He's Behind You, He's Got Swine Flu
May 10, 2009 9:41 AM   Subscribe

He's Behind You, He's Got Swine Flu. New video from The Streets: stupid fun, or smart commentary on social panic?
posted by jon_hansen (49 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
stupid fun, or smart commentary on social panic?

stupid fun
posted by nitsuj at 9:49 AM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


You had me at stupid.
posted by boo_radley at 9:58 AM on May 10, 2009


I could go as far as 'stupid commentary.'
posted by box at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2009


Of course, people on the internet love zombie movies.
posted by box at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2009


The correct terminology isn't "Swine Flu", of course.

It's "Bacon Lung."
posted by mhoye at 10:21 AM on May 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm sick of people bitching about the social panic. Yes, I realize the 'real' flu kills more people a year than the swine flu has killed yet. Should we wait until the swine flu kills more people before we care? Of course by then, it'll be far too late to actually do anything about it.

You know what? As bad as the 'panic' was, it already escaped containment. We needed to react more, and faster.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:21 AM on May 10, 2009


Swine flu coverage in a minute
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:29 AM on May 10, 2009


Should we wait until the swine flu kills more people before we care?

Because there's absolutely no degree of separation between ignorance and panic?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:06 AM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Put another way: I think it's possible to "care" - to be informed and take precautions - without flying off the handle and starting to drum up people's more fatalistic impulses and/or making people disproportionately terrified.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:10 AM on May 10, 2009


I'm sick of people bitching about the social panic.

There are health-health tradeoffs and the panic probably cost lives. Irresponsible journalism (lol oxymoron amiright) caused people who ate bacon for breakfast and then sneezed to go to the emergency room, straining already scarce resources. People who needed emergency care hard a harder time getting it for this reason. Furthermore, people chose not to go to work and schools were shut down, which can have pretty serious effects in the long-run. Panics can be deadly when resources are reallocated away from those who need them to those who are confused and lied to.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:14 AM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: Because there's absolutely no degree of separation between ignorance and panic?

The people who've been complaining of 'panic' seem to think not. I actually haven't seen any meaningful degree of panic yet from anyone, except the idiots who aren't eating pork (which is fairly harmless.)

What angers me is the way that claims of panic seem to shut down any intelligent reaction to the crisis. We should have been quarantining people coming back from that area at the very least, and probably restricting travel in other ways, but every time anyone tried to do anything everyone went 'OMG PANIC OVER NOTHING.' Well, congratulations anti-panic people, we've already lost. When you get the swine flu (at this point it's not longer 'if') maybe you'll revise your opinion.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:16 AM on May 10, 2009


Uhm, is that description correct or a blatant lie?
Every scene in this video was painstakingly recreated using classic zombie footage as inspiration. We used the exact film stock and even transferred onto the relevant home viewing format before editing. - it sure looks like they just edited together old zombie movies, no recreation involved at all.

I'd love me some recreated dancing zombies in a video.
posted by dabitch at 11:16 AM on May 10, 2009


allen.spaulding: Panics can be deadly when resources are reallocated away from those who need them to those who are confused and lied to.

This is true, but at this point I'd say the swine flu is on course to kill tens of thousands of people if not more, so it'd be pretty hard to for panic to do more damage than that.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:18 AM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


What angers me is the way that claims of panic seem to shut down any intelligent reaction to the crisis.

what annoys me is that people are claiming this is a crisis, that it is containable, and that it is more than a regular type of flu

all statements that have not been proved yet

people who make irrational statements like that often are mistaken for those who panic
posted by pyramid termite at 11:21 AM on May 10, 2009


No Thriller footage fail.
posted by cashman at 11:21 AM on May 10, 2009


This is true, but at this point I'd say the swine flu is on course to kill tens of thousands of people if not more, so it'd be pretty hard to for panic to do more damage than that.

This is absolutely wrong and a terrible public health strategy. It's oddly reminiscent of the Cheney 1% doctrine -> overreact with all available resources in the face of any possible threat. Swine Flu, like any influenza outbreak, needs to be taken seriously, but whipping the public into a frenzy is one of the absolute worst ways to do it. If anything, the overreaction will make it harder for public health officials to appropriately respond, deepening the crisis and not mitigating it.

This year, diarrhea will kill at least hundred times as many people as your already extremely high estimate of the number of deaths caused by swine flu. GRAB THE IMMODIUM AND HEAD TO THE BUNKER.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:25 AM on May 10, 2009


pyramid termite: what annoys me is that people are claiming this is a crisis, that it is containable, and that it is more than a regular type of flu

Well, what defines a crisis is debatable. However, it is obvious that it was containable at some point (perhaps before we even detected it, but maybe later) and it's already killed some children and non-old adults, which suggests it's different. Not to mention that containing a regular type of flu would be great, and worth some sacrifices.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:25 AM on May 10, 2009


We should have been quarantining people coming back from that area at the very least, and probably restricting travel in other ways, but every time anyone tried to do anything everyone went 'OMG PANIC OVER NOTHING.' Well, congratulations anti-panic people, we've already lost. When you get the swine flu (at this point it's not longer 'if') maybe you'll revise your opinion. ... at this point I'd say the swine flu is on course to kill tens of thousands of people if not more

There's a difference between sane and rational responses - quarantine, testing, issuing precautions - and the sort of Crying Wolf effect that the media-manufactured panic creates. There's what allen.spaulding said about diversion of resources, but there's also the fatalistic "oh well, nothing I can do then, I'm BOUND to get it" reaction to panic that emerges. Also, "panic" is not a state of mind associated with thinking clearly. When there's a fire in a nightclub, it's definitely good for people to be scared, and take fast action, but to panic? That makes a bad situation worse.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:27 AM on May 10, 2009


allen.spaulding: This year, diarrhea will kill at least hundred times as many people as your already extremely high estimate of the number of deaths caused by swine flu. GRAB THE IMMODIUM AND HEAD TO THE BUNKER.

That's true (assuming it doesn't mutate horribly or something, but that's unlikely.) But what does it matter? It kills those people in addition to those already killed by other causes. If you had a chance to contain diarrhea, do you ignore it because more people die to malaria?
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:28 AM on May 10, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: Also, "panic" is not a state of mind associated with thinking clearly. When there's a fire in a nightclub, it's definitely good for people to be scared, and take fast action, but to panic? That makes a bad situation worse.

This is true, but what I'm complaining about is the anti-crying-wolf attitude that hampers reasonable reactions. It's like the nightclub is burning, but the doorman isn't letting people out because he's afraid of losing business, and nobody is willing to fund the fire extinguisher. And anyone who complains about this situation is accused of panicking.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:31 AM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The thing is, just because a person doesn't believe swine flu is the fifth horseman doesn't mean they're not taking precautions. This is what I mean about degrees of care.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:33 AM on May 10, 2009


If you had a chance to contain diarrhea

No, the question is whether I would slaughter 300,000 pigs in Egypt, shut down schools in multiple countries, and misallocate resources in a misguided effort to do something that is not based in science but based in fear.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:33 AM on May 10, 2009


I'm pretty sure Egypt slaughtered their pigs because they wanted to make things more unpleasant for their non-muslim minority. The swine flu just gave them an excuse.

Other than that, I haven't seen too many irrational responses, and most of them are second-stage responses. If we'd responded faster and been less worried about being accused of panicking, maybe this would have never left Mexico.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:38 AM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


. If we'd responded faster and been less worried about being accused of panicking, maybe this would have never left Mexico.

And maybe if we had slaughtered 100 virgins to the volcano gods the dinosaurs will come back. There is no indicator that more resources could have led to better prevention. You're just making these things up.

When you "overprotect" you are costing lives elsewhere. I cannot stress the health-health tradeoffs enough. You are looking only at one side of this equation, putting the probability of catastrophe above 0% and the costs at infinity. Unsurprisingly, the cost-benefit in your head makes all spending justified. This is the Cheney doctrine. It's not good science, it's not good public health, and it's going to cost lives.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:44 AM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see this but... "This video does not currently support iPod"
posted by ijoyner at 11:45 AM on May 10, 2009


allen.spaulding: This is the Cheney doctrine. It's not good science, it's not good public health, and it's going to cost lives.

Look, I'm not talking about spending the entire national budget on this or something. I'm just saying we should have done more early on, taken more precautions, including ones that would have stepped on people's toes. First of all, I think we should have quarantined anyone coming from the initial infection area, and shut down flights to that area. Sure, it would have sucked for a bunch of people, and the local economy would be damaged (although if that kills anyone, I'm far faster to blame the sheer fragility of the local economy than I do disease safeguards) but it would have cut our infection points down to a far smaller number, which could have potentially been isolated and contained.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:54 AM on May 10, 2009


First of all, I think we should have quarantined anyone coming from the initial infection area, and shut down flights to that area. Sure, it would have sucked for a bunch of people, and the local economy would be damaged (although if that kills anyone, I'm far faster to blame the sheer fragility of the local economy than I do disease safeguards)

Look, I'm sorry that your son couldn't get life-saving surgery. See, we had to detain everyone returning from the hospital convention that happened to be three towns over, and, well, better safe than sorry. Don't blame us, blame the fragility of the local economy.

When it comes to public health, you need to think off the tradeoffs. Causing millions of dollars in damages will hurt lots of people, especially the already disenfranchised. When you keep people out of work and school unnecessarily, you are going down an incredibly dangerous road. If a small business has to shut down for a month because of a government-imposed lockdown, they will cut back benefits for employees or fire people. If schools are closed, the burden falls disproportionately on mothers to make accommodations, which worsens the pay gap (and also deprives children of an education). These are real consequences. You better have more than a hunch to back them up. Right now, you just have a hunch.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:00 PM on May 10, 2009


> stupid fun, or smart commentary

These terms are not mutually exclusive.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:00 PM on May 10, 2009


allen.spaulding: You better have more than a hunch to back them up. Right now, you just have a hunch.

I think it's more than a hunch now that it's killed a fair number of people.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:09 PM on May 10, 2009


I think it's more than a hunch now that it's killed a fair number of people.

So we're talking ~50. Most of them fit the traditional profile of flu victims - early reports have been revised. And the question isn't whether or not it was serious, but whether spending more resources would have made a difference. Again, there's no science or fact in your belief that we should have done more earlier.

And this is the most charitable narrative for you. The real question ought to be whether the decentralized decision-making of millions of people (to not go to work, to go to the emergency room, etc) had any positive role in reducing the spread and intensity of the disease. Good luck backing that one up. Because there is no question that the fear spread by the media and government officials certainly caused a massive reallocation of resources. It's hard for me to believe that there was any gain that matched these costs.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:15 PM on May 10, 2009


I haven't got swine flu. I'm fit -- and I know it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:17 PM on May 10, 2009


"First of all, I think we should have quarantined anyone coming from the initial infection area, and shut down flights to that area."

It was too late to fully quarantine the second it was discovered. Or do you think Dustin Hoffman is going to be out looking for just the right pig sometime in the near future?
posted by fullerine at 12:22 PM on May 10, 2009


fullerine: It was too late to fully quarantine the second it was discovered. Or do you think Dustin Hoffman is going to be out looking for just the right pig sometime in the near future?

Was it? I'm not under the delusion that every disease outbreak can be contained or such, but I remember reading about lots of infection points being caused by victims that returned well after the disease had been discovered. There were some particular facepalm moments that occurred when I read messages from people who were unsure if they should still take vacations they had planned to that area.

That's what really gets me on this... not that we didn't suspend crucial services or anything, but that we didn't (and as far as I know still haven't) suspended trivial things like tourism.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:30 PM on May 10, 2009


It was too late to fully quarantine the second it was discovered.

A possibly interesting side note: Japan took the full quarantine approach. I know a professor visiting here (U.S.) from Japan who will be restricted to his home for 10 days upon his return, with random calls/visits from public health officers to verify he hasn't broken quarantine.
posted by availablelight at 12:53 PM on May 10, 2009


I like The Streets, but this description on Youtube is a bit confusing:

"Every scene in this video was painstakingly recreated using classic zombie footage as inspiration. We used the exact film stock and even transferred onto the relevant home viewing format before editing."

Huh? Didn't they just cut/paste scenes from the source and placed it in the music video? Not sure if this is one of The Streets' best works.

Also - I think media / popular hysteria is useful so long as 1) no one gets hurt from it (I agree with Allen.Spaulding, it's a tough trade-off, and I defer to the more in depth thread above this comment), and 2) it's making us take on new smaller preventative measures like washing our hands. This hysteria is shaping individual behavior. I think that's a good thing. It's giving us lessons to follow-up on when / if there comes a time we're really facing an epidemic. How many people actually do wash their hands before a meal? How many people will keep that in mind after this spread is over?
posted by phyrewerx at 1:07 PM on May 10, 2009


That's what really gets me on this... not that we didn't suspend crucial services or anything, but that we didn't (and as far as I know still haven't) suspended trivial things like tourism.

tourism isn't trivial - many people depend on it for a living - and it's pretty arrogant to say that travel to and from mexico city, which is one of the great business and cultural centers of the world, is mere "tourism"

this isn't bubonic plague - you are not guaranteed a totally germ-free existence - shit happens, and society has to deal with that without shutting itself down
posted by pyramid termite at 1:14 PM on May 10, 2009


I got the "This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community"

so here is an alternate linky.

Upon viewing: what inappropriate content?
posted by zenon at 1:30 PM on May 10, 2009


Upon viewing: what inappropriate content?

Ah, the jadedness. Little kids may still find the image of a man putting a gun in his mouth and exploding the back of his head against a wall a tad distressing. I know, I know. Their parents are to blame for keeping them so isolated and intellectually malnourished.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:59 PM on May 10, 2009


Okay, I watched it and am now prepared to answer.

Neither.
posted by inoculatedcities at 3:22 PM on May 10, 2009


inappropriate content? More like stupid waist of time content. <-- Where was that warning?
posted by eiro0701 at 3:35 PM on May 10, 2009


A "stupid waist of time" eh? Is that anything like an arm of despondence, or a heel of incongruity?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:54 PM on May 10, 2009


no, it's more like a panicreas of hypocondria
posted by pyramid termite at 4:05 PM on May 10, 2009


I want my 2:45 of life back - that was painfully bad.
posted by hooptycritter at 4:25 PM on May 10, 2009


I liked it. Sue me.
posted by Rangeboy at 4:30 PM on May 10, 2009


Would have worked better as a Twitter post.
posted by tepidmonkey at 4:38 PM on May 10, 2009


Or maybe it was inappropriately bad! ZING!

Ok, ok I just wanted to say zing - it really wasn't terrible given the style of music and ZOMBIES that everybody loves.

As for the jadedness, hrm. I had assumed that the "Adolt content" was the nakid bits and the ultra violence (which gaping heads wounds count - I wasn't paying that much attention - man my kids are gonna turn out great! tfa!) but google doesn't have a graduated scale so its all or nothing. The OP didn't include a NSFW (which is a high threshold admittedly) so I guess I was expecting a little bit more.

Total aside: Things are going to get more and more locked down for kids - like the parental controls on a mac, making it more and more difficult for the little tykes to get into digital naughty bits. There's been a window where the parents knew squat about computers, the internet was wide open, and the controls trivial. I set up a mac for someone recently so it would keep a log on where the kid was going online - and not too long afterword I talked a couple more through it.
posted by zenon at 6:53 PM on May 10, 2009


There are zombies. Awesome by default.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:10 PM on May 10, 2009


Terrible song, Decent Compilation of Zombie movie clips.

Other Zombie related (Non-Thriller) music videos: 1 2
posted by stifford at 7:45 PM on May 10, 2009


it was good esp for something cooked up in a week or two.

@phyrewerx - dude, i think they're trying to avoid copyright issues.......
posted by micklaw at 4:25 PM on May 11, 2009


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