Thursday, December 30, 2010

After Awhile It Just Becomes Obvious That Insolence Doesn't Really Require Respect

Poor Orac. The guy's a fucking cancer surgeon and he has to deal with the kookiest NewAge shit imaginable being rubbed in his face for shits and giggles. Seriously, if you ever thought adulthood isn't all you thought it was cracked up to be, put yourself in his shoes:

Years and years of training, study, and life-and-death experience, but more people would still rather listen to Jenny McCarthy - fucking brutal.

Hell, in relative terms, The Macho Response - a blog run by a crackhead artist with an anti-cult fetish - has more cache' than Respectful Insolence does, and RI's run by someone who can literally pull a life back from the abyss.

It shouldn't be that way. Orac should be able to speak and know the entire world is cupping it's ear to catch every word but, instead, it's TMR that's trying to advise Respectful Insolence on how to stop looking like a laughing stock every time some NewAger pops up and starts spouting off about some cult nonsense that any 5 year-old should be able to see through.

The worst though, from where we sit, is that dumb fuck, Orac, is too damned arrogant to accept the help when we offer it to him - and that arrogance is the same reason NewAgers have his type targeted for destruction to begin with. Does any of this sound familiar?

"You doctors think you know everything."

"You think you're God."

"You never listen to anyone else."

Well, if it doesn't, then you're not a doctor because even the nurses are saying it now - and many of the nurses are NewAgers, or do you think "wellness" has made it into hospitals because doctors thought it was "all that"? The NewAge has got the docs surrounded and, doing it Orac's way, there's absolutely no way out for the poor bastards:

They've got you pegged, boy-o.

Orac's latest humiliation comes courtesy of a fellow surgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's popular talking head doctor who was also almost chosen by our Cultist-In-Chief to be the country's Surgeon General.

(Dodged a bullet on that one.)

Anyway, Gupta was on television talking to Susan Casey, editor-in-chief of O Magazine - that would be the editor-in-chief of Oprah Winfrey Magazine - about a faith healer who goes by the name of John of God:

Now, rightfully, Orac got upset at all the usual stuff a typical skeptic doctor would be upset about, starting with the fact that Gupta refers to "Western" medicine, as though what Orac does is part of some separate form of science than what's practiced elsewhere in the world. Lame.

What Orac should've said was "What in the fuck is Gupta doing talking to some plant from Oprah Magazine?!?"

See, it was just last month that Orac was screaming "about how Oprah Winfrey produced a despicably credulous shill job for faith healer John of God." And it was at the beginning of this month he reminded us of how little Oprah cares about the lives of her fans. It's not like he don't know what the bitch is about. But, like so many others, he ignores what Oprah is, and what her influence means, in favor of acting like Dr. Jeff Rediger, in the Gupta clip above, professional, competent-sounding, and useless.

And by the way, what were they recently honoring Oprah for, at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala, again? Her racism? Her weight-loss tips that didn't even work on her? Spreading quackery? Promoting The Secret? Promoting NewAge "beliefs" at all? Promoting the worst president in American history? For doing all that, for so long, on American television? Well oh goody.

As The Church Lady used to say on Saturday Night Live, "Isn't that special?"

Anyway, back to Orac. He ends his Gupta post with this:
I won't be alive 100 years from now, but I'd be willing to bet that "energy healing" will not be at the forefront of medicine in 100 years. I'd even be willing to bet that it won't be at the forefront of medicine in 20 or 30 years (when I should still be alive, accident or serious illness aside). Of course, Casey threw a nice bit of misdirection in there, didn't she? After all, what John of God does is not "energy" medicine; it's faith healing. I also can't help but notice that Dr. Rediger claims that he tried to verify some of the anecdotes of people who claimed to have found healing through John of God by looking at medical records and scans, but, strangely enough, he either can't or won't produce a single example of real healing by John of God. The best he can come up with is the lame observation that this sort of research is "complicated," which implies to me that he hasn't really found a convincing case. If he had, no doubt he would have trumpeted it to anyone who would listen.

Finally, I expect people like Susan Casey and Dr. Rediger to lay down a barrage of credulous excuses for John of God. It doesn't surprise me. What I don't expect is to see someone like Dr. Gupta wrapping up his report by saying that he is "honestly not sure what to make of this" and that this is something he should see for himself. This worries me. It sounds as though Dr. Gupta is planning on taking a trip to Brazil sometime soon to visit John of God. If he exercises the same lack of skepticism that he just exercised in this interview, I expect that his report, should he do it, will be no better than the segment on John of God that Oprah Winfrey aired last month. At the very least, if Dr. Gupta plans on going through with this, I hope he talks to someone like James Randi or Joe Nickell first. He desperately needs an education.
Seriously. That's what you expect from this guy?

A doctor - in need of an education? Imagine that. There seems to be a lot of that going around.

Doctors, scientists, professors - why the entire "credentialed but not educated" class seems to be in need of being taken back to school by somebody - but who could it be?

Orac sounds as credulous about Gupta as Gupta is to the claims of John of God:
"What I don't expect is to see someone like Dr. Gupta wrapping up his report by saying that he is 'honestly not sure what to make of this' and that this is something he should see for himself."
Really? We are talking about the same Dr. Sanjay Gupta, aren't we? The goofball surgeon who believed what the Raelian U.F.O. cult was putting down? When Gupta was picked to be Surgeon General, Orac said:
Do I think Dr. Gupta is sympathetic to antivaccine views? Not at all. But he clearly does not recognize them when he sees them, and he seems tainted by the journalistic tendency to 'tell both sides' even when there is no scientific support at all to one side.
In other words, not only is Sanjay Gupta potentially anti-vaccine but he (like so many others today) is not a man but a fool - and Orac knows it. Gupta's hospital, The University of Arizona, is even on Orac's Academic Woo Aggregator, so the idea that Orac would be surprised about any position this loon holds is,...well, surprising. Well, actually, not really.

Because, of course, what Orac's missing (or more accurately, has been rejecting now for years, because we show more "humanity" than he does) is the big picture regarding The NewAge Movement. Things like how it was, nonsensically, NewAgers Oprah "John of God" Winfrey and Arianna "John-Roger" Huffington (who Orac said runs a "wretched hive of scum and quackery") that provided busses to The Daily Show's "Rally To Restore Sanity". Because we don't treat NewAge in a piecemeal fashion, people in the anti-cult business don't miss ass-backwards things like that - while, we're positive, good ol' Orac wrong-headedly approved with all his heart, merely because the rally had "sanity" in the title. Duh. Brilliant cover, right? Yea, if you're simple and checked your skepticism at the door.

So Orac's missing NewAge. Hell, Orac's even missing what he's written about it - and Sanjay Gupta - so what can one expect? He'll keep on writing about Gupta, or Oprah, or whoever, and, each time, act surprised like it's the first time he ever discovered their pushing NewAge quackery - because it probably will be the first time - all over again. Like we said:

They've got him pegged - Big Time.