July 24, 2009

This magazine cover freaked me out.

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Each element of it freaked me out more than the next. There's the big debate about whether it's okay for you not to get your child vaccinated because of the way other people's children are taking responsibility for keeping diseases out of the way of your precious bundle of purity. There are those bento box lunches. Breast milk and Mongolia. "How touch can help you and your child with anger."

And then there's that cover baby with the giant forehead. Photoshopped? But why? To convey braininess? Braininess in a baby who is looking to you for answers... questioning you... do you know enough about vaccination dangers, elite food packaging, breast milk in those distant places where people must be so wise and pure, and touch, come on, touch me — how?! — touch me or I might become enraged in ways that you — you with your tiny brain — cannot possibly imagine.

IN THE COMMENTS: rhhardin said:
Each element of it freaked me out more than the next.

That's a favorite, up there with "fills a much needed gap."

LOL. You got me there.

And Chip Ahoy says he's freaked out too:

61 comments:

Mark Daniels said...
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Mark Daniels said...

I think the kid looks adorable.

kathleen said...

i'm freaked out that you're freaked out by this magazine cover.

EDH said...

Club Baby Head, Providence RI.

Defunct (1997) punk club. Was located at 73 Richmond St. Replaced by clubs of various sorts, in recent years Club Hell.

Bissage said...

(1) That is exactly the problem with these super brainy kids. They start out cute enough but they grow up to look like THIS.

(2) What?

Christy Turlington is 40?

OH NOES!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MadisonMan said...

When I'm at the Pediatrician with my now-teenaged kids, I always browse the Parents Magazine that inevitably is there.

I'm convinced they just recycle the stories every 5 years.

And yes, unvaccinated children DO put others at risk. This was discussed in Parents Magazine 7 or so years ago. And also 12 or 13 years ago.

MadisonMan said...
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MadisonMan said...

I want to know why the parents put a PINK BOW in that boy's hair!

Ralph L said...

When my sister was that age, she had practically no hair. My parents taped a bow onto her head in public, so people wouldn't think she was a boy.

Sy said...

I wonder if Sotomayer subscribes to that magazine on the bottom right?

Freeman Hunt said...

Ha ha. I have to agree. This is why, despite being the mother of a two year old and a baby, I read no parenting magazines.

For reading on such topics, books are much better.

(Plus, you wouldn't believe how much political agenda bullshit is pushed in those rags.)

Freeman Hunt said...

The bows are cute, but I tell you now that if I ever have a girl, there will be no baby bows. Or uncomfortable girl clothes/shoes.

The Drill SGT said...

The anti-vaccine truthers are luddites.

Scott M said...

I find it interesting and not a little disturbing that the CDC has stopped issuing the death count for H1N1.

Freeman Hunt said...

Even better, the magazine on the bottom right:

Sage Woman
Celebrating the Goddess in Every Woman


With that big brain, can there be any doubt that that baby girl won't grow up to be a "sage woman?"

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

At least she won't suffer from Black American Princess Syndrome

Jenny said...

Those mothering/parenting magazines are insane. The best course is to steer away from all of them.

Paul Snively said...

kathleen: i'm freaked out that you're freaked out by this magazine cover.

Althouse is, rightly, freaked out by the reduction of the awesome responsibility and privilege that is parenting to just another collection of pop-culture fads, to say nothing of the anti-science that is the vaccine "debate."

rhhardin said...

Each element of it freaked me out more than the next.

That's a favorite, up there with "fills a much needed gap."

Beth said...

Is there a vaccination for encephalitis?

rhhardin said...

There's the big debate about whether it's okay for you not to get your child vaccinated

That's the parenting divsion of organized news anxiety.

Wm. Kerrigan

This new space, ``social anxiety,'' seems to be an extensive one. There's no housing shortage when it comes to social anxiety. Today we have environmental anxiety (the main subsets being clean air, clean water, clean sunlight); food anxiety; trash anxiety; hatred anxiety; dirt anxiety; dating anxiety; consumer anxiety; parenting anxiety (some of the subsets being toy, spanking, lessons, college, and money anxiety); academic anxiety; television anxiety; political anxiety (subsets too numerous to mention); fashion anxiety; hair anxiety; wealth anxiety; job anxiety; speech anxiety; endangered species anxiety; crime anxiety; medical anxiety; alcohol anxiety; smoking anxiety; and so on through every compartment of modern existence of news anxiety.

Chase said...

Here's the problem with the vaccine thing: we are constantly told that there is no proven correlation between autism and certain vaccines.

I have 3 physicians in my family, 2 of them my brothers, and one of those is a nationally recognized pediatrician specializing in juvenile diabetes. They are not holistic or in any way out of the mainstream. But at family dinners and gatherings, when this subject is brought up, they always comment on how their is still a very possible correlation, but that politics trumps any true research settling this subject as this is a tremendous threat to the financial and political stability status quo.

Seeing as how the front pages this week reported that the government quashed reports on the dangers of cell phone driving because of political pressure, it is more than fair - indeed it is patriotic - to demand that a true study be done: completely in the open by a government entity.

I am the first in line to debunk conspiracy theories - I can more than hold my own against JFK assassination numbskulls, 9/11 truthers, and "birthers" and I am almost always against massive government inquires and commissions. But something stinks here.

And many - if not most - doctors and politicians know it.

tim maguire said...

The debate about health risks of vaccines is fine, but it is not OK to hint that maybe unvaccinated kids don't put the other kids at risk. Parents already struggling with the propaganda don't need an easy out (at least not THAT easy out).

The nose is supposed to be in the center of the face. That forehead makes her look like a doll rather than a child.

ironrailsironweights said...

When my sister was that age, she had practically no hair.

Today, tragically, most adult women have no hair. The triumph of the hideous pedophilic Bald Eagle is nearly complete.

Oh wait, you meant head hair. Never mind.

Peter

Old RPM Daddy said...
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tim maguire said...

Chase, I agree about the politics. There are several big problems with the debate as I understand it.

One of them is that vaccine requirements have grown explosively so that babies today are big pin cushions.

Another is that many of the most "risky" vaccines are also the least necessary. (My wife and I had to fight with the hospital when she was born to stop them from giving her a vaccine for sexually transmitted diseases!)

Old RPM Daddy said...

Ms. Althouse, you seem to be channeling a certain writer from Minneapolis. You're sounding a little Lileksian today.

Chase -- I forgot, what's a "birther?"

Ralph L said...

They are not holistic or in any way out of the mainstream
But they're not epidemiologists, either, are they?
If large numbers of parents stop immunizing, large numbers of children will die.
It's long been known that a very few react badly to vaccines.

Ricardo said...

OMG. Is Althouse thinking of having another child? Do I hear a muted tick-tock in the background?

Chip Ahoy said...

Ya know what? That magazine cover freaks me out too.

Ralph L said...

The increase in autism is obviously caused by feminism and promiscuous sex churning up testosterone in young women. And high fructose corn syrup.

Freeman Hunt said...

Totally OT, but did Rush really just mention Althouse as noted in another thread?

garage mahal said...

Chase
My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 a little over a month after receiving a battery of immunizations for school. We've always wondered if there was a correlation, and of course will never know. For our 2nd we requested thiomersal free (49% mercury), and only 1 per visit. I don't think it's a giant leap to research the tie in the rise in diseases like autism and juvenile diabetes to the rise in the number (triple since 1980) of vaccinations given to those under the age of 2.

MayBee said...

Parenting magazines are to be skimmed every few months by new parents. Actually reading them too often will only convince you of your horrible parenting.

Before the autism debate against vaccinations, there was the instant death debate. Doctors had to start giving out waivers for parents to sign which were full of the horrors of what could go wrong. And here is the new parent, in love with her baby in a way she's never felt before, and she just doesn't want to do anything to harm him and it seems a very scary, close decision.

It's almost like the anti-vaccination movement has been a cause in search of a villain.

Methadras said...

Cute kid. Giant forehead. Looks chopped.

MadisonMan said...

Birthers are the lunatics who claim Obama was not born in the US.

traditionalguy said...

What's all this fuss and bother about these Recent Foetuses starting to cause us inconvenience?We have rights, don't we? And the CO2 burden of another breather and eater of animals cannot be overestimated. And how can our precious Planet heal itself with humans still trampling it? Those are the real questions that worthy government Scientists are working on today. Darwin needs our help again.

MadisonMan said...

traditionalguy, I don't know about you, but I've sequestered at least 100 pounds of carbon in my body. When I die it's all being converted to carbon dioxide and released into the atmosphere.

Kill me at the Planet's peril.

Old RPM Daddy said...

@MadisonMan: "Birthers are the lunatics who claim Obama was not born in the US."

Oh, that's right, thanks. It's just getting to where I need a scorecard to tell Truthers from Birthers from whomever else.

OT, but have you ever wanted to start some kind of conspiracy theory just to see if anyone buys it?

Maguro said...

I don't think it's a giant leap to research the tie in the rise in diseases like autism and juvenile diabetes to the rise in the number (triple since 1980) of vaccinations given to those under the age of 2.

Actually, thimerosol hasn't been used in routine childhood vaccinations since the early 90s, so there's no need to request thimerosol-free vaccines anymore. Also note that the increase in autism hasn't been affected by the thimerosol ban.

Measuring a statistical rise is cases of autism doesn't tell you much of anything because the definition of autism has gotten much more inclusive as the years pass.

It used to be that you wouldn't get a diagnosis of autism unless it was a pretty severe case with noticeable developmental delay. Not the case anymore...lots of normally functioning kids are diagnosed as autistic these days. In the old days they would have labeled quirky or a little weird, now they have Asperger's or autism.

One example - back in 1993 when my son was diagnosed with autism, when I told people my son was autistic the reaction was either "Oh my god, I'm sorry" or "What's that?"

These days, the most typical response is "Oh yeah, my cousin is autistic too...he's a junior at Souther Illinois majoring in computer science".

Today's diagnosis of "autism" doesn't describe thae same set of symptoms that it did 15, 20 or 30 years ago.

Shifting definitions mean that everything you hear about a "massive rise in autism" is statistically meaningless.

Freeman Hunt said...

...autism cases continued to rise even after thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative widely blamed for the supposed autism link, was largely phased out of U.S. vaccines by 2001.

Here with cites.

There has been a TON of research on autism and vaccines. There is no link. Time to find out what really causes autism and stop wasting resources looking in the wrong place again and again.

Ralph L said...

have you ever wanted to start some kind of conspiracy theory just to see if anyone buys it?
In college, I told my roommate's girlfriend that a relentlessly cheerful student had had a lobotomy before college to treat depression. Two days later, the student asked me why I told people she'd had a lobotomy. I believe she's now an English professor.

Freeman Hunt said...

Shifting definitions mean that everything you hear about a "massive rise in autism" is statistically meaningless.

Too true.

Get immunized.

Sapphira said...

garage mahal and Chase -

From what any medical professional around me has said, the only research that is easily available doesn't prove, or disprove, any reliable link between vaccinations and juvenile diabetes or autism.

What resonates with me is that the criteria for diagnosing - and even defining - autism has been refined recently. Funny, that when that happened, the correlations with vaccinations also seem to happen. Are vaccinations, then, also the cause of the increase in ADD/ADHD in kids, since the diagnostic criteria for those was refined around the same time as the increase in vaccinations?

I'm not saying it's not possible, but I think people are jumping to conclusions that could (and have) had devastating consequences, such as little kids getting diseases that were all but extinct until someone decided to be an anti-vaccer.

As for juvenile diabetes rising, I think that's much more easily explained by lack of exercise and proper diet among our youth, than the rise in vaccinations.

As for the baby's forehead, I just pray that her parents have some bangs cut once her hair is long enough.

Bruce Hayden said...

The increase in autism is obviously caused by feminism and promiscuous sex churning up testosterone in young women. And high fructose corn syrup.

I think that part of the problem with blaming Autism on vaccines is that no plausible mechanism has been suggested yet. On the other hand, there is evidence that much, if not most, of the brain differences of autistics exist prior to birth.

The most plausible theory that I have heard comes from Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen)'s cousin Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, who suggested assortative mating. Two engineers, with very linear minds work together, fall in love, get married, have kids, and those kids have ASD as a result of combining their genes.

Triangle Man said...

@Sapphira

"doesn't prove, or disprove"

In philosophical terms, nothing in science is ever disproved (in other words, real proof exists only in mathematics). In practical terms, if there is no evidence to support a link despite adequately designed studies to uncover one, then the link is effectively disproved. In the case of autism and vaccine, the link has been disproved to the extent that it ever can be.

Ralph L said...

Bruce, that makes sense to me. I do wonder if working years in "masculine" studies and professions changes both sex's brain chemistry. Obviously, women now usually go to professions they're good at. This is also a change from previous generations.

howzerdo said...

It's true that very few react badly to vaccines. But when you or your loved one are among the very few, it tends to color your viewpoint. One of my brothers reacted badly and recovered. Another reacted badly, and died. (My parents refused an autopsy. I got his death certificate a few years ago, and it says "pneumonitis.")

The result was that I have never been vaccinated. I was born long before the growth in the number of recommended vaccines, but even at that time, they were required to attend public school. Our GP was very dear to us, mourned my brother with my parents, understood my mother's feelings, and he signed off on papers that said I had been vaccinated so that I could go to school.

My mother was not holistic in the modern sense, although she was (and is) old fashioned and out of the mainstream; my grandfather was born in 1874 and was 59 when my mother was born. We also drank raw milk, cooked everything from scratch, grew and canned veggies, sewed our own clothes, etc. long before Martha Stewart told us it was cool.

jimspice said...

Kill me at the Planet's peril.

Unless you are a fossil fuel golem, the release of your carbon back into the system will have no short term (million years or so) effect on the overall carbon in the environment. I don't feel guilty about a small backyard fire because that wood would have rotted and entered the cycle again shortly anyway. Building a coal fire, though, would add to the carbon load.

Floridan said...

Tim McGuire: "My wife and I had to fight with the hospital when she was born to stop them from giving her a vaccine for sexually transmitted diseases!"

The only vaccination that is routinely administered at birth is for Hepatitis B.

As far as I know, there is no recommended "sexually transmitted diseases" vaccine for infants.

If you are referring to the HPV vaccine, that is not given until the 11th or 12th year.

If that is what your hospital wanted to give your infant, I suggest you contact your state health department.

traditionalguy said...

Madison Man... A new Coffin Tax will have this covered. (The money has always been their target, since CO2 is harmless). But the master stroke for Obama/Pelossi will be a certain tax at a certain time in every life and will be the CO2 luxury tax to be payed before our family can claim our gasseous Carbon form bodies for burial. But what great health care we will get, until it mysteriously runs out.

BJM said...

I love bento boxes! There has been a friendly Obento photo/recipe competition online for ages.

E-Obento is a legendary daily diary obento site with a different lunch each day (click on monthly calendar at the top of the frame set). The obento moms are a fascinating peek into the Japanese sub culture that has caught on among American foodies too:

Pikko

Eat My Bento

Bento Lunches

Especially for those of us raised on a PBJ and an apple in a paper sack.

Ralph L said...

Howzerdo, I can well understand why you weren't vaccinated--they obviously don't float in your gene pool--but raw milk on top of it!

Of course, our mother let us get sunburnt knowing her own mother had died of melanoma, which I also got at 30, so I shouldn't complain.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Yeah, that magazine freaked me out on so many levels.

Methadras said...

Excellent job, Chip. It looks a lot like me... We must be related. BATBOY TO THE RESCUE!!!

blake said...

Shifting definitions mean that everything you hear about a "massive rise in autism" is statistically meaningless.

Which, intriguingly, is the argument made by the anti-polio vaccine people: That the cure of polio was made by the CDC redefining what polio was.

The autism field seems horribly polluted to me. Someone here a few months ago suggested that televisions caused autism, or that a study implying that they did had merit.

My Internet research shows that everyone agrees the Amish make a good control for some of these claims. As it turns out, the Amish don't vaccinate and they don't have autism, or the Amish don't vaccinate and they DO have autism, or the Amish in fact DO vaccinate, making them useless as a control.

I hope that helps.

If memory serves, there was an island in the South Pacific that had never seen polio, was 100% vaccinated, and ended up with a serious, decimating polio problem.
(Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones by, I'm not making this up, Barbara Semen.)

Perhaps not all vaccines are equal.

Joe said...

The increase in diagnoses of autism correspond with a parallel decrease in the diagnoses of mental retardation.

kentuckyliz said...

That's a really bad hairstyle choice for a child with macrocephaly.

If the kid were vaccinated maybe her head wouldn't be so mis-shaped.

Home birth with kitchen tongs?

srfwotb said...

@freeman_hunt You are just tempting the Gods to hand you Girl Baby of the Dominating Will and All Consuming Desire for PInk and Purple Sparkly Princess Clothes, you know.

blake said...

Aww, that ain't so bad.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I was doing some research for my Mom a few months ago on the new shingles vaccine, whch she wanted to get, but was worried about the rumor she had heard that it was created from aborted babies.

Yes, the vaccine is made from aborted children, as are almost all vaccines: http://www.cogforlife.org/fetalvaccines.htm.

There are ethical alternatives to most, but we are never told the basis for the vaccine, or that we have an alternative.

And, can someone explain to me how my unvaccinated child is a danger to your vaccinated one? If your child is vaccinated against Polio, doen't that protect your child from the disease? So if my child is unvaccinated for polio, how does that affect the health of your child? Even if my child has polio, yours should never be at risk, right?