Tuesday, February 19, 2008

'Flu

Yeah, so I've got the flu. Again. I haven't been sick in years and this is the second time around of wondering at what point I can request a spinal tap so that they can diagnose what I am convinced now is meningitis. Except, I know it's really just the flu and I'm kind of a big baby.

For a brief second, I regretted not getting the flu shot. Brief second. Okay, for those of you are really tired about my tirades against processed food and the twisted conspiracy that is US healthcare, you can skip the next paragraph. Although I'm not promising the next ones will be any more interesting because that's just where I brag about my grasp of really arbitrary information and how it made me look smart in class. Actually, you may want to just go to the last one, which is probably the most humanizing and/or slightly pathetic.

So, flu strains mutate approximately seven times each year (if you think that's bad, HIV mutates 23 times in a year, which is why we don't have HIV vaccines), and the strains that go into a vaccine are basically handpicked which means that potentially problematic strains are often excluded. That means, at best, you're getting vaccinated against a flu that's no longer around. It's like getting vaccinated against someone's great-great-great-great-great grandfather – who might’ve been a bastard. And if you can't remember their name and where they really came from, they probably can't give you a disease. (Exception made to this analogy for members of the Heritage Foundation). So, essentially, flu shots are a way to just get everyone to cough up $20 to once again risk that the egg yolks that the virus was cultivated in were not contaminated and won't make you sicker than just getting the goddamned flu already. And this year, they REALLY missed the boat:

http://www.buffalonews.com/nationalworld/national/story/277491.html

Yeah, so those of you who have read my blog in the past know about my newfound hate relationship with my International Institutions professor (for those of you don’t, I included the archived post below.) But the other day, while having a discussion about whether Kosovo should be recognized as a private entity, and various states’ oppositions, and despite the fact that thanks to my efforts there is no grading on class participation, I actually had something to say.

“So,” our professor says, “let me read you out the list of names of people opposed to this. (Blah, blah…China…Indonesia..)…Slovakia. Now, any idea of why Slovakia?” He leans back in his chair because I can tell he’s just dying for us to sit there in stunned silence so that he can then impress with his knowledge about Slovakia.

Except this bitch went out with a Slovakian for 2 years, and knows that particular speck of Eastern Europe.

“Well, professor, my first instinct would be that the fear of recognizing independent states based on minority populations might mean that the Slovakians have two potential problematic groups. The first would be the Roma, or gypsies, but due to extensive legislation and integration efforts on the part of the Slovakian government, the gypsies actually enjoy more extensive rights there than in most places in Eastern, and for that matter Western Europe as well. Therefore, because of that, and the gypsies’ wide dispersal, the more likely problematic group would be the Hungarians that have settled around Eastern Slovakia, particularly the town Kosice (which I pronounced correctly as Ko-shitz-sa). These used to be largely Hungarian territory and that group actually in many ways sees themselves as natives and the Slovaks as intruders. Although it has yet to be a pronounced problem there is always that potential as demonstrated by the Kosovo situation.”

Bam! Now I won’t have to participate ever again, because my arcane knowledge of totally useless things has saved me. I also know how to catch a chicken for dinner, because that is something else I learned in Slovakia. I should’ve found a way to slip that in. I seriously doubt my professor has ever had to catch his own dinner.

Last, you wanted something humanizing and/or slightly pathetic? I’m afraid you’ll just have to read the book. If I ever find that kind of material to get in it.

2 comments:

steetoa said...

Dude, I never get flu vaccines. And, I'm never sick... unless you count being hungover every now and then. If people would just eat right, wash their filthy hands, get sleep, and manage their stress they'd be alright.

steetoa said...

Dude, I never get flu vaccines. And, I'm never sick... unless you count being hungover every now and then. If people would just eat right, wash their filthy hands, get sleep, and manage their stress they'd be alright.