06 November 2008

Rambling but impassioned rant o' the day

Ooh. Double-posting action here, baby.

I got off my thought train at this station, the station of privilege, the only place I feel any claim to in particular. I consider us relatively lucky, having been able to ride one tiny outer wave of Silicon Valley's technological boom, only to land here just in time to catch one tiny wave more.

And now.

I saved the phrase I wrote: ... everyone listening for the sound of bricks and mortar crashing earthward in a mushroom cloud of dust and chaos
It just didn't fit anywhere and so I am saving it for something else. That's how this time feels. Something else is coming. I don't know what it is or what it will feel like. But it's imminent. We're all in suspense, waiting for the sound of the other shoe falling, the collapse of the detonated building.

I'm still on this social synchronization kick. I don't know what the synchronizing events are.

Wait, sure I do. They're not just national tragedies. They're also moments like this one, when people are electing great new leaders who bring energy and hope and creativity to the problems they approach. We sync up when one of us achieves an amazing feat, like putting deploying humans and robots on missions out into our solar system, and getting most of them back. (Most people old enough to remember the terrible exception, the Challenger disaster, remember where they were when they heard about it. I was in a class at UCSC. We were stunned. It was the same situation as when I heard about John Lennon. I was in high school, and just shocked. I had to talk to my friend Bill Kennerly immediately, I knew. Someone had to tell him; he was the biggest Beatles fan I knew at the time, so I believed the responsibility automatically fell to me because I knew this fact about him. I think he wasn't at school for some reason and when I did call him it turned out I was the first person to tell him. Like his mother wouldn't have noticed? Duh, sure she would've. But I digress.)

So what if we all held Obama's example of youthful energy up as an example of what each one of us can do instead of wasting our tears on things gone by? But it's suddenly getting so rough to survive all the medical problems that are causing people in this country to lose their savings and then homes. Perhaps that's one of those hidden causes, a secondary cause perhaps, of the foreclosure crisis. It wasn't just bad loans to people who never proved they could pay them, in which both parties have had a bitter dram of their own medicine lately, now, haven't they? But when you look at people who believed the low-fat high-fructose corn syrup mythology that the big food corporations were selling at the time, a lot of those people are overweight now. I might be wrong that their health expenses are greater, but certainly if you just look at the increase in Type 2 diabetes among the general population over the past couple of decades it is quite shocking. And health costs have doubled in the past seven years, "no limits" the unspoken motto of the insurance industry. It sickens me how public health has declined, at the people's expense and to the benefit of the big ag companies in this country over the last twenty years. Where's the bailout for these folks? (Oooh, I see a plot point in my novel here, the basis for a great class-action suit that would alter public health forever.) And I know, I keep coming back to this, but I believe that people have the gut-brain thing all backwards. What if we treated brain stuff by treating our guts? How could that help us understand the rest of our brains?

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