Odd Man Out is down but not quite out, despite an ongoing reversal of fortune that has left me in debt and without health insurance. Just thought I’d let you know, in case you wondered why I post so infrequently these days.
In a nutshell, I’m a writer who no longer gets paid to write. One of millions of workers sidelined by corporate bean counters who know that cutting jobs — through outsourcing, attrition, and making each remaining employee do the work of three — is the quickest route to higher profits for the one-percenters, and so what if the long-term consequences of a permanently downsized workforce are disastrous for the economy.
To make ends meet, I work a job that is, in some ways, the 21st-century equivalent of selling apples in the Great Depression. The other day a passer-by wearing a STUD MUFFIN T-shirt told me to get a real job. “Have a nice day,” I replied. My restraint was something to feel proud of, like not spitting on the car with tinted windows that rolled past me later that same day. I can’t abide tinted windows.
I’m a lot less confident now than back in January, but I cling to the notion that there still might be time in middle age to re-assess my situation and fix it. I’m a bit like Gary Shteyngart’s protagonist in Super Sad True Love Story:
…I will need to re-grow my melting liver, replace the entire circulatory system with ‘smart blood,’ and find someplace safe and warm (but not too warm) to while away the angry seasons and the holocausts…
At this point, I’d settle for health insurance, for keeping a roof over my head long enough to get some good writing done, and for defeat on Election Day of the corporate thieves who would say and do anything to further enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. I’m thinking of Mitt Romney’s assertion that nobody in America dies because he or she is uninsured, and of Paul Krugman’s reaction to it:
…Even the idea that everyone gets urgent care when needed from emergency rooms is false. Yes, hospitals are required by law to treat people in dire need, whether or not they can pay. But that care isn’t free — on the contrary, if you go to an emergency room you will be billed, and the size of that bill can be shockingly high…
More important, going to the emergency room when you’re very sick is no substitute for regular care, especially if you have chronic health problems…
Is there anything more despicable than a super-wealthy con man, coddled from birth, who insists the poor have no reason to complain? A cold-blooded technocrat who preaches family values but lives behind tinted windows, hiding his dirty money from the IRS?
No need to answer such angry questions. Just watch the Romneybot in action tonight. And make sure you vote in your own interest a few weeks from now, which means against Romney, unless you happen to be a one-percenter.