The 12 posts of Gristmas

Hi everyone, I hope you are keeping warm and rested this holiday season. Internet is real spotty where I am in L.A., otherwise I would be putting up a bunch of posts about the Vatican, Wikileaks, and more. But I have a moment in my favorite coffee shop in Culver City to share a little song I put together. As you are probably aware, I’ve been chatting and debating with some folks over at Grist lately, and the conversations have been both revealing and instructive, while also being up close and personal. It was amazing to see as I pointed out that both Tom Philpott and Tom Laskawy were wrong on basic facts and also wrong on interpretations, that they have not once responded to my comments. Doug Gurian-Sherman laid down a bombshell that he doesn’t care if anyone thinks his stuff is peer-reviewed or not, and an anti-GE campaigner thanked me for being the first scientist to explain something to her (brownie points that didn’t last very long, apparently). And amidst a string of personal attacks, a surprise defender swooped in! There’s not enough time for me to find each comment, but the verses here are all based on real comments, you can search my Grist comment account to find them if you like.
And this holiday season, Grist itself sent me half a dozen requests for money as a registered user (besides banner ads when visiting the site), saying that a donation would be a gift that keeps on giving. Truly Grist has been such a gift, but not in the way that they intended. I thought about the important things I observed, and put them all to a familiar tune. Sing along with me as you read The 12 Posts of Gristmas!
On the first post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the second post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the third post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Brand new flame accounts
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the fourth post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Thanks for explaining Bt
Brand new flame accounts
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the fifth post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the sixth post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Personal attacks,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the seventh post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Conspiracy theories,
Personal attacks,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the eighth post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Obfuscating facts,
Conspiracy theories,
Personal attacks,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the ninth post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Misrepresenting sources,
Obfuscating facts,
Conspiracy theories,
Personal attacks,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the tenth post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Screw Peer review,
Misrepresenting sources,
Obfuscating facts,
Conspiracy theories,
Personal attacks,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the eleventh post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
No comment moderation,
Screw peer review,
Misrepresenting sources,
Obfuscating facts,
Conspiracy theories,
Personal attacks,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
On the twelfth post of Gristmas the comments gave to me,
Twelve annoying requests for money,
With no comment moderation,
Screw Peer review,
Misrepresenting sources,
Obfuscating facts,
Conspiracy theories,
Personal attacks,
Matthew De-fends Meeee
Psst… thanks for explaining Bt,
Brand new flame accounts,
Two silent Toms,
And Doug doesn’t give a rat’s ass!
I will have more to say about these encounters in the near future, but for now, Merry Gristmas! And a happy new year of reaching out to people!

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Written by Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. He is a Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Riverside and works on Citrus genetics.

3 comments

  1. Karl! I read some of your comments. Very calm, sensible, and well written and oh so many of them.
    Thanks from all us scientists for your work in public education.
    And in the spirit of Christmas, I must say: You have the patience of a saint.

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