A subreddit gives the "Herman Cain Award" to anti-vaxxers who die of Covid

Originally published at: A subreddit gives the "Herman Cain Award" to anti-vaxxers who die of Covid | Boing Boing


I’ve spent a little time in there. It’s really bleak. I don’t have a Faceboot account, so I was unaware of all the anti-mask, anti-vaccine, anti-government vitriol in that space, but there are plenty of (redacted) screenshots of all that spew. I’ll admit, my first reaction was a bit of schadenfreude, but it was very quickly replaced with a gigantic, dull sadness over the many reminders of the utterly unnecessary loss of life and how it affects their friends and family. I don’t go there now. Too much sadness for me.


If you enjoy /hermancainaward you might also enjoy https://www.sorryantivaxxer.com/ as a companion.


I’ll stick with the same thing I can legally say about Presidents. I don’t wish them to die, but I won’t cry when they do.


Hell, Herman Cain died before the vaccine or even the monoclonal antibodies that likely saved Trump’s life were available.

So he was stupid and reckless and died because of it, but he wasn’t as stupid as the anti-vaxxers, or at least he didn’t live long enough to prove that he was.


Yes. I had great public schooling, college and graduate education, as well as (relatively) sane parents and some amazing friends, without the drawbacks of crazy religiousness or such, but others weren’t born into those lucky situations. If I hadn’t been, I might well have fallen into belief systems that discourage science or rational thinking, and I or loved ones could be on that page. So, there but for the grace of FSM go I.


While the Herman Cain Award brings attention to the importance of Covid safety, it may wade into the dangerous territory of mocking those who die of Covid.

Considering that thousands have died as a result of the misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and science deniers (e.g. the award’s namesake), I can’t be arsed to tone police someone engaging in some mockery when they’re hoisted by their own petards.


This sums up my view of it. I see it pop up on the front page a fair bit but I don’t doomscroll on it. There’s a certain tiny amount of schadenfreude but most of it is just incredible irritation. (My own parents are apparently slamming back horse paste, so it’s just a reminder of how far gone we are as a country.)


The thing that weirds me out is how understated all the death announcements are … like I don’t know about you but if I lost my 55 year old dad or 33 year old wife or 28 year old brother to this, I would be devastated at how young they were even if I were a total anti-vax / hoax loon

But most of the posts are somewhere between “Byre, Bob, you old so-and-so!”, “welp, that’s a bummer” and “God’s mysterious ways” and it feels … callous.

I realize I’m projecting a bit but the overall vibe is like an indifferent shrug at the point of it all. Quiet lives of desperation indeed.


I think that for a while r/LeopardsAteMyFace didn’t allow covid denier deaths to be posted, but now they’ve just got rules around not wishing for antivaxxers to die.


A lot of these people have spent the past couple of years gearing up for someone to die in order to own the libs. It turns out when it’s their friends and family, they’re not taken by surprise.


I was talking with a friend several weeks ago about the schadenfreude around the deaths of anti-vaxers, anti-maskers, and covid-deniers. He said he no longer has the schadenfreude because he was reminded of the glee with which certain evangelicals and homophobes announced deaths due to aids.

He has a point.

But, on further consideration, I’m kind of back to enjoying my schadenfreude. Gay men who died of aids had no other agenda than to live their lives and love who they loved. The anti-vaxers, anti-maskers, and covid-deniers do have an agenda, and they are taking innocent people with them when they go.

I’m not cutting them any slack, but I have better things to do with my time than spend it on a subreddit dedicated to them.


I’m not sure I feel schadenfreude.

But when I hear one more of these people died, I certainly feel relief. They’re no longer wasting genuine victim’s resources.

Yes, it’s very ghoulish of me, but it almost seems like a case of “hurry up and die already. We need your spot.”


Like many here, I occasionally come across it, but don’t make it a regular visit. Too depressing to see reality in action, and I do agree it probably crosses the line.

But what we really need is a sub to keep up with the disinformation coming from the conservative talking heads leading to the rising body count in that sub. Two days ago, we heard that the anti-vax stuff was being caused by liberal mind games psyching conservatives out of doing what’s best for them because we want them to die and know they won’t do the things we suggest would help them. Yesterday it was the vaccines don’t work and millions are dying, but it’s all being covered up. Today, the plan is that we’re going to sneak it into salad dressing (yes… salad dressing… which would not be my first choice, but I’m not in on these super secret Zoom meetings on how we’re going to force anti-vaxxers to take their meds).


It’s a depressing subreddit, but it doesn’t exist for hate. The people taking it that way, like the Slate article, are wildly missing the point.

Herman Cain not only denied it existed and then died (despite “getting much better” a few days before his death), but his family then took to Twitter using his verified account to continue to post anti-COVID19 memes and comments within a day of his death. That’s an insane point of view.

What is striking is that just how many of them use the exact same memes. Many of them also into r/selfawarewolves territory, like asking why we don’t give away cancer treatments and insulin free, like the vaccine. These people almost entirely have a view of the world that has zero basis in reality and is held together with tissue paper, thus reacting violently (“I’ll take my ‘two shots’ at your head!”) to any criticism.

I do enjoy the Redeemed ones and the Inoculated or whatever it is where the people took the HCA stories as what they are - a lesson in what NOT to do - and got vaccinated. I’m tired of having to wear a mask. I’m tired of being terrified if my little one will get it at school. I’m tired of worrying about if the multiple senior and delicate people in my life will bump into someone who doesn’t understand science and pick it up. Before this virus, I genuinely believed most people looked out for others, but instead it’s proven what many people have told me when I travel…Americans are often mostly focused on just themselves.


You wouldn’t see if anyway. That’s the point of filter bubbles.

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Thus, knowingly and willingly putting others at risk.

Thus helping put the entire health-care system into jeopardy, not to mention crowding out those with non-self-inflicted ailments.

These people chose to get Canceled. I can commiserate with the sane relatives & friends they left behind, but for their Fellow Travellers, I have utter indifference.

In certain cases, I will be unhappy their demise didn’t happen 20 or 40 years earlier…

Many times, Mockery is the best, if not only appropriate response.

Exactly. Which is why my well of sympathy for them was a dry hole from the beginning.

Hell, that’s not ghoulish, it is a case of ‘we need that hopital bed for accident victims’.

Not surprising, when you consider they all watch/listen to the same sources of mal/dis/information.


How do you do a whole post about a specific subreddit but not actually link to that subreddit? I mean, I can get there on my own, but it just seems… odd.


These are the people who accuse the rest of us of being NPC robots, and the HCA entries are all “lying meme racist meme libtard meme crap its real prayer warriors needed fought as hard as s/he could now with Jesus gofundme.”

It’s not quite the same as the AIDS pandemic, because it’s a lot harder to catch AIDS. The gay men dying of AIDS could not give it to me without some serious effort on my part. Even the “barebackers” who ignored commonsense safe sex guidelines still can’t give it to me without some serious effort on my part. The COVIDiots can spread it anywhere pretty effortlessly, and could give it to me quite easily if I as much as left the house at the wrong moment. Worse, they can give it to my unvaccinated child if she leaves the house at the wrong moment.

I was not on house arrest during the AIDS pandemic. I am now. I am on house arrest because of the COVIDiots. I am angry.