Ghosts of blogposts past

It’s really nice to be back at blogging, and sorry for the longer-than-usual hiatus. Holidays, work, kids and house renovations (along with a dose of self-destructive perfectionism and writer’s block. Don’t ask) and just plain life conspired to keep me away from this space, but hopefully, things will be settling down in the next few weeks and we’ll be back in our blessed groove again.

Just because I was busy, however, doesn’t mean I gave up my online life entirely. Those of you who blog can probably attest that reading other people’s stuff, and even reacting to written stuff in comments or messageboard posts, is a lot easier than composing blogposts. So I kept up with my reading, and found a lot of material in the past month which made for worthy sequels to things I’d already written about here.

For example, just about a year ago, we were discussing why Gardasil is not likely to be responsible for deaths that occur immediately following vaccination. This point was driven home by the recent tragic death of 14-year-old Natalie Morton, who died unexpectedly a few hours after receiving the Cervarix vaccine, which also protects against acquisition of HPV. Turns out she had a large, previously undiagnosed tumor in her chest which infitrated her heart and one of her lungs, and that was the true cause of death. Not that the kkkonspiracy-minded kkkrazies were convinced, of course, but I hope it was an object lesson for the saner among us.

Remember those British Mums who thought some classic fairy tales were too scary for their children? Well, apparently, some parents have similar concern about the movie based upon one of my children’s favorite books*, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild things Are. Sendak himself, however, has told these worrywarts exactly where they can go. In other words, Sendak roared his terrible roars and gnashed his terrible teeth and rolled his terrible eyes and showed his terrible claws…and good for him 🙂 .

Our last stroll down deja vu lane today concerns this old post, in which I rolled my eyes at the lactofanatics’ outrage over breastpump manufacturer Medela’s advertisement of bottles, in apparent violation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (which, to some, seems to surpass the Holy Bible in its involability). Well, do I have news for you: You thought Medela was bad? Turns out that Medela is purer than fresh-driven snow compared to the sins of … Lansinoh.

Yes, the makers of breastfeeding aids best known for their wool lanolin nipple ointment (which has surely saved many a breastfeeding relationship), though not themselves code breakers, have committed a grievous sin when they allowed themselves to be purchased by a Far East bottle manufacturer named Pigeon, which had the temerity to advertise their products in ways the lactofanatics disapprove of (again, invoking the draconian and outdated Code), and by donating bottles for use during natural disasters in the past. The latter especially annoys me. While we all realize that, and especially in sites of natural disasters where food and clean water are scarce, breastfeeding should be the method of choice for feeding infants, possibly followed by cupfeeding (as cups are easier to clean than bottles), we also must realize that natural disasters cause a lot of chaos, not to mention a lot of dead or absent mothers, and mothers who may lose their milk due to dehydration and stress. Which means that unless NGOs on the site have a brigade of wet-nurses and/or experienced cup-feeders on hand, bottles are going to be needed in such a situation. The giving out of bottles to the public should be at the NGOs discretion, but they need to get them from somewhere.

Apparently, even the ILCA (International Lactation Consultant Association) has deemed Lanisnoh’s products kosher; however, for the really ultra-orthodox among the lactofanatics, this isn’t quite enough. One might even think this is less about breastfeeding support and more about the eeeeevil capitalistic corporations for these people…sigh.

*To the point where, though I haven’t read it for years, I still know it by heart.


9 Responses

  1. You know, I’m usually with you on most points you make but I think Maurice Sendak was being a jerk. First of all, no parents have said anything to Sendak about the scariness of the film–it was a reporter asking him a hypothetical question. Sendak should’ve told the reporter to stop asking stupid questions, not tell parents to go to hell. Second, what’s wrong with a parent avoiding movies that could frighten their children? My 2-year-old son was scared by the fight scenes in Kung Fu Panda, so for the time being we’re avoiding movies with fight scenes, even cartoonish ones. That’s not being overprotective–that’s knowing your kid and doing what’s right for them.

    • Thanks for clarifying that there were no actual parent protests about the movie being too scary, Li. The wording of the question (the original interview is here) made me think there were parents who actually made this claim.

      No doubt Sendak was being a cantakerous old codger, wording his answer the way he did (and I doubt either the interviewer or Sendak were thinking about 2-year-olds). And that’s why the movie is rated PG: parents are supposed to supervise such a movie choices, and if a specific child is especially timid, then s/he probably should forgo the movie. But why would parents assume that the average kid of the age group interested in such a movie (say the 4-8 year olds) be so affected? And even if they were, would the experience scar them for life?

      I dunno, in my day, such a kid would already have been exposed to slapstick violence in the manner of Loony Toons or Popeye and be somewhat inured to it all. Are they still showing reruns of those, or is it all Arthur, all the time?

      • I don’t think these decisions should be made solely on age but on the child’s maturity and their individual sensitivities. I was a very imaginative kid and I’d have weeks of nightmares after seeing films that other kids sailed through (or even toys–the Garbage Pail Kids were popular when I was in elementary school and they gave me nightmares). Am I scarred for life? No, but it made for some unpleasant experiences.

        This really isn’t a one size fits all situation and I hate the way Sendak and others are making these blanket condemnations of parents–especially when these condemnations are based on a hypothetical question by a reporter. There’s no evidence that any parents are inappropriately keeping their kids from seeing the movie.

      • They show Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry, but not specifically marketed at kids–you need to go to something like Cartoon Network.

        The slightly-older-kids cartoons still have some slapstick (SpongeBob SquarePants does) but nothing like Tom & Jerry (which is rather violent, I must say!) The younger kids’ shows are pretty resolutely non-violent and attempt to be educational in some way–Blue’s Clues, Dora, Sesame Street. Some of them make ME violent.

        I haven’t seen the film, but friends who did said it’s heavily aimed at adults who read it as kids–some weren’t even sure kids would enjoy it much. (Of course, the minute I saw Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers, not to mention the cast, soundtrack, and so on, I got that feeling myself.)

  2. Glad your back. I have missed you point of view.

  3. I came across this site and I just want to say that I’ll definitely be back! I read some of Your vax-posts and liked them a lot; as a mom and a scientist (DVM, PhD-stud.) I’m quite furious with these claims the anti-vax crowd make. Here in Finnland they haven’t been gettin much support yet, but with this pandemia-vax scare people are really starting to search for “knowledge” of vaccinations and too many find these claims “reasonable and scientific”. Keep up the good work!

  4. Would love to see you do a post on the WHO code. I am glad that I am not the only one that does the eyeroll when its mention is invoked.

    Thanks for writing again!

  5. I totally missed you! 🙂

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