Facebook is a menace. COVID-19 is a menace. Conservatism is a cesspool. Together, those three ingredients have created a toxic stew of malevolent death and devastation. We can talk about all those things in the abstract, look at the numbers and statistics, and catch the occasional whiff of seditionist right-wing rhetoric. But I hadn’t really fully understood just how horrifying that combination of right-wing extremism, Facebook, and a killer virus was until I became a regular at the Herman Cain Awards subreddit. This series will document some of those stories, so we are aware of what the other side is doing to our country.

Today’s cautionary tale features the Buttons, who had a summer wedding—and a fall funeral. 

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Not going to lie—this meme is pretty much the reason I decided to use this story. 

There are people in this country who believe pretty much any stupid shit they read on the internet. 

Someone in the world actually believed that “the navel can detect which veins have dried up and by putting oil, those nerves open them.” That sentence doesn’t even make sense! 

Meanwhile, the fact check is like “partly false,” as if there’s anything in that sentence, beyond the belly button existing, that is true. 

Here is the fact check

The Facebook post calls the process of putting oil in your navel the Pechoti Method because it claims the Pechoti gland sits behind the navel. However, we cannot find any scientific evidence that this gland exists […]

The claim that putting essential oils in your belly button can yield health benefits is PARTLY FALSE, based on our research. It is true that applying essential oils to your skin can promote well-being, often when used in conjunction with a medical regime. But we found no scientific evidence that the Pechoti Method as described in the post works outside of anecdotal reports and tradition. The navel becomes closed off once the umbilical cord is detached at birth, so according to expert opinion, putting diluted oils in your belly button would most likely have the same degree of benefits as applying oil to any other part of the skin.

Nah, the post is 100% false. It’s not claiming “well-being” from oil application. It’s claiming a phantom nonexistent ghost organ can communicate with all the blood vessels in the body, and “open” the ones that are “dried up.” It’s so patently absurd it’s really shocking that USA Today’s fact-checker would give it any credence, because the only thing anyone will read on Facebook was that just part of it was false. 

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Seriously, many of these deplorables would actually be good socialists if they could escape the Fox News death trap. 

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From “give me socialist utilities” to quoting Candace “angel of death” Owens; what an ideological mess. 

And how stupid is Tomi Lahren? We’d be ecstatic if Trump urged his deplorables to wear masks. They’re what’s holding us back from greater normalcy. 

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“Give me free utilities because I’m poor!”

Also, “Blindly support the party that is fighting any chance of giving the poor a break!”

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He is “feeling amused” at homo- and transphobia.

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They got married in July. That was the last post that Mr. Button ever made on Facebook. 

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We don’t quite know when they both came down with COVID, but it was six or seven weeks after the wedding. Mrs. Button, a cancer survivor, recovered from the coronavirus. Her newly minted husband? Not so much. 

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Lord is like, “Why didn’t you trust me when I sent the vaccine?”

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If God is the best doctor, and prayer is the best medicine, why don’t these sick anti-vaxxers go to churches instead of taking up an ICU bed? I get that prayer is a proxy for doing something at times when there is nothing they can do. I get that it creates a false sense of agency and control during the most trying times. 

But if they really believed this, then they’d head straight to a church when they got sick. 

Instead, they use up critical hospital resources, all of them developed by the same scientists, doctors, and drug companies that they’ve spent two years belittling. It’s exhausting. 

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We don’t see it in these memes, but the original author of that Herman Cain Awards post notes that both Buttons wore masks. They weren’t completely oblivious to the pandemic and its dangers. Mr. was a retired firefighter. Mrs. is a medical technician. There were clearly hints of potential progressivism when it came to economics. But they had to hate on non-cis people and stan a president who didn’t give two shits about them—but, perhaps more importantly, validated their bigotry. 

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

1 COMMENT

  1. There are 80 to 90 million people who are quite frankly too stupid to live. Fortunately, Mr.Sars Covid is more than willing to help them along to their dirt beds,

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