Browsing Category



In which Anna rants about the government shutdown

So in between the network outage fun we’ve been having today, and a whole mess of various unpleasant things happening to various friends of mine (seriously, Monday, KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF), oh hey look the threatened U.S. government shutdown has happened. Because the Republicans have their damn shorts in a twist over the specter of Americans finally getting some goddamn healthcare.

How disgusted am I that the government is even arguing over this? Let’s review my and Dara’s health care timeline, shall we?

2003: I broke my arm.

2004: I had the first half of my thyroid out.

2005: I had the second half of my thyroid out.

2006: Dara got hit by the car.

2007: I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

2007-2009: Assorted lumpectomies, biopses, radiation treatments, and eventual mastectomy and reconstruction work.

2010-2011: Actually got some breathing room for once, and then…

2012: I get smacked with the h. pylori infection. Which, for the record: NOT FUN.

Throughout all of this, I have been fortunate to have regular enough employment with insurance that doesn’t suck that we managed to flounder our way through what out of pocket costs we had to handle–and even with the insurance, the cancer costs alone that Dara and I had to put down were well into five figures.

If we’d had to do this without insurance, it would have bankrupted us a long time ago. As it stands, I’ve simply had to learn to deal with a body that aches in various places from the various medical problems it’s undergone, and Dara and I both have gotten way more familiar with Evergreen Hospital than anyone should ever get with a hospital, except the people that actually work there.

I am beyond grateful that I’ve managed to maintain employment with insurance that doesn’t suck. I’ve been in a situation where that wasn’t the case–because I came out of a childhood and adolescence with a mother who had to fight cancer, and which killed her too damn young. My mother died when she was 38, people. Because we were too damn poor to continue to get her the care she needed. She went through grand mal epileptic seizures through all that I can remember of her life, because she’d had a goddamn tumor in her brain, and she remained in poor health up until the day she died.

And the thing that disgusts me? The thing that really disgusts me? It’s that similar situations continue to happen all over this country.

Time and time again I see good people having to turn to their friends on the Internet to ask for support to get care they desperately need–for surgeries, for cancer treatment, for any host of things that could possibly save their lives or at least lessen some goddamn misery. I see good people having to make their own ailments worse because they can’t actually afford to get treated. I see people having to choose between whether they go to the doctor, or whether they go to the grocery to get food.

But apparently we’re supposed to like this because it’s a free market health care system. Because it’s not a socialist/communist/whatever-ist health care system. Because AMURKA.

I not only don’t like it, I am outright disgusted by how certain parties in our government can turn a blind eye to the suffering Americans undergo every day. But apparently it’s the Americans who don’t actually count: the poor, the women, the non-white, the queer.

(And yeah, I don’t want to think about how much more difficult the medical crap Dara and I have been through would have been if we didn’t live in a queer-friendly part of the country.)

Look, I’m not a hundred percent behind Obama. He’s done some things I have massive issues with. But in this, in trying to get some health care to the Americans that need it the most, I’m actually with him. No, I don’t expect it to be perfect. But I’d much rather see the Republicans in the government pull their heads out of their asses and try to work with him to make the system suck less, rather than holding the government itself hostage.

I’ll be remembering this, people. In memory of my mother, whose birthday would have been TODAY, in fact. And in the name of every American who’s had to suffer rather than get the treatment he or she needs. Because this inhumanity has got to stop.

ETA: I see with grim satisfaction that Margaret and Helen are in accord with me on how the Republican part of Congress needs a bunch of emergency headfromassectomies.

ETA #2: Dara points out that our costs during my cancer care went into six figures, not five. Which only drives my point home harder. It took us until well into 2011 until we finally pulled out of how hard that hit us financially.

Movies, Politics

No, actually, I’m NOT tolerant of bigotry

Just came back from getting my phone replaced to see the word going around the Net that Orson Scott Card has apparently decided to call the question of gay marriage “moot” and has asked for “tolerance from the victorious”. And for added WTFery, is calling on people to not boycott his movie.

It’s one thing to say that “I am against gay marriage on religious grounds” and to therefore apply that to your own life. I don’t like that, but it’s appropriate to accept that others who don’t agree with me are free to live their own lives as they wish. It’s quite another thing entirely to say that “because my religious views are against gay marriage, nobody should ever have gay marriage EVER”–to actively throw your own reputation, money, and life effort into not only trying to pass laws to enforce your views, but to promote the outright dehumanization of LGBT folk.

And now he has the nerve to ask people to not boycott his movie? I have two words for you, Mr. Card: fuck you.

Because no. I’m not tolerant of his toxic brand of bigotry. He has the freedom to believe what he likes, but when he starts trying to force his views down other people’s throats, no, I’m not going to put up with that. As the old saying goes, your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.

I never read Ender’s Game, so I have no particular sentimental attachment to that book. In fact, I’d only ever read one book of Card’s before I found out what a homophobic asshat he is. But I know a lot of SF/F fans who did love the book, and so I’m sad for them–because they’re unhappy that a beloved book turns out to have been created by a vile weasel of a person.

Me, I’m a little sad just because Harrison Ford is in this movie, and as you all know, I’ve been a longstanding fan of Mr. Ford. But not even his presence in the film could make me give any money to anything with Orson Scott Card’s name attached.

Dara has pretty much echoed my thoughts here, and James Nicoll has commentary here.

ETA: Commentary at The Mary Sue over here.

ETA #2: For a counterpoint view Cory Doctorow chimed in on BoingBoing. I’m linking to him because even though I don’t agree with his stance, it’s worth noting as an opinion I’ve seen out there a lot every time something of this nature comes up: i.e., how much leeway can you give between the creator of a piece of art, and the art itself?

I’ve seen a lot of people advocate separating them and I can buy that up to a point. In Card’s case, he crosses the line for me specifically because he is an activist. I.e., he’s a member of an organization dedicated to the dehumanization of LGBT-folk; it’s not enough for him to just have these beliefs. And you know what? Fuck that. I don’t care how good a writer he is. I have no qualms whatsoever about potentially missing out on good stories despite my lifelong goal of Wanting to Read All the Books. My life is too short, and there are too many other great authors out there who aren’t trying to pass laws to make my wife and second-class citizens, to give dime one to him.

ETA #3: James has another post up linking off to a stunning comment from another author pretty much equating “refusing to buy an author’s work and therefore causing him economic harm” to “causing actual physical harm”, and asserting that these differ only by degree.

And I repeat: I don’t give a rat’s ass how good a writer Card may or may not be. Ability to string sentences together into a coherent SF/F novel does not excuse you for being a rampant, bigoted, hate-filled asshole. And it sure as hell does not mean I have to subject myself to your work. There are too many good people in the world who are far more deserving of my money.

Card’s already brought a gun to something that wasn’t even a knife fight, so y’know what? No, I do not give a fat flying fuck about whether I’m causing him any economic harm by refusing to support him or his work.

(The comment in question appears in this thread on, which actually raises good thoughts about what to do as an ethical consumer of art, in situations like this–where significant art has been created by terrible people. The post itself is worth reading, but as with many places on the Internet, for gods’ sake STAY OUT OF THE COMMENTS unless you’re feeling feisty.)

ETA #4: Chuck Wendig speaks eloquently on the matter right over here. Money quote:

That’s him doubling down and saying, “You need to tolerate my intolerance.” Which is a classic derailing tactic that smells so strongly of horseshit that when he says it I wonder if I’m actually living inside a horse’s ass.