which inspired Surly Amy to make me a Vaccine Gestapo pendant to wear at TAM a couple of years ago. (I still wear it to various skeptical events from time to time.) Particularly amusing and pathetic was the antivaccine sing-along The Refusers ran a couple of years ago at the demonstration at Age of Autism in Chicago, complete with Andrew Wakefield gamely playing along, looking embarrassed. Then they made a return last June with a song called Mad Hatter Blues.

Well, now they’re back again, promising a new album of antivaccine tunes called First Do No Harm. The title track is called, appropriately enough, First Do No Harm, and it’s utterly hilarious in its over-the-top imagery:


The usual style of The Refusers’ imagery is all there. Big pharma logo with a hypodermic needle as part of the logo? Check? Suffering children? Check? Bald doctor looking like a Nazi mad scientist? Check. Imagery of giant needle inserting itself into a person’s head (all as a shadow, so as to be “artsy”)? Check. The most absolutely god-awful lyrics you can imagine? Check:

Watch out families, your baby is a target
For medical charlatans to immunize
They make kids autistic and then they deny it
Don’t trust their propaganda, they’re telling you lies
Hippocrates said don’t hurt your patient
Modern medicine has forgotten his words

First do, first do no harm
First do, first do no harm
First do no harm
That’s what’s wrong

As I said before, The Clash’s The Guns of Brixton, this ain’t. As I’ve also said before, the antivaccine movement has degenerated to the point where it is impossible to distinguish real from parody. It’s just like Poe’s law with fundamentalists, only this time with antivaccinationists. If I hadn’t known that The Refusers and First Do No Harm were real, I would have had a hard time knowing for sure whether they were real or parody. It’s Orac’s Corollary of Poe’s Law at work again. I mean, The Refusers even have a song named Vaccines Über Alles. It’s as though they think they’re hip punk rockers like Dead Kennedys or something. It’s the perfect 1980s reference for the antivaccine contingent, most of whom were probably in high school when the Dead Kennedys song The Refusers are aping was last popular.