The Intellectual Dark Web is a fragile bunch!
So, this morning, I saw a really goofy tweet from one of the members of the iNteLLecTuaL DaRk wEb, a collection of libertarian doofuses given a big ol’ profile boost by galaxy brain Bari Weiss in a 2018 New York Times feature.
“We’re being denied nuts on this flight because we have a passenger on board with a nut allergy,” tweeted Bret Weinstein. “Also, we’re asked not to consume any nuts we may have brought on board and not to force anyone else to consume nuts, even if we believe they’re capable of digesting them safely.”
You may remember Weinstein from his role in pushing phony COVID-19 treatments like Ivermectin and arguing against vaccines (Hey, look, the pandemic continues to rage on. Congrats, Weinstein and others! You did it!). If so, it probably doesn’t come as a shock that this so-called evolutionary biologist is once again whining about the very idea of not deliberately doing things that put others in danger.
For those unaware, people with severe nut allergies can have sometimes-life-threatening reactions to things like peanuts. While direct contact (i.e. eating or handling nuts) is the highest-risk situation for someone with nut allergies, cross-contact (i.e. dust from nuts ending up in food it wasn’t meant to be in) and inhalation (i.e. breathing in dust or aerosols containing nuts) can also cause someone to experience anaphylaxis. That, when combined with the close quarters of airplanes, can put people with severe nut allergies at risk. When flying, people with these allergies will typically alert airlines ahead of time to make accommodations, which can range from being allowed on board early to wipe down seats to, as was the case with Weinstein’s flight, an announcement asking others to refrain from eating nuts during the flight.
A 2018 article in Good Housekeeping explains the kind of nightmare an in-flight allergic reaction can cause.
Tricia Powell shared her story in an eye-opening article about what kind of panic an onboard reaction could cause:
“Would you like a snack?" I heard an attendant ask mid-way through the flight. I looked up, and my heart dropped. She held these little trays of mixed nuts that looked like they’d been freshly roasted right there on the plane.
“I’m allergic to nuts,” I said.
“Oh, I’m not serving peanuts,” she said.
"I'm allergic to all nuts," I clarified, but she then proceeded to ask the man sitting next to me if he would like some.
I ran to John and handed him the baby so I could hide in the bathroom. An airplane is such a confined space, and I kept thinking about the particles from the roasted nuts that could be floating in the recirculated air.
When I left the bathroom a short time later, John asked if I was okay, but my voice already sounded funny. It's the first to go when I have an allergic reaction.
I continued to my seat and hit the attendant call button, squeezing every last drop out of my pre-dosed vials of Benadryl. (Because it was such a short flight, and we'd been assured nuts wouldn't be on-board, I didn't think I needed to bring several vials.) But my airways were already closing and by the time an attendant arrived, I couldn’t talk at all.
I whipped out my EpiPen and jammed it into my right thigh. But knowing that its effectiveness only lasts between 10 and 20 minutes, and that the recycled airplane air meant the allergen was still going to affect me, I panicked even more. It felt like a bear was squeezing my chest, and I couldn’t get out of its tight grip. I jammed a second EpiPen into my thigh again and started gasping for air. The man next to me shouted to everyone in first class: “She’s allergic to nuts! Get rid of your nuts!”
My eyes started tearing up because I couldn’t breathe. My husband, who is a surgeon, asked the flight attendant what medical supplies they had on-hand. It was clear there was no protocol in place for a situation like this.
John put our son in front of my lap while he searched for any other medical supplies besides the oxygen and rubber gloves that they had. The baby looked up at me and cried, "Mama, mama!" I kept thinking: I don’t want to die in front of my son. I didn’t even say goodbye to my daughter, asleep in the back of the plane. I’m not ready to leave my babies.
Powell’s flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was met by on-site medics, put in an ambulance, and taken to the hospital. At one point, she writes, she crashed and went completely unresponsive. She survived the ordeal, but it was a close call.
With Powell’s and others’ stories in mind, people pushed back on Weinstein’s selfish whining about being deprived of his nuts. Meanwhile, his supporters doubled down.
There seem to be a whole lot of people who think that if someone has a severe allergy that can be brought on by the actions of others (i.e. eating nuts near them), the person simply shouldn’t fly. That’s not exactly practical, especially when you consider how unbelievably low the cost is — which in this case is simply, “Hey, can other people not eat nuts while we’re all on this big tube of recycled air?” Other responses mocked the very idea of allergies, others whined about how we live in a society that forces us to “abide by rules not by majority but by minority, sometimes less than 1% of the population,” and others just openly endorsed eugenics (“if a bit of nut dust in the air is enough to end you then perhaps that's just nature's way of dealing with weak genes”).
This is ghastly stuff. Ghoulish, horrible, and selfish.
Weinstein eventually offered an update, a half-apology, and a declaration that he is the actual victim here.
“Just landed and discovered my error,” he tweeted, more than 10 hours after his earlier update, indicating that this must have been a particularly long flight and one where no amount of EpiPens would have been enough to protect them mid-allergic reaction. “To those with a nut or other dangerous allergy — and to you only — I apologize for my insensitive tweet. I did not realize their [sp] was an airborne aspect to this obviously extremely serious condition. You certainly have my sympathy.”
But then he continued… “To those who simply assumed the worst about me (that my tweet was born of callousness rather than ignorance), I’d ask you to consider what this device, this platform, this era is doing to you and to us. Savaging people must not become sport.”
You hear that, everyone? Just because he angrily tweeted something to his more than 700 thousand Twitter followers — many of whom responded by suggesting that people with allergies should simply be driven out of society as a result, and many of whom associate polite requests to not do things that will literally kill other people with some sort of infringement of their god-given rights, he doesn’t deserve your “savaging.” He’s not evil. He’s just an idiot! Ignorance, not callousness!
If you want to understand why the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, look no further than people like Weinstein and his followers. Throughout this pandemic, we’ve all been asked to do things to protect others, to make the world one where we can live together, protect those more vulnerable than ourselves, and minimize the risk of infection for all. Most people do these things, whether that means getting vaccinated or wearing a mask while indoors in public, etc. But to some, being asked to think about anyone other than themselves is an outrage.
Weinstein’s self-victimhood follows the same playbook as fellow “IDW” buddy Jordan Peterson from earlier in the week.
For whatever reason, this weirdo decided to rip on Yumi Nu’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover. “Sorry. Not beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that,” he tweeted. Uh… weird. “Authoritarian tolerance?”
And then he linked to some studies that don’t say what he thinks they say.
And then he told people to “rage away, panderers. And tell me you believe that such images are not conscious and cynical manipulation by the oh-so virtuous politically correct.”
Again, very weird! All because SI featured a plus-size model on one of its four swimsuit covers this year? Did it just never occur to him that in order to continue selling magazines (in 2022, especially! Magazine sales are not exactly huge!), brands need to try new things, new approaches, and well, you know… not just crank out the same content it did last year and the one before that and the one before that and the one before that?
But, just as Weinstein did, Peterson retreated to his little corner of victimhood by decrying “vicious insult[s].” Keep in mind that this began because he felt the need to dump on a swimsuit model and argue that nobody could possibly find her attractive. Yeah, man, weird how people told you off for that. Gosh!
“Glendora” by Rilo Kiley