Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mitt Romney and The Healthcare Quandary

Excuse the urgent, tinkling, anxiety-inducing music, I mostly wanted this clip because of Romney's fun quip about emergency room care:

"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance," he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night. "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."

Yup. It's as simple as that. 

Just, fucking fuck you, you sentient pile of veneers and stolen pension funds. You are so far removed from the people you would try to preside over, it's like a different fucking planet.

I don't think Mitt Romney is so stupid as to believe that emergency room care, for the uninsured, is free. I do believe, however, that he has no idea how the average emergency room bill affects people who aren't shitting greenbacks.

In 2006, for a few months, I was actually playing with the idea of dying. Just, up and quitting. One day, about a year after my dad committed suicide, walking home from class, I said to myself..."I think God is asking too much of me." That thought repeated itself over and over and over again in my brain, and would not stop. I paced around my room, and I actually remember my mind breaking. I started simultaneously laughing and sobbing, and tore apart my entire room, doing mostly nothing except making a hellish mess, but trying to tell myself that I was looking for a picture of my father.  I spent the next few hours hyperventilating. I called one of my best friends, who came over, utterly bewildered, and forced me into a car. She and another friend helped me into the campus medical center. I couldn't stop hyperventilating, so they gave me an Ativan. I remember my friends telling the nurse, "Yea, this has been a long time coming."

The day after, depressed as fuck (and probably feeling the after-effects of the Ativan), I sat at a diner with my friend, pushing food around my plate. Thought about dying. Still pushed the food. That's when I knew I was truly fucked up. I can eat, like, anywhere. Anytime, anyplace. If I can't eat, something is severely wrong with me.

I decided to check myself into a looney bin, despite my lack of insurance. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made.

It wasn't the same as an emergency room, but it was close. That was a pretty fucked up time for me, and I have no idea what I would've done if I hadn't put my safety and sanity into the hands of other people. 

Four days in that place cost me over $5,000.00.

That's a drop within a drop within a DROP in the bucket to someone with as much money as Mitt Romney. I didn't have insurance, but I was lucky in a lot of ways. I didn't (and don't) have kids, I didn't have a ton of bills to pay at the time, and I was still a student, so I could coast on loans for a while. Something tells me a desperate, single mother of two working a full-time job and wrangling her family doesn't have the time OR money to cart herself off to the looney bin. 

So, what? Fuck her? Emergency rooms aren't free. I've heard horror stories of people who ended up paying tens of thousands of dollars to fix broken legs, to have emergency appendectomies, to have surgery on a heart that just up and quit. Yes, they're alive, the hospitals have an obligation to stabilize them. They're alive, and they're eyeballs deep in fucking debt for the rest of their lives.

Mitt Romney has no idea what it's like to have the weight of a giant medical bill fucking you in the back of the skull every day until you're practically insane with anxiety. Never in his life will he ever feel that. That in itself isn't the problem, the problem is that he cannot get on the level with people who feel that every fucking day.

Hundreds of honest, hard-working people kill themselves every day because they're well-aware that a trip to a shrink, for an uninsured person, is the cost of a monthly car payment. So they snap, kill themselves, and restart the cycle of abandonment and depression in the children they leave behind. Thousands of people with debilitating abdomen pain pop some Advil and grimace through the day because they'd rather pretend that nothing's wrong than acknowledge that colon cancer runs in their family, and that cancer is fucking expensive to treat. Millions of people ignore their dental health (until a few months ago I hadn't been to the dentist in over a decade), their obesity, that funny way they have of wheezing when they sleep, the fact that their prescription glasses are 20 years old, and by the end of the day, they have blinding migraines.

I'll say it again, Mitty, fuck you. You have no concept of these problems, and what's worse, you do not care to have a concept of these problems. 

Leave behind every single cent you have, get an entry-level job at McDonald's, and care for three young children all by yourself for a couple of years, and THEN you might have the stones and compassion it takes to run a fucking country. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

We Need a Revolution

She's the Secretary of State. Why on earth is what she looks like relevant?

This video that I'm posting below is a trailer for a movie that I feel everyone should see. Found via this blog.

Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

I agree with every point being raised by this video, but I also think other unmentioned factors are at stake. I was reading the comments in a Jezebel article the other day (the article addressed street harassment), and somebody (an American) asked what experiences they've had in other countries. People mentioned that in places like Norway and Sweden, they experienced next to no harassment whatsoever, whereas in places like Russia, Mexico, and the U.S., they were afraid to use public transportation or even the public sidewalks, the harassment was so bad.

I think there are several factors at play in the objectification, subjugation, and general oppression of women, and an emphasis on looks is just one of them. The other one? General unrest. Malaise. A feeling of powerlessness.

 The powerlessness does not belong to women alone. An obscene gap has slowly been widening, a gap between the rich and the poor. I was watching The Hunger Games last night (meh book, mediocre film), and I thought about the absurdity of a country in which (spoilers), 90% of the population toils to produce food, clothing, and all other necessary goods and services, while slowly starving to death for lack of access to the very goods they work their asses off to produce. The remaining percentage of the population oversees all distribution of the goods they'd done nothing to reap, all while luxuriating in a bounty of plentiful food, miraculous healthcare, and absurdly expensive fashion.

It's absurd, until you consider the fact that Mitt Romney (sorry, we're getting political, get over it), a man who wants quite badly to oversee this country, yet says fucking stupid shit like this:

We're not nearly as deep into the horrifying political dystopia illustrated in The Hunger Games, but there's a reason those films are so popular, and it's NOT just Liam Hemsworth. 

There is unrest. Men and women go home every night, wringing their hands, tearing their hair out, trying to figure out how they're going to pay the enormous electric bill AND pay their student loans AND get enough groceries together to make sure their fucking kids don't starve to death. And they have full-time jobs.

When people become angry, frustrated, when they feel powerless, when they don't have a (well-deserved) opportunity to ask their congressman face-to-face what the FUCK they were doing when they passed more legislation that squashes the poor and downtrodden...they tend to take it out on somebody they know is unlikely to fight back.

In my opinion, people experience more street harassment in countries in which the general population is already feeling pretty fucking pissed off. Street harassers don't harass women to actually get any play (I'd like to hear ONE story in which a guy yelling "Hey baby lemme see them titties" actually got laid), they harass women to feel powerful. They leer, they shout, they grab, and the subtext is, "I could fucking have you if I wanted to." It gives them some of their power back. It validates their feelings of abandonment and entitlement.

Women are raised to be pretty, thin, submissive, and nice. Men are groomed to run the fucking world, and then get pissed off when they don't get the opportunities they were promised, or their behavior gets questioned in any way (see: Chris Brown's fucking PSYCHOTIC mother and her obsessive Twitter account containing nothing but insufferable caps-lock rantings of what an absolute angel he is).

I am NOT giving violent men an excuse. Many lower- and middle-class men are victims, but being a victim does not give one permission to victimize. I am simply saying that this problem, this systematic oppression of women in our country and others, is FAR more complex than we realize.

Women need to stand up, demand rights, get elected to government. Stop fostering this utterly fucking horrid environment in which we groom young women to begin competing with each other over meaningless superficial fucking FUCKING bullshit.  STOP demanding and fostering perfectionism, both with regard to looks AND academia (we have enough neurotic 85-pound bulimic dean's list ballerinas slitting their wrists by age 25-fucking-five, thank you very much). Stick together. Support each other. Demand rights. And this is optional, but if you're a woman, you might want to wait for some SERIOUS reform before voting Republican.

As countless others have said, we need a Revolution. We need to elevate women, AND the middle class. We need to teach our boys that women are not sentient blow-job machines, and that enthusiastic consent is key. We need to teach our little girls that makeup is just fucking face paint, and does not make you a complete person. Elective surgeries will not land you your own personal Christian Grey (WHOM YOU SHOULD NOT BE STRIVING FOR ANYWAY).

We need to throw acid in the face of apathy and put these goddamned power-hungry money-hoarding utterly smug politicians back in their place. They serve us, and they should never forget that.