cafe mama

a domestic realist blog

this is the thing about the health care debate . 26 july 2017

thistles and fences

Here's the thing about health care (and homelessness and the housing crisis and and and...): America is all about creating an insurmountable social ladder and then selling everyone on the lower rungs on the idea that climbing is easy, so easy, and if you haven't climbed it's because of bad character (you didn't show the "work ethic"), and so we build all kinds of shame into the system for being bad at work/financial management/school/salesmanship/whatever. We trot out stories of outliers in the lower classes rising all the time. This is the entire reason for professional sports (and why I refuse to participate any more, I will never go to a pro game again): selling the fiction that people who are good enough can get out of poor and into luxury. (Which rarely works. Few professional athletes stay rich in their old age. Instead they have debilitating brain injuries.)

Do you know what this health care debate is about? Enforcing the class system. Those with good salaried jobs (that they can get because they're in the right class, usually, and know people and went to the right schools or god help me played football with the CEO's kid) get health care. Everyone else, prepare to stay healthy or get booted from the system. Your credit scores now suck and you can't get an apartment without three months' rent upfront so you're either stuck in horrible housing that makes you sicker (lead, mold, pests, highway noise and air quality, most of which lead to brain and pervasive development disorders) or homeless. You're out now. There's no way up because you have now been deprived of the coping mechanisms to figure a way through it. Maybe your mom was deprived of coping mechanisms too so she drank her way through your childhood (or pregnancy, more loss of coping skills there), maybe she married a guy who beat you or manipulated you because she hated herself for not coping, or maybe she just endlessly shamed you into working harder to get out of the place she was in. Either way you've probably become insecure and maybe addicted to something. Pain, pain, and all these pain killers...

Oh you're good, America. You have used buzzwords since your birth ("manifest destiny" "pursuit of happiness") to make all of us believe it's our god-given mission to rise above our own birth parents and enter the upper echelons and if we don't shame! Shame! You deserve your place on the street! In the prisons! And remember to rise above your fellows, your fellows must be stomped upon! Let's get them to compete from toddlerhood, for spots in great schools, for grades, for soccer goals and football scholarships and medical school admission, for rich and handsome lovers, for credit scores and equal pay. Nothing's equal but we put an equality statement on every. goddamned. government document of any import right down to preschool admission forms so if we hear that enough, if we're given booklets about our "rights" enough (special ed parents you know what I mean) we believe that we're equal and we have rights but it's just fiction.

Power, even for politicians like John McCain, is an illusion. The only people with power can't see us, they're too busy making money from our painkiller prescriptions and our endless need for fuel (to get to work, to prove our worth, to afford healthcare), they've got their own society that paradoxically needs us. The writhing, self-loathing, ever-reaching-upwards masses, with their rock stars and their baseball players and their war heroes as gods (and therefore, identity. you've heard someone say "my team" haven't you? Why else do we take endless selfies at concerts?). This is all the dystopian novels already. This is the Hunger Games. This is the Book of Joan.

I know this. I came from the lower tier and I had good character (well, I was lucky, lots of brains, some physical prowess, enough charm, great health) and I worked hard to keep my credit score up and when it all fell down around my ears (I hitched myself to someone whose character could never rise above HIS alcoholic mom and her abusive partners), I had the good health enough to get back up. But I'm done believing in this system. I'm done competing against my fellow person. Hence polyamory. Hence tour guide and not Vice President of Global Strategy. Hence believing in magic and that love is tangible and I can affect the universe with my mind.

I started this as a Facebook post and now it's an essay. Hell, there are no political heroes, most of this political debate is a distraction that will keep us forgetting to dismantle this ridiculous system, stop competing for love, stop proving our worth through paychecks and credit scores, I go to work every day so I can spread my seeds of insurrection and cook good food for the people I love and teach my children how not to let pain rule them and I will heal myself, let's all heal each other and then we won't need anyone's stupid health care debate.

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read my previous post . here is when we settle . 16 January 2017

I'd love to take you on a meditative garden bike tour of Portland, with stops at the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden. I also am doing a doughnut bike tour I call "Beyond Voodoo". Please come see me at Cordilleran Tours, bicycling, hiking, Willamette Valley winery and Columbia Gorge tours!