Before I start yammering I want to tell all my Seattle area homies to go see Miss Sarah K.L read next weekend. Get info here then go.
Also note to self get her banner up kthnks.
And as SharkFu posted today Mrs Loving passed away. That makes me really sad. And I can say that it really pisses me right the fuck off that I can't find the fucking news story on CNN. That reinforces my anger that the story of the Lovings wasn't something I was taught in school but had to find out for myself.
Okay now more stuff.
I finally saw Michael Moore's slightly histrionic film about insurance "Sicko". I tend to take Mr. Moore with a bit of a grain of salt. He's going for the jugular in his films, he wants to yank on those heartstrings and make you cry.
I did not cry.
Nor was I in the least bit shocked at anything in that film. There are many reasons for this so let's go through them.
1.) I was a sickly child in a poor but mostly making it home. Born premature, prone to ear infections, bronchitis, falls, ER visits. That means lots of expensive prescriptions, doctor visits etc. Thankfully nothing was ever life threatening and my parents had medical coverage.
2.) As an adult I spent quite a bit of time being very very poor and having no insurance and being sickly. Thus I had some medical bills that I still owe on ten years later and I went untreated a majority of the time.
3.) I know and have known people who were gravely and not so gravely ill with not enough medical coverage.
So bearing that in mind nothing I saw shocked me. It's nothing new in this country. There are few corners of American life where the prevailing sentiment no matter what the politicians say is, "Fuck you if you're poor nobody gives a shit."
I am all for universal medical coverage in spirit however, looking at how well our government does in other areas I am skeptical that our country could handle it at all from the end of those in charge.
Most of the people I know who are vehemently against universal health care come from affluent homes, have never been seriously ill and don't have children who are ill. I'll give you a for instance.
A friend of mine had a sister who was about 14 years his junior, when she was 8 she was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the medical coverage his parents had, they could not get her the help she desperately needed because the treatment her doctors recommended was "not available" and the cash amount for it was up over 300,000$. And if there was no clear payment she did not get treated. She got chemo, shitloads of drugs and died at age 10.
A different friend, nearly the same situation but his parents had that kind of money available. His sister is now almost 25 years old and healthy.
Am I shocked? No.
That is the reality of being an American Have or Have Not. The fact is that it doesn't really matter overmuch how much you weigh, how much you eat, how healthy of a lifestyle you live. It's about dollars. If you don't have the dollars you are pretty much fucked.
I have known many people who've lost their homes, livelihoods, have lost everything including their lives because of the mismanagement and greed of the health care industry at large. Does it piss me off? Hell yes.
Really at this point I would rather move to another country if I found out there was something seriously wrong with me than be treated here.
In a similarly histrionic vibe let's talk about SuperSize Me for a moment. Whenever something like that gets hyped so much I am generally quite slow to want to have anything to do with it.
Super Size Me was no exception. Frankly I thought the whole thing was stupid. If you work off of the assumption that all fat people are fat because they eat the way that man did all the time, you're probably the same kind of person who believes poor people are poor because they are lazy. If you believe in the demonization of the fast food industry as being the scapegoat for the health woes of this country, yeah. Really seriously man?
All that aside the reality is that yes, not eating a crapload of fast food and other processed foods is good for you. Orly? Woooooooooowwwwwwwww I had no idea. /sarcasm.
I was unimpressed and really kind of grossed out.
I am no huge fan of fast food. I know right? HOLY SHIT A FAT PERSON DOESN'T LIKE FAST FOOD OH GOD.
I don't. If I want a burger I want quality beef, cooked to order preferably with melted blue cheese and bacon on it. If I want french fries I prefer them to be made from a substance that was discernibly a potato once. I will say occasionally, I do like greasy crappy food but not a lot and I pay the price because my body doesn't like it.
Also people who do eat like that I would guess are the exception rather than the rule. Who the fuck can afford that?
Now via the Fatosphere from a post by Equality on the plains apparently there is a rebuttal for Super Size Me called FatHead . I watched the trailer and it looks decent.
However, I am leery that some will turn it into yet another "just an excuse for teh fatties" thing and I am not into it at all.
Honestly, I think that people are probably smart enough to be presented with facts and make up their minds without the theatrics and weird stunts. I consider the insane Fast Food menus to be weird stunts.
I think at some level we all know that no matter what you're studying, the facts can be skewed to say what you want them to say.
An example I am pulling out of my ass:
60% of African Americans think that poop is a disgusting nasty word.
40% of White people believe that poop is a fantastic and wonderful word.
Same information presented two different ways right? So if you're talking to people who want to believe that poop is a disgusting nasty word which form of data would you present?
And while I'm on a roll here I want to talk about privilege again.
If you don't believe that a certain privilege exists whether it's thin privilege, white privilege whatever. People watch for awhile.
I will assume here everyone knows someone who isn't the same ethnicity they are. Ask them if they have ever been uncomfortable in a situation the moment people laid eyes on them. Or if you don't want to do that sit down and really think about this, you don't have to tell anyone what you come up with but yourself.
Have you ever walked into say a convince store, all you really want is a candy bar, a bottle of milk and a magazine or something. The minute you walk in you can feel eyes on your neck, the second you pick up your candybar the person behind the counter moves to keep you in their line of sight. Let's say you go into this place all the time, have never stolen anything, have never been rude or weird.
Let's say you get all your stuff and get in line behind another person. The person in front of you pays with a twenty and goes on about their business. Your turn comes and the person behind the counter stares at your pockets, or your purse. Then when you hand over the twenty dollar bill, it gets examined, you get stared at again, maybe they call someone from the back to look at your bill.
How would you feel? How would it feel to know that the sole reason for this treatment is the way you look?
Think very very hard about it then tell me privilege doesn't exist.
The sad fact is there's not a lot you can do about it aside from acknowledge it and then, here comes the hard part, understand that someone who gets that treatment in places you don't, is having a wholly different experience than yours. Listen to people when they talk about it, don't assume that if your experience being thin/black/white/fat/trans etc is all sunshine and glitter, that it must be that way for everyone.
Now to look at it from the flipside, my minority homies you have a responsibility in this conversation too. The fact is that the person you're speaking to will probably absolutely not get it. That is just the truth. They might empathize, they might question, they might sympathize but the fact is that person is not going to completely understand and that's ok.
Don't expect that person to understand fully it's unfair. Also unfair is to carry your own prejudices and anger into situations that don't warrant it. Not all of "them" (whomever they may be) are the enemy so to speak. And if you treat everyone you encounter like an enemy, you'll probably get that reflected right back in your face. It's a vicious cycle of suck. So just don't do it.
In the US there is the oft repeated stereotype that Asian people of whatever descent don't like and hate black people. I have heard it all over, listened just the other day to a black man at the bus stop ranting about the Asians in the neighborhood.
I have seen this particular man around quite a bit and he is almost always combative, hateful and speaks disrespectfully to people. He carries that, he wears his disrespect for everyone like a badge on his shirt that says fuck you.
So the other day he was ranting all about how rude the Asian (for the record they are Japanese) people who own a new little smoke shop in the neighborhood had been to him. He went on and on about how "they" are taking over "his" country and he can't get welfare because of "them" yadda yadda.
When he turned to me I shrugged and told him that they are always very nice to me, have gone out of their way to order a few things they didn't carry just because I asked. And not like huge orders, things specifically for me. How they always slip something free into my bag even when I buy just a pack of smokes or whatever.
The answer is actually quite simple and has worked for me pretty much where ever I go. I don't act like an asshole as soon as I step in the door. I don't give people fuck you looks for no reason. I don't walk around being a dick so in turn people tend to be pretty nice to me.
Even stores I'd heard were notorious for "hating black shoppers" I have often had no issues.
That isn't to say I've not been followed in stores, harassed etc. But it's the exception rather than the rule.
My point here is if you're giving the finger, someone is likely to give it right back to you.
It goes both ways.
Okay I'm done. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about racism on the downlow and why I'd prefer it right in my face.
Now I'm going to eat my tasty noodly beefy soup.