Category Archives: I Just feel Sick

We’re not in Kansas anymore

And thank fuck for that, given that Kansas is described as ‘solid Romney’.

Time for a musical interlude to shake off that bad taste in my mouth.

How. Awesome. Is. That?

I mean, apart from anything else, how fab is that song?

But I confess, I’m afraid. The US elections are actually scaring me.

I can only wonder how right-thinking people who actually live there are actually feeling.

Small Thoughts on the US Elections

Despite not being American, it’s hard to ignore US elections. This is always the case anyway because America is so central to the world stage, but it’s particularly hard this time around because it’s so weird.

Watching this, the latest instalment from the lovely people at Cooch Watch:

I’m struck once again by the sheer bewilderment I inevitably get when I consider that there’s so much as a single woman in the entire United States of America even considering actually voting for Romney and his gaggle of misshapen misogynists. I’m kinda disappointed that any men are, either, but not exactly surprised. But women?

I mean, OK, I kinda get the mindset some female voters will have about the abortion issue. Women who are certain they won’t ever need one (too busy filling their quiver) and are equally certain that their daughters won’t ever need one (because they’re Promise virgins, not like them other sl*gs). See?

I don’t like it but I get it.

But rape? I can’t even list the recent gaffes made by Republican politicians about rape because I’m assuming that even the Universe has some kind of finite time frame and, whatever it is, it won’t be sufficiently long to get them all down.

Suffice to say, it’s always a woman’s fault, it’s never ‘rape rape’ anyway, and a child resulting from rape is both a gift from god and a biological impossibility.

You get my drift.

But. I suppose that the same women with Promise virgin daughters believe all this shit, so they’re equally certain that they and their offspring won’t get raped, either. But what about the other 99% of American women who haven’t leapt off the edge of reason and hit their head on the way down?

I hate to reveal this to my American readers but there is a perception over my way that Americans are just a bit, just ever so slightly, completely nuts. Which is typically self-hating given that the people who hold this view are the same as those who think Americans are our soul mates.

I, however, subscribe not at all to that view; as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Americans are no more nuts than any other nationality. They’re just more able to put their nuts in our face is all.

So, American women: not particularly nuts, still considering voting for Romney.


And then I saw something which attempted to explain it. Thank shit for that, I thought.

And, no, I can’t find the link, but the reason boiled down to ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’

It seems that a substantial proportion of the women intending to vote for a misogynistic sack of shit are doing so because they believe Romney will be better for the economy than Obama.

[An Aside: I think Obama is pretty great, and if you don’t I suggest you come over here and admire the NHS before Cameron fucks it completely to understand how awesome universal healthcare is.]

I ceased to thank shit and proceeded to slap it around the face.

The economy? The economy? That thing left in such a state by the previous Republican administration that I’ve named it twice?

But let’s ignore the past and move forward, eh? I don’t know enough about the intricacies of the economic policies of either Republicans or Democrats, so – although I have my suspicions which will be more mindful of the needs of the vast majority of Americans – I can’t really comment on their relative merits.

But Romney? A man who, as far as I can gather, made his money deliberately putting vast swathes of Americans out of work and generally behaving like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman but without having had the good fortune to meet a prostituted woman whose simply country goodness and stunning beauty makes him see the error of his ways?

You want to give this man an entire economy?? Are you nuts?

Now you no longer need to be a woman for me not to understand why you’d vote for Romney.

Unless you are a billionaire, this man will fuck you. He’s not even hiding it, not even trying to. He’s ‘not concerned with the very poor’, which, should he be elected, will soon be the vast majority of the American population. He ain’t lyin’, either, though he does, it seems, lie about a lot of other things. Like his tax payments, for example.

And because this is pertinent but also just because I love fuck yous set to music even if they’re not entirely feminist, I present to you the thoroughly smashing Wrong Direction:

I’ll leave you with one thought. We voted in our own Romney. Like Romney, David Cameron promised to fuck us and we voted him in anyway. Now, he’s getting busy fucking us and, let me tell you, it really isn’t very nice.

Save yourselves. Before it’s too late.

School: aka ‘Patriarchy Indoctrination Centre’

You know that last post, the bit where I posited that ‘this will change too, too soon’?

Four days he’s been there. Four frickin’ days.

And a Barbie advert comes on the TV. And ‘that’s for girls’.

His exact words.

Three years of constant, unceasing vigilance undone in four frickin’days.

Watch me while I weep

The Motherhood Penalty

Via Sociological Images.

[In the labour market] one thing we know is that, if you compare mothers to child-less women who are otherwise equal, mothers are on lower wages than child-less women. And this has become an increasingly important component of gender inequality.

‘The pay gap between mothers and child-less women is now larger than the…gender gap, the gap between men and women.’

And this:

Women make about 69% of what men make (not controlling for type of occupation), but most of this disadvantage is related to parental status, not sex.

‘Women without children make 90% of what men make, while mothers make 66%.’

Now. You tell me again that feminism doesn’t need to fight for mothers?

Front and fucking centre.

Holy Crap, Somebody Tell me this is Really a Reality TV Show!

OK, look, I’ve tried and I’ve tried.  I’ve tried until my brain has bled neurons out of my eyes and my entire frontal cortex has collapsed in on itself and sat, huffing, with effort and dismay.

But I do not get it!  I do not get the Republican presidential candidate thingy!  Americans are, by and large, logical, rational people.  Nice, even.  Pleasant.  And yet just when I think it couldn’t get any worse, it gets worse!  Every time!

For the love of a feminist utopia, somebody explain to me how these people, instead of being locked up as a danger to themselves and an entire frickin’ nation, are actually being considered potential candidates for president!! Did you hear me??!?  PRESIDENT!

Has America somehow missed this?  Am I the sole harbinger of the doom news?  Has every American misheard ‘president’ for ‘bigot-in-chief’?

It seems soooo unlikely.  And yet no more unlikely that what is actually going on.

This, this unholy piece of dirtbag idiocy, is merely the latest example of it getting worse, every time.  Every time these people open their you-kiss-your-mother-with-that mouths:

Rick Santorum: Pregnancy as a result of rape is “a gift” and victims “should make the best out of a bad situation” (via Jessica Valenti, from Think Progress).

If these are god’s chosen ones, god is an idiot.

OK, I left this post in draft for a week.  AND IT JUST GOT WORSE!  Now Santorum is in the lead!!!  He’s gonna take Michigan!

Are you frickin’ kidding me??  This is a Republican joke, right?  And for once, I’m happy to say I have no sense of humour.

Please, somebody, tell me it was all a dream and Bobby just emerged from the shower.

America! I Just don’t Get You!

Over here on my little sceptered isle, there is a sizeable proportion of people who are firmly of the belief that we have way more in common with Americans than with Europeans.  Based on the dual ideas that Europeans are all just cheese/pasta/tapas-eating surrender monkeys with dubious attitudes to personal hygiene and that some centuries ago, some Americans started out British, they think that Europeans are beneath contempt whilst Britain and America are, as nations, sympatico.

Well, sure we are, if you think that the British are all bat-shit crazy.

Oh, that’s just a bit of hyperbole, forgive me.  I am not anti-American, well, not any more than I’m anti every other nation, including my own.  Sure, America has all the power so it can fuck us all over, but you can bet that when the Chinese take over, they won’t be fucking us any less.  And talking of fucking, has anyone ever seen fucking like the British Empire managed?  Awesome stuff, that was.  We fucked people until there was nobody left to fuck in the whole world!  Unrivalled even now, I would suggest.  Yeah, go us!

No, there’s no knee-jerk anti-Americanism here.  I used to live in America for a while when I was a kid and it was frickin’ brilliant.  It helped that I lived in California which, to a ten year old was like one huge theme park with occasional earthquakes for added frisson.  Come to think of it, I suspect it would seem like one giant theme park to me even now.  A fabulous place, existing in my head as a land of eternal sunshine, DisneyLand, the Grand Canyon and playing dare running barefoot over patches of grass known to be infested with Black Widow spiders.  Aah, those were the days!

And my family and I met many, many Americans during that time, making firm and lasting friendships with people who were generous and open and kind-hearted and just, well, just quite unlike our friends at home in their generousness and openness and kind-heartedness.  Course, when I got older I realised that it helped that, like the majority of them, we were white and presenting as vaguely middle-class by then and had the added advantage of having British accents which it turned out, Americans really do love (which is weird considering that whenever I talk to an American I always have a vague sense of shame because I feel like I’m putting on a voice straight out of Downton Abbey and pretending to be posh).  But still, it remains that my formative opinion of Americans were entirely positive.

And those opinions remain today.  We get a fair few Americans round BoogieVille and, still, I find them friendly and warm to the point it makes me feel uncomfortable until I remember that I’m English and therefore at my happiest when uncomfortable.

But, oh, my dear American friends, for all their friendliness, suffer from the disease that every nation on earth suffers from.  Put a small group of people together, and some will be nice, some will be not so nice, and some will be bat-shit crazy.  Put that group under some tribal banner and everybody goes bat-shit crazy.  Or that will at least appear to be the case to the casual observer.

Bat-shit crazy: the national disease that all nations suffer from.

I’ve been pondering the particular bat-shit craziness of America (for every nation has its own version of bat-shit craziness) for some time, but during 2011, I really found myself swirling American bat-shit craziness in my cafe au lait on a daily basis.  I mean, seriously, what the fuck is it with America and abortion?  I confess to feelings of total unknowingness on the issue and I’m not generally known for my ignorance.  Sure, sure, I get that religion is involved (when isn’t it?), and I get that rather than ‘America’, I really mean ‘Republicans’, and I get that Roe v. Wade has always been, and remains, controversial, and I get that, as everywhere, abortion is never about abortion and always about women and control thereof, but…but…but…but…a religious right exists in every other Western country and everybody has history and the Patriarchy hates women everywhere.  What is it that has turned abortion into America’s own private bat-shit craziness?

And 2011 really seemed to be a year when bat shit abortion craziness reached epic proportions in the US.  It seemed at one point that you couldn’t read a US-based site without being confronted by yet another state’s attempt to derail R v. W.  KansasSouth DakotaOhioIndiana…the list, seemingly, is endless.  And then there’s the over-aching Planned Parenthood battle.  Then they actually started turning miscarriage into a criminal offence.  And I haven’t even mentioned  the personhood amendment.  Mainly because I can’t without wanting to cry, or possibly laugh hysterically like a hyena.

And this endless roll of attacks on women came at a time when America are smack bang in the middle of one of the worst economic disasters of all time.  Millions of Americans losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing their benefits, losing everything and they still found time to not only police women’s uteruses but to prosecute women who miscarry?  Slap my backside and call me dim, but what the fuck is going on?  Don’t politicians have anything better to do with their time?  Is the thinking that well, the ecomony is just so unsolvable a problem, we’d better distract people with something else?  like a ‘Look!  There’s a woman miscarrying!  Let’s burn her and forget about the fact we just effectively got you fired and put your kids on welfare you’re no longer eligible for and which was the reason you were considering abortion anyway!’?

And it just gets weirder, because by ‘republicans’, it seems I might actually mean just the tiny sub-group of ‘Republican politicians’ because I read somewhere (buggered if I can remember where), that S.Dakota’s politicians have passed anti-abortion legislation twice that the electorate has subsequently over-turned.  So even the people who vote for these people recognise their bat-shit craziness – which presumably (these people have no shame it seems) they displayed ample evidence of before they got voted in.  Huh?

And then it just got weirder still because the Republican party then apparently (I say apparently because I’m just not sure I can quite believe it), started to consider Michele Bachmann as a serious presidential candidate, when the woman was clearly nuts.  Or bat-shit crazy all by herself, if you will.  Not only anti-abortion, but anti-gay, anti-taxation, and publicly of the opinion that ‘blacks were better off under slavery’.  Bat-shit crazy?  Holy crap, it doesn’t even come close to a description.  It’s like the British public considering making Nadine Dorries Queen.

I didn’t get it – but then I am just ‘the casual observer’.  But it sure didn’t make no sense to me.

Was, I pondered, British bat-shit crazy even worse?  Well, it’s difficult for me to say, living smack back in the middle of it, with no casual observer benefit.  I mean, what is the British version?  Bloody foreigners?  The inexplicable belief that we as a nation still have some real world power?  Voting in the ConDem coalition?  Ah-hah!  It was then I realised that you could scratch that about making Nadine Dorries Queen, and amend to ‘It’s like the British public voting in David Condom Cameron and then whining when he fucks us all for pleasure.’

Then it made a bit more sense.

And then it just made less sense all over again because, America, I ask you only this:

Ron Paul?  Really??

I Forget Myself Sometimes

What was I saying, ‘normal service will be resumed’??! I completely forgot I had to work today and when I have to work on a Saturday ‘normal service’, whatever the fuck that is, goes out the window – even without a stupid ‘pledge’ (what am I? a fucking boy scout?) to post everyday.

It’s – what? – 9pm, and I’ve just finished.  But am already on my way to being slightly drunk.  Before you judge me, this wouldn’t normally be the case, but I am ‘throwing’ a birthday party tomorrow.  For 6-year-olds.  I need to anaesthetise myself.

I am not a party ‘thrower’.  Bless her little cotton socks, this is Boogie’s first full-on, all classmates invited, birthday party.  Yes, she’s 6.  Do the maths.  And she only got it this year because I managed to get slightly drunk at another 6-year-old’s birthday party and another mother suggested we do a joint one, and I said yes.

I thought she was offering me drugs.

Normally, I steer clear of children’s parties.  It is at children’s parties that parents tend to show their gender prejudices off like patriarcy-compliant trophies.  I fucking hate kids’ parties.  Normally, their very premise drives me up the wall:  X is having a princess party, no boys!, Y is having a Knights party, girls can come as princesses if they can get over their basic redundancy to the point of the party; a knights’ party being just a bunch of small boys trying to swashbuckle the crap out of each other before one by one succumbing to some sword-related injury and crying like fucking girls.

And yes, a knights’ party is precisely the sort of place where you will hear this phrase and, importantly, you will be expected not to kill the speaker or even tell them that come the revolution anybody who denigrates girls while girls are standing there will have their genitals severed while people stand around and debate whether the ensuing tears are of the female or male variety (hint: they will be chock-full of testosterone), just for being fucking impolite.

And that’s before we even get into the details of the ‘gender-specific party bag‘.

I really fucking hate children’s parties.  So I send the BoogieMeister.

Which works out fine.  If I went, I would be expected to be sociable, it would be noted if I didn’t chit and chat, ooh and aah, etc etc.  When he goes, he doesn’t have to say a word to a soul and can spend the entire time reading the paper; it will only be noted if he is sociable (‘oh, yes, Boogie’s dad is lovely, isn’t he?  He chats and everything!  So unlike the normal sociopathic expectations we have of fathers!’)

If you doubt me, think about maybe the one guy in your circle of mothers who takes substantive care of his children, and tell me he isn’t considered a saint for just turning up.

I really fucking hate kids’ parties.

And yes, I do realise that my basic problem is that my body lives a safe, heteronormative, all-white, middle-class life when my head thinks like a down and dirty, lower class oik who lives in a communal, rainbow-tinted farm squat and sleeps with whoever, man, cos I, like, fall in lust with an individual not a gender, y’know?  I’m basically a Socialist Workers’ Party’s wet dream who votes Tory.

I am of course kidding about the voting Tory part.

Still, I really fucking hate kids’ parties.

I am hosting one tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

Women Walk Tall?

Walk? In these? Are you kidding me?

My journey to pick up L’il Boo from nursery takes me through the business district of my fair city.  My stomping ground for years, I haven’t had any reason to go there the last few years because, well, I have no business there, so to speak.

Now I have reason to go there very often, everytime I walk through it all I can do – in between wincing – is wonder:  when did office heels get so fucking high?

Everywhere I look, women are unsteadily stomping – and I do mean stomping: doing that jerky stop-start walk that you have to do when, honestly, your heels are just too fucking high – around in shoes that, not so long ago, wouldn’t have been seen outside a strip club.  I don’t know why I’m surprised – it’s not as if I haven’t glanced in a shoe shop in the last year or so.  These shoes are all over them – great, pointy spiked heels, complete with a platform sole that is necessary to enable the wearer to – almost – actually walk on said heel.  And I know it’s not just here – I remember reading this from Australia a good while ago about the increase in ambulance call outs due to women, literally, falling off their stilts, sorry, I mean shoes.

But I don’t know, maybe I just thought that these shoes would be limited to town centres on a Friday night, brought out for that special night of the week when caution, good sense and good taste are largely thrown to the wind and young women everywhere strut their stuff in unfeasible heels and skimpy dresses whilst people of a certain age – like me – shuffle past them thinking only one thought: where are their fucking coats?  And maybe, seguing into: Christ, is she really not weraing tights?  Seriously, just contemplating looking at young people on a night out makes me feel cold.

Maybe I just thought, y’know, that professional women wouldn’t actually embrace shoes that bring to mind an entirely different profession altogether.  Because, y’know, they need to be taken seriously and all and arriving at the office wearing shoes that you can only walk like a cockerel in (jut, stomp, jut, stomp) would probably detract from that.  But no.  There are women – not lots, thank goodness, but enough – dressed in otherwise fairly sensible office attire wearing shoes so high and so built-up that people are staring at them.  Not admiringly, not lustily, but with painful curiosity.  As these women wobble along, eyes follow them, looking on with a mixture of amazement and incredulity.

Why, I sense the question in the minds of the onlookers, would anyone strap such things on their feet and then try and move?  There is a reason strippers can wear them and that reason is that they never have to walk very far and never on uneven surface; here, these shoes do not function as shoes, but as ornaments.  You see?

And sometimes I look at one of these women and – whisper it – I really fucking hate her for being so fucking stupid.  Yikes!

I know, I know, no judging.

I am a big fan of women of all persuasions, all appearances, all levels of patriarchal compliance.  Tell me any reason you like why you think women are shit and I will tell you precisely why you are wrong.  And I would tell you that women wear high heels to make their legs look slimmer and, more subconsciously, to walk more daintily, with more precision, with more thought and these things are attractive to women because patriarchy rewards them, rewards femininity blah, blah, blah.

High heels, yes, yes, I can defend.  I don’t like them, but I can defend them.

But I watch a woman wearing these monstrosities, these accidents waiting to happen, these laughably obvious impediments to walking that a woman has put on her feet to walk in without actually having had a gun put to her head, and I can’t help it.  My thought comes before I can squish it: no wonder men think women are stupid.

Amber Cole

I am not in the least zeitgeisty.

I’d go so far as to say that if we take the Wiki definition of zeitgeist as being ‘the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era’ then I’m so far out of being zeitgeisty that I am, in fact the Anti-Zeitgeist.  All hail and tremble before me, trendy people!

From not understanding the point of Twitter to not knowing my Pop Idol from my X-Factor from my Britain’s Got Talent, to being unable to order a Happy Meal, I am not of the moment.  When younger, this used to cause me some discomfort (‘Why?  Why?? WHY??? can’t I be normal??!?), but not now.  Now I’ve realised that it’s the rest of the fucking world which is loop-juice fucking crazy.

Which partially explains why I’ve only just come across Amber Cole, but more importantly explains why I just don’t get how people – and I mean everybody, people! – can’t see how fucked up this whole thing is.  How people can’t hear about what has happened to Amber Cole and to a fucking person understand how fucked up it is that:

A 14 year old girl gives a blow job to make a guy like her.

That she does it whilst being watched by another guy.

That the recipient is happy to receive a blow job while being watched by another guy.

That the watcher videos the whole thing.

That the watcher and/or recipient puts the whole thing up on the internet.

That people don’t immediately recognise, when they stumble on the video, that they are watching, at best, a form of child sexual abuse.

That those people don’t immediately notify the site showing the video and the site don’t immediately pull it.

That, instead, people actually discuss at great length, the girl’s sexual technique.

That, instead, people actually discuss at great length, what a complete and utter fucking slut/whore/ho the girl is.

That, instead, people actually discuss at great length, how she’s some nasty-assed black girl who lets down her race and gives black women a bad name.

That people never talk about the nasty-assedness of the boys involved.

That people never talk about where the fuck these boys‘ morals have come from.

That people never talk about where the fuck these boys‘ parents were.

Fucked up.  And you wonder why I’m not at all concerned about being normal anymore.  Ha!

And that’s just the misogyny.

I read about Amber Cole via Womanist Musings (not Twitter, obvs – waaaay too zeitgeisty), which also accuses the white feminist community of ignoring Amber Cole.

When I wrote about this last week, a commenter brought up the issue of lack of coverage of the incident in the feminist sphere.

‘I know that as bloggers, we have limited resources and we have to make careful consideration over what we bring attention to, but the glaring silence about Amber Cole is painful. Black women have spoken up in droves to claim #teamambercole, as a method of rejecting the slut shaming and the cyber bullying involved in this incident.

‘The silence of our supposed White female activist allies speaks loudly.’

Given that the only reference in white-feminist-spaces I could find was to a frankly jaw-dropping piece on Jezebel, entitled ‘I am Amber Cole’s Father’ by somebody who isn’t (but who actually says shit like ‘where was her mother?’ – read this to get a flavour without having to actually eat any of it), I would have to agree.  Sure, some people will miss it (like, er, me), some people will just be holiday that week, some people will have spilled coffee on their computer…but, no one?  Really?

Every time something about women doesn’t get reported (like, oh, every day for, oh, the last however long since people first communicated via drawings on cave walls…have I mentioned Women\’s Views on News?), I immediately think ‘Really?  Really?  Are you frickin’ kidding me?  Sexism, much?’

I’m thinking that now, only ending with ‘Racism, much?’

I get that feminism tends to be dominated by white women and I get that white privilege still seems to get in the way of white feminists understanding that it’s not enough to simply say, ‘well, why don’t women of colour just get involved then, yada, yada?’ and that there is an active obligation on the movement to create a safe space to welcome those women, whilst said feminists simultaneously insist that the Patriarchy creates a safe space for them.  I don’t like it, but I get it.

But are white feminists really so wrapped in privilege that we really don’t see that what has happened with Amber Cole is more important to speak about because it happened to a black girl than to a white one?  Because Amber Cole is being shamed not only as a female but as a black female?  Because black women are essentially, again, being told to shut up about sexism because they’ll ‘divide’ the anti-racism movement?  Like women of all colours are being told vis-a-vis the Occupy movement?  People, this shit is all connected!

‘...if Black women don’t stand beside [Amber Cole] and declare that cyber bullying is absolutely wrong, and that slut shaming a young girl for failing to make a wise decision is indefensible, then no one will.

‘The only people we can reliably count on is each other. I have been told many times since I started Womanist Musings that my approach is divisive, and that I cause harm to the delicate fabric of female solidarity.

‘If being angry at being neglected, when we are so clearly being attacked is considered divisive, then you don’t really have a vested interest in women.’

I can only really agree.  I mean, jeez, I’m still a novice when it comes to examining my own privilege but surely white feminists everywhere have at least read a bit of bell hooks?  Surely?

We Are the 99%

L’il Boo, as I mentioned, has only recently come out of hospital.  He was in for a week; for most of that week (after finally escaping resus), he was in a private room (due to being officially contagious).  Doctors dropped by twice a day, more if I made it known I had a specific question or concern to be answered.  Nurses came by every hour at least, to do his obs or give him his meds.  Tests were run as needed.  X-rays were taken as needed.  His room was cleaned once a day.  He was fed three times a day.  I was given a bed with clean sheets, blanket and pillow.  A ‘play specialist’ popped by every day to provide fresh toys from the ward play room (which, being contagious, he couldn’t visit).

In short, he was well looked after.  And he was looked after for no money whatsoever from me.  Oh, of course, I pay taxes to contribute to the NHS; I’m not a simpleton, I get that I ‘pay’ for the NHS like everybody else, but you know what I mean.  His care was assured without any financial effort on my part whatsoever.  Fighting rising panic as he struggled to breathe and I struggled to get us to the hospital, I didn’t for one second have to consider the financial implications of going to hospital.  I could concentrate my energy purely on L’il Boo without worrying if the whole experience was going to bankrupt me.

Uh-huh.  The NHS.  You will not get me to say a bad word about the NHS.  Although.

I am particularly lucky.  My local hospital is fairly new, well-equipped, has a dedicated paediatric A&E and is, without a doubt, one of the better hospitals in the country.  I have heard many a tale – some from members of my own family – of NHS inadequacy, woe and neglect.  The NHS is not perfect, for sure.  Fo’ sho’.

Although this lack of perfectness is of course mainly because a succession of governments just keep fucking with it, rather than because there is anything wrong with universal, free healthcare as a concept.  Yes, yes, it’s starting to cost more as the population ages and no, no, you don’t have enough money to allocate to it, but yes, yes, you fucking would have if you hadn’t given it to all the banky wankies.  But in any event, you per se fuck with any public service – health, transport, rubbish collection, whatever – when you forget that its purpose is not to make a profit and, ergo, that it is not somehow failing if it makes a loss.  That is the whole point of a ‘public service’: it is provided to the public even though its worth cannot be measured in money – by god, it’s actually designed to cost money! – but in other, more nefarious, ways like quality of life, happiness, satisfaction and other concepts that are now considered to be virtually communist in nature.  We have, of course, roundly forgotten this basic principle in regard to almost all our public services.  Much to our shame.  And we are, once again, trying to be made to forget it in regard to the NHS.  It’s a fucking crime.  And it’s what happens when the economy stops serving people and people start serving the economy.  And the richest 1% who dictate that economy, of course.

And I’ve just been reading through We Are the 99% tumblr.  And frankly, it breaks my stone cold heart.  What immediately strikes you about the stories posted there is that almost everybody has an issue with healthcare: the vast majority on there just can’t afford it.  Amazingly (for some naive soul not au fait with the American healthcare system), there are people who have health insurance (which seems to cost an arm and a leg) but still can’t afford healthcare because they can’t afford the deductible.   I am completely flummoxed by the inequity of the American health care system; I just don’t get how it’s got to the point where even if you have health insurance, you still often can’t afford to actually access healthcare..?  Hey, I live in Conservative Britain – I get inequality.  I get that unfettered capitalism destroys people’s lives.  What I had never got – never appreciated if you will – is that in America that destruction can follow a direct A to B path of such startling simplicity that it will leave you breathless.  Which, for a huge number of Americans, will be a respitory problem you’ll just have to DEAL WITH!  You got nothing fuckin’ coming is what you got!

I am not smug.  Do not think I am smug. I could not be smug because do you know the other big piano around the necks of ordinary Americans besides health insurance?  Student loans.  Thousands – in many cases hundreds of thousands – of dollars in student loans, taken out to pay, largely, tuition fees.  Which we have just introduced.

How can I feel smug when it’s just same bullshit, different day?