Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Season 8 Episode 10
Aired on May 2, 2021
John Oliver explains why some people don’t want to get the Covid-19 vaccine and how they might be reassured. (Even you, Mike in Baltimore.)
Main segment: COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine hesitancy
Other segments: US government agencies on Twitter
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John: Hi there! Welcome to the show. Still coming to you from this blank void. We were off last week, but interestingly, it seems the void wasn’t, because “Mortal Kombat” was released last weekend, and apparently, this happens:
[lightning bolts strike] Where are we? We are in the void. It is the realm between your world and mine.
John: What the fuck? The void is taking other jobs now? Although it’s clearly been the breakout character of this show in the last year, so I shouldn’t really be surprised it’s doing cameos elsewhere on HBO Max. It is so white and depressing, I genuinely confused it for “Mare of Easttown.” Look, it’s been another crazy week, from Biden making his first address to Congress, to the news that Boris Johnson’s phone number has somehow been available online for the past 15 years, to Rudy Giuliani’s home being raided by the FBI. An event I’m honestly surprised he didn’t accidentally stream live on Twitch by sitting on his phone.
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But we’re actually going to dive straight in with our main story tonight, which concerns the Covid vaccines. The end result of the world’s greatest scientists working around the clock to save countless lives, immortalized in a card we’ll all definitely lose in a month. Vitally important, but also too big to fit in any standard wallet? Way to fumble at the one yard line, science. And not that we needed it, but this week saw yet another reminder of just how dangerous Covid is, with cases in India in particular surging at a truly terrifying rate. India set a world record for daily Covid cases of over 400,000, and that is probably an undercount. And obviously, the world should be doing everything it can to help India right now. But our best way out of this mess, long-term, is clearly vaccines. And it’s worth remembering, we in the U.S. are incredibly fortunate… We currently have access to a lot of vaccines, and more than half of U.S. adults have now gotten at least one dose, which is great. The bad news is, some vaccination locations have already gone from having not enough supply to not enough demand.
According to the CDC, the daily average for vaccinations has dropped 20% since the start of the month. A worrying trend.
Vaccine demand declining in South Carolina, some providers left with extra doses and appointments wide open.
Palm Beach county healthcare district says it is now facing 10,000 appointments for the county’s vaccine sites remain unfilled since they opened this week.
Appointments are going unfilled. We’ve got thousands of appointments available over the next few weeks and… And no takers at this point.
John: It’s true. A worrying amount of people are holding off on getting the free Covid vaccine. And I’m not saying you should immediately get something just because it’s free. I wouldn’t recommend getting these old dolls on Craigslist just because they’re free. They’re weird, broken, and will kill you in your sleep. But these vaccines could save not just your life, but the lives of people around you. And it’s genuinely dispiriting that just a few months into the vaccine rollout, we’re already at this point. And the problem is, for the coronavirus, the “herd immunity threshold” is thought to be between 70 and 90% of the population. But a survey found that while 60% of American adults have got, or want to get, the vaccine, another 18% say “maybe,” and 22% say “no.” And if you’re thinking, “well, if every “maybe” gets the vaccine, that puts us at 78%!” Unfortunately, that poll doesn’t take into account children, who we’re not vaccinating right now, and who make up around 22% of the population. So we need to get the vaccine in as many adults as possible, as soon as possible. And that means you really need to get vaccinated. And obviously, I mean the collective “you,” but also you, Mike. Mike in Baltimore. I know you’ve got this on in the background at work on Monday, so listen to me. Schedule your vaccine, Mike. Don’t say you’re gonna “look into it later.” Just google “vaccine finder Baltimore,” it takes seconds. Here are a list of vaccine sites in your area. And if you’re thinking, “ehh, I’m not sure I need it, Joe Rogan says I’m probably fine.” Look, it’s true, you might not get seriously sick from Covid… Or sick at all… You could still inadvertently pass it to someone, who could then die. And before you say, “well, vulnerable people should just get vaccinated, then”… The vaccines are only 95% effective, Mike. So they’ll probably be okay, but maybe not. Also, the more the virus circulates, the likelier we’ll see mutations that make it more dangerous, possibly helping it to evade the vaccine completely, putting us back at square one. So get the fucking vaccine, Mike! The point is, there is a problematic amount of vaccine hesitancy right now, even among people who you’d really like to think would not need convincing.
We met Robert Gannon before he went in to visit his 77-year-old mother, Kiya, who was on a ventilator right now in the ICU due to Covid.
Had she been vaccinated?
She was not vaccinated. I think she was being hesitant, just wanting to see how things played out.
Have you been vaccinated?
I have not.
What would it take for you to get vaccinated?
Mmm… I’d want to make sure that it’s safe.
John: Wow. There is perhaps no clearer sign of just how deep vaccine hesitancy runs than someone in that guy’s position still questioning whether to get it. Instead of asking, “is there such a thing as too much vaccine? Because if not, I’m going back for injections until I’m around 80% Pfizer.” So given all of that, tonight, let’s talk about the Covid vaccines, why people are hesitant, what their worries are, and how they might be reassured. And let’s start with the fact you can’t characterize any one group as uniformly vaccine-hesitant. No demographic is a monolith. Every group will have some who are excited, and others who are anxious. And different groups will be anxious for different reasons. For instance, early on, you probably heard a lot about hesitancy among some black Americans. Which can be a real thing… Even this pediatrician had reservations.
When the vaccine was first made available to both of you, did you both jump at the chance to get it?
No. No. I mean, not me anyway. I am black first in this country, and that has with it a lot of baggage, to tell you the truth. And so, to my public health degree, the culminating experience that I did was related to the relationship between black people and physicians. And that relationship has been a cantankerous one. And so those are the kinds of things that are deeply embedded and challenging to overcome, even within someone who’s a scientist.
John: Honestly, I do understand that. We’ve talked before about the fraught relationship black Americans have with health care, based on both current bad experiences, and the history of incidents like the Tuskegee Experiment, where doctors lied to black men, allowing them to suffer from untreated syphilis over decades. Or, as most U.S. history students would describe it: “something I have not heard of.” Although it feels important to mention that that doctor did wind up getting the vaccine. And, in general, black vaccine hesitancy has dropped fast. Another group you might have heard have high hesitancy rates are republicans, and that’s also true. Around 30% of republicans say they won’t get it. And it’s not hard to see why… Fears and doubts about the vaccine have flown around conservative media, with one of the most prominent superspreaders being this fucking guy.
Tucker Carlson: What about this vaccine? Why are Americans being discouraged from asking simple, straightforward questions about it? Questions like, how effective are these drugs? Are they safe? Do you need a reason to turn down the vaccine? And what happens if you do turn it down? Will you be allowed to fly on airplanes? Or go to work? Or enter the front doors of Madison Square Garden? Oh, now they’re telling us the vaccine has a delayed response. Okay, delayed by how long? They don’t say. If vaccines work, why are vaccinated people still banned from living normal lives? Honestly, what’s the answer to that? So maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that. Well, you hate to think that, especially if you’ve gotten two shots, but what’s the other potential explanation?
John: Okay, it’s genuinely weird to see someone hosting a show on a supposed news network, and ending every sentence with a question mark. Especially when answers to most of those questions are out there for anyone who cares to know. So, for instance, that last complaint that the CDC still recommends wearing masks indoors when around vulnerable unvaccinated people does not mean the vaccine doesn’t work. Clinical trials found that vaccines are spectacularly successful at preventing people from getting serious disease. As for whether they protect you from spreading the virus, the trials weren’t designed to assess that. But evidence so far indicates they drastically reduce transmission. The reason we still see mask and distancing recommendations is that the CDC is being cautious, and wants to be sure it’s not spreading bullshit around during a global pandemic like a frozen dinner duke with a tv show. Anyway, I hope that answers at least one of your gape-mouthed bad-faith wonderings Tucker, you scrunch-faced fear-baboon. And the problem is, when people like Tucker “raise questions” without bothering to answer them, there’s a lot of misinformation out there for people to then stumble on. Anti-vaccine groups have been waiting for a moment like this to spread doubt, and the scary thing is, they don’t actually need to convince people they’re right. They just need to convince people that no one is. And that tracks with recent polling. While few believe specific myths about the vaccine, larger numbers say they didn’t know whether particular myths were true or false. For instance, only 4% of people believe the Covid vaccine is more deadly than the disease, but 25% say they don’t know. And that is not good. Flashback because if anti-vaxxers can simply spread enough misinformation to cause people to throw up their hands and say, “I just don’t know enough to get the shot,” they’ve already seriously fucked things up for all of us. And to be clear, most people who are hesitant are not fanatics or conspiracy theorists. Many are just trying to make the best decision for themselves and their family, like that pediatrician we saw earlier. You definitely know people like that in your life. So I’m actually going to spend the rest of this piece trying to clear up some of the biggest myths flying around. And some are pretty easy to debunk quickly, like the claims that Bill Gates is using the vaccine to put a microchip in all of us …something his wife had this response to.
Melinda Gates: I know my husband is not vaccinating people and putting a microchip in their arm because that technology doesn’t even exist and he’s never uttered the words out of his mouth, so. [Laughs]
John: [laughs] Okay. That wasn’t the reassuring pushback to a batshit conspiracy theory that I’d hoped for. “We’re not microchipping people because the technology doesn’t exist… Yet… And my husband hasn’t said it out loud to me.” Why would you put it like that? There are lots of things a husband won’t say out loud to his wife. Not dark things, just things. Quiet thoughts a partner might not be ready to hear. Like how, sometimes, late at night, I think: wouldn’t it be nice to live in an egg? An egg, to be in. Not just an oval-shaped sleeping pod, I can get an oval shaped sleeping pod, nobody wants one of those. I mean an egg. A big egg with me in it, or maybe a normal egg, and I’m small, it doesn’t matter. What matters is I’m in an egg. Not alone. I’m with the gloop, too, it’s just me and the gloop. No opening, no windows, no way to ever know if it’s morning or night, so you know what time it is, all the time? Egg time. Just egg-time for me and the gloop. Sometimes it’s warmer, and that’s when I feel safest. Sometimes I can tell I’m being carried, or moved about and it’s jarring enough that I’m nervous, but not so rough that I’m panicking, and you can shake me. But make sure not to do it hard because, remember, I’m fragile. I am egg. The point is, you can’t say that to Melinda Gates, she’d never understand. What wife could? Anyway. For the record, there are no microchips in the Covid vaccine. That rumor is based on the fact the Gates foundation funded research years ago, which is frequently taken out of context. In that study, researchers looked into creating an invisible ink that could potentially be injected along with a vaccine in order for populations like refugee kids to be able to retain vaccine records without paperwork. Over time, the original context was lost, contorted, and kind of telephoned its way into becoming “something something Bill Gates microchips” on Facebook. A claim which, if you think about it for just a second, doesn’t make sense. Because if your main concern is that Bill Gates could use microchips to track you, he can already do that! That’s what your fucking phone is! Now, another, more reasonable-sounding, concern has to do with just how fast the vaccine came together.
I wouldn’t want to get it. I felt like it was too rushed.
I think the whole thing has been rushed through too fast.
It kind of came really fast, like, the vaccine. They made up one really fast.
It was done way too quick. I just… I don’t feel comfortable with taking it, not any time soon.
I think that they’re using the… the public as guinea pigs.
John: Right, and that doesn’t sound good. No one wants to be a guinea pig. Although, I don’t really know why. Being a guinea pig seems really great. You can eat a pepper while wearing the stem as a little hat. Run around a tiny city made of cardboard. And best of all: you get to use the “guinea pig bridge.”
♪ Guinea pig bridge! Guinea pig bridge transporting guinea pigs from point a to point b. Utilizing the latest guinea pig bridge technology… ♪
John: Yeah. Being a guinea pig has its upsides. That’s all I’m saying. The infrastructure alone is incredible. But that’s clearly not the concern those people have. Their worry is that we’re being used “as guinea pigs” for a rushed, untested vaccine. It’s an understandable thing to worry about, even if some express it in less-than-ideal ways.
Tell me why you’re concerned.
Six words: testing, testing, testing, testing, and more testing. It’s important if you’re going to put something into your body that it’s absolutely and totally tested.
John: I’ll tell you what I admire about that guy: his confidence. Because I don’t think I’ve seen anyone more self-assured than the man who just promised six words, said seven, and counted five, all without even flinching. That guy is so secure in his thinking, he can be wrong about numbers on camera twice and do it with an unbreaking smile. But it’s worth understanding exactly how the vaccine was able to come to market so fast. Because researchers had been working on vaccines against other coronaviruses for years. So when covid-19 hit, they had a significant head start. “Operation Warp Speed,” as it was famously called, wasn’t about rushing the science. It was about significantly cutting through bureaucracy that could have otherwise slowed it down, as this vaccine researcher explains.
Did you ever imagine that we’d be able to develop a vaccine in 12 to 18 months?
The short answer is no. We’re able to compress the timeline, so that things we would normally do in a linear fashion, a to b, we actually start the f and the e at the same time as a and b.
John: Exactly. Flashback they took steps that usually happen sequentially, and saved time by running them simultaneously. And to be honest, I’m envious of that level of efficiency. I’d save so much time every morning if I could shit, shower, shave, eat breakfast, kiss my family, and brush my teeth all at the same time. Unfortunately, I’ve only ever managed to do three of them at once. But I’m so close to that fourth one. Another concern you may have heard or seen online, is that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first authorized to use messenger RNA. Which is true. But that’s given rise to speculation about what MRNA is capable of doing.
Alex Jones: Basically, anyone taking these vaccines… They’re all designed to do the same thing… Is going to have neurological disorders within one year. Most of the people taking the vaccine will be dead within 10. Let me tell you something: you take the MRNA, it creates plaque in your brain and gives you Alzheimer’s and I got the studies too. So, hey! You think they just put fluoride in the water to dumb you down? Whoo!
John: Man, Alex Jones is having a blast. No one else has as much fun while making the world a worse place to live in. It’s like he invented a jetpack that sprays everyone beneath him with human shit. But there is absolutely no evidence or credible studies supporting any of what he just said. As for the claim that MRNA vaccines modify your DNA, it is very important to know that the vaccine’s MRNA does not enter our genome. It does its work far from the cell’s nucleus, which is where your DNA is. But the fear of what the vaccine contains, or what it could do to you, seems to be common. Some evangelicals are concerned it contains cells from aborted fetuses… Which it does not. Others worry that it could change the body’s inner workings. You might have had a friend tell you they’re worried the vaccines cause infertility. Those rumors were fueled by a blog post, which falsely claimed that Pfizer’s vaccine contained ingredients capable of “training the female body to attack a protein that plays a crucial role in the development of the placenta.” But a few things there. First, experts say of that claim, “it’s a myth, it’s inaccurate. There is no evidence to support it.” And there’s already pretty good proof that Pfizer’s vaccine doesn’t cause infertility, because during the trials last year, multiple women became pregnant, and the only one who suffered a pregnancy loss was given the placebo. So it’s just not true. And the final myth you may have heard is that the risks from the vaccine are somehow greater than the risks of Covid. That is a perception fed by the constant circulation of misleading headlines about people falling ill or dying after getting their shot. For instance, you may have seen this story that was widely shared about 23 people in Norway dying within a week of getting the shot. Which does sound scary, but that headline is missing some pretty major context. While those people did die, at that point in Norway, the vaccine was being administered to the oldest or sickest people. And a certain percentage of them were, statistically, going to die that week, vaccine or no vaccine. On average, 400 people die each week in nursing homes in Norway. And when the world health organization reviewed those incidents, they didn’t find any unexpected or untoward increase in fatalities. Which makes sense… Correlation isn’t causation. The vaccine protects against Covid, not the concept of mortality. It is weird that I have to clarify this, but you are, in fact, going to die one day, Mike. Yeah, Mike. Stop listening to what Joe Rogan tells you. He’s a fucking moron… his words, not mine. That also goes for stories you might see hyping up scary-sounding data from VAERS, the vaccine adverse event reporting system. It’s a database that collects stories of medical events following vaccinations. But any layperson has to treat data coming out of it with extreme caution. Because reports can be entered by anyone and are not routinely verified… One researcher once claimed that the flu vaccine turned him into the hulk, and that report was accepted and entered into the database. Which is completely absurd. A drug can’t turn you into the hulk, although it can turn you into captain America, the only superhero whose origin story is “a metric ton of experimental Nazi steroids.” And if we’re just going to share random, unverified side effects, I might as well show you this truly shocking video about what might well happen to your mom.
So my mom got the vaccine because she’s a healthcare worker and she told me she’s experiencing some side effects. Mom, what’s that side effect you said you’re experiencing?
Being a boss ass bitch.
John: Very good. And look, I’m not saying VAERS is useless. It very much isn’t. The reason the CDC collects data from it is so, if a pattern does emerge, actions can be taken… That’s exactly what happened with the Johnson & Johnson shot. The CDC found a potential pattern of rare blood clots and paused the rollout under an abundance of caution. And while some vaccine skeptics pointed to that as evidence they were right about vaccines being dangerous, in reality, it kind of proves the opposite. That the safety risk of vaccines is rigorously and publicly analyzed, not secretly buried and somehow leaked to the human football’s neon scream hour. And none of this is to say that there are no side effects to the vaccines. There can be. It’s just that serious ones like anaphylaxis are incredibly rare …4.7 cases per million for Pfizer, two and a half cases per million for Moderna… And you should know, those also occur mostly in individuals with a history of severe allergies. The fact is, the vast majority of people can expect, at most, typical cold or flu symptoms in the first few days after their shot, or maybe just a sore arm, or nothing at all. For what it’s worth: I got my second shot this Thursday, my arm hurt a little bit for a day, but that’s basically it. I will say… The following afternoon, for a couple of hours, I did feel a little like a boss ass bitch, but it passed quickly. And anyway, the key thing to remember is that no “side effect” of the vaccine is worse than the alternative: Covid, a disease that’s killed over 500,000 people in the U.S. alone, while, once again, to date, the vaccine has been proven to kill exactly zero. So it’s more than natural to have questions. But there are reassuring answers out there. And anyone just throwing out questions without acknowledging that probably has another agenda entirely. But the problem is, to get anywhere close to herd immunity, we badly need to convince anyone who can be convinced. The question is, how do we do that? Well, some republican lawmakers, to their credit, have tried to reassure their voters. Although occasionally those attempts have looked like this.
John Kennedy: Live free and beauty surrounds you. The world still astounds you each time you look at a star. I’m senator John Kennedy. I can’t sing very well, but I’m free. Be free. Be cool. Get the vaccine. I did, it works.
John: okay. I don’t love that, and not just because it’s the worst thing to come out of a Kennedy’s mouth since the back of a Kennedy’s head… but also because, the truth is, that probably didn’t convince anyone. In researching this piece, experts repeatedly told us that the vaccine hesitant generally don’t respond well to hearing from politicians, celebrities, or athletes telling them to get the vaccine. And I get that. I’d love to think that I could end this piece, having carefully laid out some data, with a triumphant call for people to get vaccinated, featuring a mascot of some incongruous animal like, I dunno, a vaccine cicada. You don’t think that’s something I’d be interested in doing? The truth is, we actually did that. We had a vaccine cicada costume made. But after being advised that this technique wouldn’t be remotely effective in convincing people who were hesitant, we scrapped the idea completely. We emailed our mascot guy and told him not to come in. Because it was an absolutely stupid idea. A vaccine cicada? Can you imagine how dumb that would look? It probably wouldn’t end up even looking like a cicada, more like some kind of unhinged cockroach. It was a terrible concept that could have fundamentally undermined the very important message that we were trying to send, and I’m so glad we avoided making that mistake. The truth is, I’m not going to be able to convince the people in your life who are hesitant. The person with the best chance of doing that is you. So if you know someone worried, for whatever reason, and you want to convince them otherwise, do not show them this video. But maybe do try and use some of the information inside it to tell them yourself and when you’re doing that, try not to dismiss or judge them for having doubts. And I know that’s not always easy. I could have given that guy a pass for holding up the wrong number of fingers. I couldn’t do it! I don’t have that level of restraint! I’m a small, petty man, and that guy is a fucking idiot! But if you think you can do better, it is incredibly important that you try. Or, to put it in terms that that guy could understand: I’ve got two words for you: please just try as hard as you can.
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And now: this.
Announcer: and now… Dana Perino grew up on a ranch.
To speak of the democrats are plowing old ground over and over again, and I grew up on a ranch.
Mount Rushmore, one of my very favorite places. Went there every year as a kid to visit, near my grandparents’ ranch.
In my ranch, we had a dog named Choco and my sister and I brought home a cat from the ranch. In Newcastle, Wyoming, and my grandpa’s ranch. That is or my grandfather’s ranch. My grandfather’s ranch. He got me a pony named sally. My first pony was named Sally. When I was a baby, my grandfather bought me a baby. Her name was Allie. I had a pony named Sally. I had some other animals.
My grandfather’s ranch. My grandfather on my fathers side up at the ranch. Interesting, having grown up in the mountain west, ranching family, that is where I come from. Ranching family. Ranching family.
I remember growing up on the ranch.
I love early mornings, growing up on a ranch. I grew up in a cattle ranch. The ranch. Ranch.
I want to hear more about that ranch experience someday, Dana.
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John: Moving on. Finally tonight, a quick word about Twitter, the platform where HBO once tweeted this pointless list comparing their shows to different types of milk and leaving us out. Which is ridiculous. We even responded at the time, “why aren’t we milk?” And we never heard back. And who is more milk in the HBO universe than this show? We’re both bland, white substances that if ingested too quickly will absolutely wreck the rest of your evening. Plus, everything about my visual appearance screams: I was just shot out of an udder. We’ve talked before about how corporations routinely fail to get what Twitter should be for …which is pictures of long boi ducks and photos of gritty holding a rock to his ear and saying he can hear the ocean. But it’s not just corporations. Government accounts can also be desperate to appear fun on Twitter. Take the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. On Wednesday, they tweeted out this image of a kid on their father’s shoulders, looking out at a giant, tentacled washing machine, with no explanation beyond the caption, “America.” That wasn’t even the weirdest thing they tweeted this week. On Monday, they tweeted this picture of a giant wasp in a family kitchen with the caption, “it’s not always this easy to find something dangerous in your home. Check for unsafe products on safer.products.gov.” And guess what hashtag they included? Look at this image closely and say your guess out loud now. You’re absolutely wrong! It was #lesbianvisibilityday. And let’s agree: that’s definitely the representation the lesbian community has been looking for… a reminder that they, too, can be attacked by radioactive wasps in a blindingly dull kitchen. You can’t be what you can’t see. And look, I do get they’re just trying to go viral. But it’s now hard to see one of their serious tweets about product recalls, like this one from Thursday about a pool heater that can catch on fire, without thinking, “why is the account that once tweeted this picture of a cat riding a Pegasus trying to give me safety advice? Pick a fucking lane.” Even the CIA has tried to be a fun online presence, with tweets like this “decipher the code” brain teaser, the answer to which is: roses are red, violets are blue, Happy Valentine’s day from the CIA to you!” Which not only isn’t charming, it’s also the code phrase triggering a Ukrainian sleeper agent to pick up his sniper rifle and get to work. The one government account that seems to know what it’s doing is New Jersey’s state account, who once replied to the question, “who let New Jersey have a twitter?” With the answer, “your mom.” And also replied to a tweet making fun of the state with, “that’s not what your mom said.” Which is absolutely excellent. They know what their brand is: 14-year-old wiseass claiming to have plowed our mothers nightly. And they execute it well. But perhaps the saddest example of government Twitter is the U.S. Cyber Command’s National Mission Force account, which last year tweeted this image of a Russian bear dropping candy, labeled with different types of malware. And what exactly was the point of this? Did they think this would go viral and everyone would suddenly be into cybersecurity alerts? Did they think Drake would retweet it with a bunch of fire emojis? Or that the Russian government would reply with, “fuck, you got us again!” Well, apparently, the rationale within cyber command was, “Russia hates to be seen as cuddly or cozy, so we want to tick them off.” And they tried to do that with this meme. Which took a depressing amount of effort. Thanks to a freedom of information request, we now know that, from start to finish, the picture of that soviet bear dropping malware candy took 22 days. 22 days! For that! That is pathetic. Especially when you consider that, to date, it’s got a grand total of 441 likes. 22 Days for 441 likes. That is less than 1% of the likes that Hank from “Breaking Bad” got for this tweet revealing that he’s horny for sex gifs. The point is, government Twitter accounts, please, stop trying to be funny. Stop making bad memes. Stop trying to dunk on foreign adversaries. And stop using hashtags where they’re completely irrelevant. If you’re going to take anything away from this, let it be that you’re just trying way too hard, and that for some absolutely inexplicable reason, this show is not milk. Why are we not milk?
That’s our show, thank you so much for watching. We’ll see you next week. Good night!
[Ocean waves and seagulls]