Today’s quiz: what are the right putting in their bodies?

OK multiple choice question. What surprising thing are the right (from the intellectual dark web to the alt-right) consuming? Is it…

  1. Milk
  2. Bleach
  3. Turpentine
  4. Benzodiazepine
  5. All of the above at the same time
  6. All of the above but at different times

Did you guess 6? Well done!

Milk. This is an old one and the alt-right have been trying to make a point about genetics, race and Europeaness by ostentatiously drinking milk (see https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/milk-white-supremacy-racism_n_5bffad35e4b0864f4f6a3e28?ri18n=true ) As always their grasp of genetics and evolution is limited.

Bleach. In recent years, the right have been highly vulnerable to quackery to the extent it can be hard to work out who is the con-artist and who is the gullible mark within their ranks. Now they’ve latched on to a quack cure that’s been sold before as a cure for everything from AIDS to cancer. The snake oil is basically bleach and QANON fans have been recommending it as a protection against coronavirus. (https://www.thedailybeast.com/qanon-conspiracy-theorists-magic-cure-for-coronavirus-is-drinking-lethal-bleach?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning ) Needless to say, it isn’t.

Turpentine. Former comic and now main attraction at Vox Day’s streaming service, Owen Benjamin has apparently taken to drinker small amounts of turpentine to cure intestinal parasites. Again, I’ll just note for the record that drinking turpentine is a bad idea. (see here for the history of this toxic habit https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/is-turpentine-medicine )

Benzodiazepine. At least this is a prescribable drug and not a cleaning product. However, it is mildly surprising to discover that Jordan Peterson has been struggling with an apparent addiction to the drug. (http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2020/02/08/jordan-petersons-quest-to-beat-his-addiction-to-klonopin-sent-him-to-russia-and-nearly-killed-him-his-daughter-says/ ) Nothing wrong with taking your prescribed meds but there is something deeply incongruous between Peterson’s actual mental health and his public claims about mental health (his own, other people’s and the best approaches to it). Back in 2018 Peterson and his daughter were championing a meat only diet as a kind of panacea for physical and mental health (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/stephaniemlee/jordan-peterson-daughter-mikhaila-meat-carnivore-diet )

39 thoughts on “Today’s quiz: what are the right putting in their bodies?

  1. 1) Lactose tolerance is of course quite common in Europeans; it’s also common in East Africhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance#/media/File:Lactose_tolerance_in_the_Old_World.svg

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  2. I literally was just reading about the latest Jordan Peterson fiasco. Also: Russia? Again? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Although it makes sense when you find out that his daughter’s husband is apparently Russian; Toronto has a fairly large Russian population. I myself have lived near two different Russian Orthodox churches and my wife and I joke that living near one is apparently one of our requirements for a house.

    I’ve also read that the reason he had to go to Russia was that Canadian hospitals wouldn’t go through treatment as quickly as Russian hospitals. Out of fear for his health. (Although this came from some rando on reddit and should be taken with a grain of salt.)

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  3. …and now Amazon is giving me Jordan Peterson’s magnum opus in a search for a completely unrelated book.

    Unrelated rant: Amazon search is becoming increasingly useless. Is it pollution of the data from third party sellers, promoted products, machine learning, targeted advertising or all of the above?

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      1. I think that’s part of it–Kindle Store search results are completely useless–but not all of it.

        I don’t get it consistently and I’ve now used every device in the house both signed into my account and not and in incognito mode. I do get it wherever I’m logged into my account, but I only get it sometimes when I’m not logged in and not at all on my tablet. So unless Amazon does a poor job of syncing up instances of its product database(s) there’s something else going on here.

        At the same time, the book I’m looking for doesn’t show up in the first 9-10 pages of results (and I’m searching for it by the title!). The way I found the damn thing on amazon.ca is to search for it with the exact same terms on chapters.indigo.ca, where it was the second result, and use the author’s name.

        Yes, I’m obsessed. Why do you ask?

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    1. I’ve had a few problems lately, where a search with
      [book name] [author name]
      won’t bring up the book. I’ve had to go roundabout to find it, by searching just on the author, clicking their name to get to their page, and finding it in their list of books.

      In one case, even that didn’t work, and I think I ended up having to find the ISBN elsewhere and use that. The book was there, but damn, Amazon’s search did not want to serve it up to me.

      And yes, search results are now stuffed with paid-promoted self-published works on every page, and it takes up a huge amount of time and effort weeding through them. It’s really annoying.

      Also, be sure to clear your “My Browsing History” periodically of works that you’re not interested in reading. I looked up a book which had the same title as some big-selling Christian book, and it started serving me all sorts of whacked-out suggestions.

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      1. I have browsing history turned off completely and I check that I don’t want items I buy used for recommendations. The only Amazon recommendation feature I find useful is “Other people who looked at/bought this also looked at” and I can’t even get that when I want it.

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      2. The problem is that certain self-publishers are only too happy to throw large amounts of money at Amazon, spending 999 dollars to make 1000. And since Amazon likes to make money, they are giving those ads more and more room, even though the ads are bloody annoying and often not relevant to whatever book they’re being shown with. Cause, no I’m not going to buy “Exploding spaceships in space, Volume 7”, when I’m looking for the latest by N.K. Jemisin or Ann Leckie or Yoon Ha Lee or Mary Robinette Kowal.

        Though it’s not just self-published authors doing it. I suspect Baen is doing it, too, and has been doing it for a while, because Amazon keeps throwing Baen book at me, particularly those by Larry Correia, even though I buy comparatively few Baen books and would rather tear out my fingernails than read anything by Larry Correia.

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      3. The so-called “also boughts” (Other people who bought/viewed this item also bought/viewed X) are apparently being phased out, for while they were useful to readers, they cannot be monetised as well as ads. And so they only show up once in a while and never on some books.

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    2. Think Amazon’s problem is the same as Steam had a few years ago. Ineffective quality control.

      Steam got flooded with kids doing their first game using flipped assets and essentially turned their green light store into an object of mockery, which probably buried some good independent games. The kids parents should probably have suggested their little darling pay their dues before asking for money but that’s not how it worked

      Amazon is flooded by independent rubbish which has essentially turned their store into an object of mockery, which buries good independent books. The author’s family should probably have suggested an editor and/or learning such basics as viewpoint and dialogue conventions, but that’s not how it worked.

      P.s. I know I’m guilty of poor proof reading of my posts sometimes, but then again I’m not trying to charge you $11 for my posts.

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      1. Hopefulky they are publishing independent quality than independent rubbish, but as I haven’t read works by anyone in this comment section so I wouldn’t know.

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    1. It’s insane that they’ll actively drink a heavy metal and poison themselves but won’t take a vaccine with a proven-safe compound (that isn’t even in a lot of vaccines these days, as I understand it.)

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  4. NBC reporter Brandy Zadrozny’s thread on an anti-vaxx facebook group and its recommendation to stay away from flu vaccines and tamiflu treatment and instead to treat flu with elderberries and by putting potatoes in your socks (with predictably tragic results) Apparently potatoes are big in the griftoverse.

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    1. The GoFundMe for the little boy’s family is categorized under “Accidents and Emergencies”, but it should be “Criminal Negligence and Stupidity”.

      What a sad waste of young person’s life. 😦

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I’ve actually had a doctor suggest onion wraps against a viral ear infection, but that was because I couldn’t take the medication usually prescribed because of allergy issues. Not to mention that I wasn’t dying and that they were considering surgery, if the infection didn’t go away on its own. And while home remedies such as onion wraps, hot potatoes in socks or elderberries can help, they’re no replacement for vaccinations and anti-virals.

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      1. What would be the mechanism for putting potatoes in socks to have any beneficial effect? I’ve only seen it proposed with cold sliced ones, not hot ones, and it sounds like total woo.

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      2. Potato wraps are an old home remedy against fever. And yes, they’re supposed to be cold raw potatoes – my mistake. There are quite a lot of home remedies involving putting some kind of foodstuff (potatoes, onions, mustard, quark) in napkins or towels and making a wrap.

        I suppose a lot of these home remedies either cool or keep the body warm, because the filling of the towel absorbs heat. The onions also give off substances which are beneficial. They can help and basically putting a package filled with a chopped up onion on my ears helped me with my viral ear infection better than taking antibiotics (it was a viral infection, so antibiotics don’t work) and doing nothing did.

        But while there may be a kernel of truth to some home remedies, they are a supporting treatment and cannot replace vaccinations and drugs.

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  5. I’d like to share a positive drug story then. I’ve got chronic knee pain, which is probably early stage osteoarthritis. Whenever I stand up or climb stairs it feels like someone is sticking a needle under my kneecap on every step. (Walking on flat terrain or going downstairs is okay.) I can take high-dose ibuprofen to make the pain go away, but after about 5 days, the ibuprofen itself causes enough problems that I have to stop taking it. Basically it means I can get a 5-day pain vacation every month or two.

    I’ve lived with this for a few years now.

    After my last ibuprofen-induced pain vacation ended with an eye hemorrhage, my doctor suggested we try Diclofenac 1 % Topical Gel. Now my first reaction was “what good can a gel do?” But it turns out that this gel soaks through the skin and delivers medication directly to the joint. Diclofenac actually has worse side effects than ibuprofen, but the dosage is so low that that’s not a problem. It makes sense that you’ve got to use a lot of medication if you’re going to flood the whole body with it vs. if you can deliver just the right amount directly to the joint.

    And it works brilliantly. Seven days now, with zero side-effects and zero pain, at a cost of about $15/week. It’s a bit inconvenient to use, since you have to do it four times a day, but given the benefits, I’ll happily do this for the rest of my life. I just hope it a) keeps working and b) doesn’t turn up a side-effect after a few months or something.

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    1. I have used diclofenac gel as a topical analgesic (and, to some extent, anti-inflammatory) for bad sprains in the past. The one thing O would say is to be super-careful about washing your hands afterwards, even a small amount of diclofenac gel ingested gave me a really rather horribly upset stomach.

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    2. Yup, diclofenac gel can very effective. It’s ubiquitous here in Germany and you can get it in any pharmacy (Apotheke) without prescription. BTW you can also get ibuprofen gel here also without prescription.

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      1. Yup, diclofenac gel is so common in Germany and available without prescription to the point that I’m surprised that it apparently isn’t as easily available in the US.

        I’m not a fan of diclofenac, because my Mom developed heart trouble after being prescribed diclofenac against athritis pain for years, when the side effects weren’t yet well known. We discontinued the diclofenac, once we learned about the risks, but she developed heart issues anyway she might otherwise not have had.

        However, the dosage in diclofenac gel is too low to cause side effects, so it’s safe to use. I use it when Kytta salve (the herbal alternative to diclofenac gel, contains syphytum officinale, which carries its own share of risks, though again not at the doses used in salve) doesn’t help.

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    3. Thanks for this anecdote, btw. I was at the doctor’s today, and she diagnosed my hand pain as tennis elbow and said I should keep taking the naproxen (NSAID) pills. I said something like “a friend of mine said he’d gotten good results from using a gel instead” and she agreed that was reasonable, and called in a prescription for me to use if I feel like I need it in a bit. You may have saved me some amount of pain and/or an extra trip to the doctor.

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  6. I saw bleach, and turpentine, and clearly I am an evil person, because my immediate thought was “aha! They are trying to counteract the effects of all the paint they ate as children!” But that is a very, very wrong thought and I should be very ashamed of myself. Bad Steve! No biscuit!

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  7. The fun one on the milk is that these are usually the same people who call non-neo-Nazi men “soy boys” on the belief that eating a lot of soy, which has some types of estrogen, will up the estrogen levels in men and thus turn those men women-like which to them makes them inferior. Milk has lots of estrogen, especially if it’s whole milk. In reality, neither milk nor soy significantly affect estrogen levels in people (though soy might help a tiny bit with hot flashes in women.) But the idea that the guys desperate to avoid soy as a wimpy girl cootie estrogen food are also swallowing huge amounts of estrogen-heavy milk is funny. And you don’t have to feel quite as bad about laughing over it, since milk is not a poison, unlike some of the other substances mentioned.

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    1. What’s possibly even more fun is that one of the body’s own estrogen pre-cursors is testosterone, Or, at least, if I remember my biochem correctly.

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