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Tangentially Speaking

367 – ROMA 31

By March 5, 2019September 14th, 201910 Comments

Are vaccines dangerous? Is meat important? If so, why? Does love always have to hurt? What are the dangers of humility? Can people and animals sense your vibe when you’re tripping? These and other pressing issues are featured in yet another ROMA episode.

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Music: “Brightside of the Sun,” by Basin and Range; “Humans From Earth,” by T-Bone Burnett; “Billie Jean,” covered by Chris Cornell; “El Mar,” by Hermanos Gutierrez; “Friends are Lost,” by Mike Howe.


  • Trevor says:

    The message you play on this episode from the Australian vegan "Tom" sounds suspiciously like Harley Johnstone aka Durian Rider, a well known vegan activist lunatic. Just sayin.

  • Pinkie B says:

    What a soothing podcast! It’s just what my heart needed on this dreary Monday morning*

    (*A grad student’s morning, which means "anytime between waking and breakfast")

  • Martin MS says:

    Hey Chris,
    thanks for this episode, especially for the great music (love los hermanos Gutierrez!!). I really admire your measured (?) stance on the pretty loaded vaccine question, but (you saw this coming, right?) I would like to add one little detail which – at least for me – turns the whole thing around, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
    You give the example of 20 million kids dying of chickenpox vs. 3.000 dying of vaccine side effects, which makes for a pretty compelling pro-vaccination argument from society’s point of view. Now I get that these numbers are meant to be just one random example but I’m afraid they make for pretty much the point Big Pharma makes, and the problem is that these numbers aren’t true. Vaccine manufacturers GROSSLY exaggerate the number of people dying from certain illnesses, while there are very few diseases (at least in Western countries) that actually are seriously dangerous. So my kids are vaccinated against diphtheria, polyomyelitis and tetanus, and if I had to decide again today I would probably reconsider even these. You mention today’s kids getting 50-60 shots – how many of these are supposed to protect from actually statistically seriously dangerous illnesses? 6? Certainly not more than 10. And yes, this stuff does mess with kids’ developing immune systems (and probably turns quite a number of them into lifetime pharma customers – yes, I’m into "conspiracy theories").
    So, as much as I like your Solomonish take on this, I really don’t think both sides are right, and I would love you to really consider this because I just can’t not give a shit your opinion :-).
    Anyway, all the best & take care.

    • Even if they don’t die from viral diseases, those who survive risk horrible side effects as a result from it. Complications from measles range from permanent deafness to encephalitis.

      Besides, the brunt of this antivaxx fear is being offset to poorer countries, where health and nutrition are worse than in developed ones. You might bring your unvaccinated kid to Costa Rica or Malaysia, and as a result a whole village gets infected. I don’t see the fairness in that.

      Yes, maybe kids nowadays are getting more shots than kids in the 60’s. Maybe it’s because people are travelling more than ever all around the world, and this increases the risk of American kids to contract a disease they would only have been exposed to in the ’60s if they had been the children of missionaries in Africa.

      People in the conspiracy-theory world love to invoke the ghost of Big Pharma. Let me dust off my old tinfoil hat here for a minute and offer the idea that, to Big Pharma, the Antivaxx movement is a GODSEND. Big Pharma profits more from people that REMAIN ill all their lives from viral complications –like the ones I’ve mentioned before– than from providing a shot to a person that will keep it healthy for most of its life. That’s why they’re keeping the cancer cure hidden from us, right?

      • Martin MS says:

        "Big Pharma profits more from people that REMAIN ill all their lives from viral complications –like the ones I’ve mentioned before– than from providing a shot to a person that will keep it healthy for most of its life."
        Yeah. Sure. That’s of course why they’re trying to jail parents who refuse to have their kids vaccinated, but whatever.
        Boy oh boy. Why is it that the TS community is questioning such a number of the things civilizing us to death – but some ("Putin is evil. Vaccinations work and have no problematic side effects.") are treated as dogma? Despite the number of serious scientific studies comparing the health status of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, which is zero?

  • Gthangbaby Cakes says:

    People only eat death if they can’t make life. Creativity vs consumerism. Light vs Dark. Forward vs backwards. India vs China haha also animal farming is 50 billion, uses 10 times more water than fruit and veg, the world will run out of water that’s why people should not eat meat, it’s mathematics, also we’re all connected, you’re a metaphor of the planet. Fear is a take, love is a give. What do you live for?

    • Greg says:

      Even if we we went vegan, habitat loss is the cause of our mass extinction. More people, and more houses and less environment. I could see a future whereby all meat is made in the laboratory or protein is synthesized but the entire planet would be covered in buildings and the animals and plants remaining our the benefactors. Amongst the birds song birds will be fine, but WhipPoWhills and other forest birds would be in peril along with other forest creatures.

      • Forget lab-grown meat. Eating insects seems a far better and cheaper way to ensure healthy protein for human and animal consumption. I even had this wild idea once that the spaceships that send people to Mars should be equipped with a vat where they could grow crickets and mealworms.

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