Saturday evening Mox and I hit up the Indie Lounge – a hip watering hole at a local art theatre. The best part? You can bring your drinks into the movie! I was a bit surprised the first time I saw a film there and spotted several sweaty beer buckets on the floor, bursting with empty Corona bottles. Even though I’m not big on the taste of alcohol (especially when compared to say, cake or cheese), I think it’s a cool concept and have only felt briefly irritated the few times I’ve kicked over abandoned martini glasses.
At the lounge we met a sweet girl who recommended tons of great movies. I normally see flicks pretty regularly but haven’t in the last few months because of everything that’s been going on. (Blah blah blah) I feel like I’ve missed a lot and there’s a whole slew of new, awesome-sounding movies in the theatres. Nice Girl mentioned one that sounded particularly good – Broken English, staring the always-stellar Parker Posey. I think the girls and I are going to see it next week for my burfday.
After a quick drink and several minutes spent gawking at the hot bartenders, Mox and I saw Sicko. I don’t know where to begin to explain how it made me feel – angry, mortified, infuriated, devastated, and most importantly, called-to-action! I firmly believe the United States should have universal health care. It’s so shameful how many people have no insurance and can’t afford the medical care they need. On the far-less-extreme end of the spectrum, I was insurance-less for a few years and at one point, desperately needed an anti-depressant. Thankfully because I was a student with a staggeringly-paltry income, I was able to get meds for free, but in my opinion no one should ever be forced to forgo care they need because of their financial circumstances.
And let’s not forget how horrendous insurance can be for those of us who are lucky enough to have it. Micheal Moore used his trademark campy style to tell the heart-breaking stories of people who lost loved ones when their insurance companies refused to pay for treatments that might have helped them survive.
Sicko also told the stories of some 9/11 rescue workers who are having terrible health problems (directly related to their 9/11 efforts) and being ignored – it’s, quite literally, sickening.
(I won’t even mention the shocking stories of homeless hospital patients dumped on busy streets when they can’t pay for the care they need. DUMPED. Disoriented, some still wearing hospital gowns. No, I won’t mention that.)
(And don’t get me started on preventative medicine!)
The journalist in me would like to hear opposing views but I still believe our current health care system is inexcusably inhumane. I’d be happy to pay more taxes to know everyone could have health care. Yes, universal health care systems are flawed but I can’t tolerate the alternative. I think people who are more fortunate (including myself) should help those who are less well off – with privilege comes responsibility. AMEN.
Unfortunately as Mox and I strolled out of the theatre, I already felt helpless about what I could possibly do to make a difference. In Sicko, Moore interviewed a group of Americans living in Paris. One of them spoke about how people in the United States are afraid of the government but in France, the citizens are more apt to make a fuss to get the rights they feel they deserve. I don’t pretend to know enough about the politics of France or the United States to know whether that’s completely true, but I do see a fear of the establishment (in addition to an encouraged, pervasive downtrodden apathy) hold people down in our country.
I felt energized recently when Indianapolis residents rallied in protest over absurdly-disproportionate property tax increases. A friend of mine who is from Venezuela said she felt so proud to call her family and tell them how people here were fighting injustice in the same ways her family tells her the people of Venezuela do.
So should we protest? What else can we do? Discuss!
P.S. I’m a little nervous posting this entry, afraid I might get flamed by people who are much more well-informed than I am. I certainly don’t presume to understand all the intricacies and complexities of these issues but I do know how I feel in general about humanity and our responsibilities to one another…so eat it…but please feel free to leave comments…and don’t forget to tell your friends about my blog! 😉