Holy Hormones Journal: Does anyone remember the cartoon character Piggy Hamhock of Merry Melodies? What does this have to do with a blog post, you wonder? I remember still to this day a 1937 cartoon episode called “Pigs is Pigs” with poor innocent Piggy who was hungry all of the time shackled to a chair while a ‘mad scientist’ runs the Feed-A-Matic; a bizarre machine built for the sole purpose of force-feeding hungry little kids like Piggy. The machine has robotic arms that reached out and stuffed plates of food into his face.
Laughing maniacally, the scientist—in various montages— continues forcing more and more food into Piggy. After an entire day of the business, the pig is returned from the Feed-A-Matic machine to the mad scientist’s laboratory, transformed into an extremely obese, food-packed ball. Fed like never before in his life, Piggy is clearly happy with what has happened to him. Smiling at the sight of Piggy’s new-found obesity, the scientist pokes his obese guest twice and kindly asks “Have enough, my boy?” To which Piggy replies “Y-y-y-yes sir!” The scientist then unstraps him, commenting “Why, you’re not half full!” and laughs evilly as he watches the newly and extremely greatly enlarged pig leave.
The image still rattles me today. You can read more about this insidious and cruel episode shown to hundreds of thousands of children decades ago on Wikipedia. What you read combined with what you now know may shock you. One could also hypothesize that this was an insidious prophecy of the obesity epidemic in America. Force-feeding (via advertising and welfare) the uneducated innocent.
I have never understood until now. It was the fact that someone could hold so much power to induce pain, hardship and suffering on an innocent being – let alone a cartoon character who was already struggling with the image of being a ‘porker’. And yet if you look at the faces of the men and women who were part of the vaccine trials on innocent children in mother and baby homes in Ireland – you can see the distorted sense of power lorded over the helpless.
Warner Brothers Merry Melodies was always one to convey subversive messages so it only makes me wonder – what the message was in the cartoon episode? Are we all considered indispensable and children of a lesser God to be experimented on in the name of the ‘Greater GO(o)d’ and for the profit of a few?
Interesting to note that this cartoon debuted during the same time period that that vaccine trials in Ireland were being initiated.
Force-feeding, force-vaccinating and force-medicating the innocent. Not unlike what is going on today.
A timeline of the known medical trials conducted on children in Mother and baby homes in Ireland, the response of successive health ministers and the contemporaneous expansion in Ireland of the medical companies involved in those trials.
Grab a tray..
1930-5: Burroughs-Wellcome trials (“the 1930-35 trials”) of the APT (Alum-Precipitated Toxoid) vaccine for diphtheria carried out on 2000 children in residential institutions. Stage 1 of the trials took place in 1930 and include 405 children in residential institutions in Cork City, most likely the St Joseph’s Industrial School for Boys, run by the Presentation Brothers, and St Finbarr’s Industrial School for Girls, run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Children taking part in Stage 1 suffer severe adverse reactions. Stage 2 of the trials takes place in 1934 and includes 320 children from residential institutions. Again adverse reactions are recorded. Stage 3 takes place in 1934 and involved 250 children from an unidentified institution for boys and Stage 4 takes place in 1935 and involves 360 children from St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge, St Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys, Cabra, and St Saviours’s Dominican Orphanage, Lower Dominic Street.
1961: Burroughs-Wellcome trial of the effectiveness of the polio vaccine when added to the three-in-one (whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus) vaccine carried out on 58 children in residential institutions only one of which (Bessborough, Co Cork) is identified. 28 of these children receive the proposed quadruple vaccine, with 30 getting the separate three-in-one and polio vaccines. The study concludes that there is a lower polio antibody response in those given the quadruple vaccine, and that it may, therefore, be less effective. Sixteen of 25 infants from one home develop vomiting, diarrhoea and fever after their second immunisation. Their symptoms last a few days before complete recovery. Some 36 infants from both groups are subsequently identified as having an inadequate polio antibody response, and receive booster doses. There is no further follow-up of the children involved.