I initially read the title of this song as “Vaxxed,” so now you know where my head’s at. Though if we’re thinking about shots, vexation isn’t so far afield. In any case, The Bug and Moor Mother are ready to bring you into an extraordinarily dark headspace, but one that’s energizing rather than sluggish. “Vexed” lives on The Bug’s new album, Fire, whose central thesis is this: “The world is a fucking mess and what do you do about that? Go with the flow? Challenge it? Challenge yourself?” First step: turn up your volume.
Well, Pfizer came out with a brand name for their Covid vaccine. Evidently “Pfizer Fam” wasn’t strong enough branding, so they’re calling it…. “Comirnaty.” Like “communtity,” if you got your tongue tied. The words forming that knot include “immunity, COVID-19, and mRNA,” according to “The World’s #1 Naming Company,” the Brand Institute, who worked on the project. That same agency has also gotten their hands on the Moderna vaccine, which they’re marketing in Europe as “Spikevax.” If I were one of the researchers who worked on developing the mRNA vaccine, I would be lightly offended by these labels slapped on my life-altering work. On the other hand, we live in a world where good branding usually obscures bad science, so this time we’ll take it.
It’s actually looking like mRNA might be handy for things other than slaying Covids. Spike & Co (I mean Moderna) is planning trials on two different mRNA HIV vaccines later this year, and they’re making an mRNA malaria shot. Outside Moderna, other researchers are running trials on mRNA birth control. Hormonal contraceptives “aren’t penetrating as well as we’d like,” they say— and if an antibody can attach to a virus, the thinking goes, it can just as well attack a sperm. The best part: the product would probably come in the form of a gel, to be used case-by-case by people with any anatomy— without affecting their hormones. Yes, please.