I don't know about you, but I get a rush of energy when I wake up in the morning with something I want to write about. I feel a tug almost in my belly that pulls me towards that keyboard. I've got things to say, and I feel it in my bones, in my body, this yearning, pulling tug towards that activity. Sort of like shoe shopping, if you will.Writing is my shoe shopping (well, when I'm not actually shoe shopping). It's what gets that dopamine pinging in the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens.
It sets me off, fires me up, makes my day. It fuels me. I'm sure you can see where I'm going on this. We all have something that does that for us (people in the deep recesses of a depression do not have this, cannot imagine having this, don't believe they ever did, but that's another essay for another day). Even those folks who all they do is bitch, whine, and moan. They're doing it for the dopamine. I'd guarantee. I'd even run a study on it if I could get the grant to run funtional MRIs on them as they engage in the behavior. I'd hypothesize those two areas of the brain light right on up when they are in mid rant.
What am I saying?
Those folks over at AoA and Huff who seem to be on a ceaseless rant about how awful their lives are and how it's big government and pharma's fault everything has gone wrong and it's a giant conspiracy? Huge dopamine releases. Has to be. Calling people sheople dogs and in the process mentally elevating oneself to a superior position? Dopamine.
Dopamine is a major motivating factor in why we do things. Major. And it isn't even so much about the event itself, but the anticipation of doing the event that leads to the dopamine rush.
Those diehards locked in a constant battle of one-liners, insults and some serious BS (of course on the anti-vaxxer side): dopamine. It's a heady rush. That's why they keep at it. It's obviously better than stamp collecting for them.
And in and of itself, there isn't anything wrong with doing what gets your dopamine flowing. The problem arises when your dopamine rush hurts other people. And I mean really hurts. When it hurts society. Drug abusers, in their almighty pursuit of that god dopamine, hurt their families and hurt society.
Rabid anti-vaxxers (and ping there went some dopamine for me) hurt their children, their families, and society. All for that dopamine rush they get from feeling morally superior, righteously angry and convinced that they know the truth and everyone else are sheeple and sheople dogs. They cast themselves as the heroes in their epic battles, the underdog who has been spat at, the lone maverick that the government and industry want to stamp out, the martyr who has sacrificed a child at the alter of big business who must now avenge that child.
To be fair, I'll acknowledge that those rabid anti-vaxxers (and no, not all AoA loyalists are) would say "I know you are, but what am I" because that is their mentality level. Have I not cast myself in the lone hero role, the lone blogger who takes on the giant autism "newspaper"? Nah, not even. First off, I'm not alone; there are many voices of reason (see, I'm not the lone voice) working together to promote critical thinking and logical evaluations of claims. I don't think there is a conspiracy of folks in a conglomerate out to get me, even if my laptop suspiciously crashed while looking at a frenemy's family photo.
About the only thing in common is that delightful dopamine rush. I'd say we have autism in common, but, no we don't. See, they've created a whole different explanation of why their kid is the way he is and take the label of autism they have been given for the child and twist it to fit their epic hero battle. They've lost the child, not from vaccines and not from autism, but in their pursuit for martyrdom. The child's actually right there, watching. You'd be amazed at what autistic kids actually observe (even those lower functioning ones). My three, even my bright boy, take in and absorb and hold onto for years, and I mean years, things that most folks wouldn't have even noticed let alone remembered as if it were yesterday.
I'm looking forward to seeing what these children of the anti-vaxxers have to say someday. Especially since so many of the loyalist AoAers and editors have high functioning autistic children who they write are recovered. I know that not all AoA loyalists (you can sure be a reader and not a loyalist) have kids who are high functioning or recovered, but it would appear that more do have children with less severely impaired children than do not, based on the comments and the articles. So, yup, your kids are going to be the autistic adults who get to blog and advocate for autism. I think society will be surprised in the next couple decades with the continued rise in the autism culture and how it morphs to become primarily about and by the autistic individuals themselves and not about the parents.
If you're doing it right, it was never about the parents in the first place.
And how can that not be kick ass kumbaya right there?