Monday, July 16, 2007

movie sunday

I am hoping to inspire [the American public] in some way, to become active, and to do something.
Michael Moore on Sicko

I was dreading going to see Sicko. I didn't want to be brought down, man. I don't want someone shaking his fist in my face in a rant that's supposed to make me care. I've got other things going on.

As a recent LA Times article relays, the movie doesn't follow the same trail leading to a suit being protected from handheld cameras by security guards. It takes a circuitous route, back and forth between people's stories, happy and sad. There's lots of laughter and good feeling about your fellow man or woman. There's a certain function and flow about town in the places Moore visits, in the people he meets. Of course, these places are in other countries. The people he visits in our country share their dysfunctions and heartbreak so that we can see that things aren't working as they should, and that every time we don't want someone in our faces with their rants to try to make us care when everything in our worlds is just peachy, somehow things aren't peachy when you become indifferent.

In one segment, a video recording shows a cab dropping off an elderly, disoriented woman wearing a hospital gown and nothing else. The cab does a quick u-turn to reach the curb. The door opens, and she gets out. She shuffles up the street, not bothering to find the sidewalk for awhile. And then she does her own u-turn thank goodness, up onto safer ground. By this time a shelter worker goes out and greets her, then brings her inside. In this country, hospitals have taken to acquiring cab services to take indigent patients to shelters. That is the most humane thing they can think to do. We can't treat you, so we'll drop you at the next Salvation Army doorstep.

I try not to think about my health too much. I am an irregular visitor to doctors' offices. All in all, I've got good health. I have also been without health care coverage for about 5 or 6 years of my adult life. That's my little Aetna bio. Although it's one of those things intensely personal that we relate to me rather than we, our own physical health, I do believe that we are supposed to care for the sick and the poor. Why is it that a doctor would ever have to refuse to make someone well and order them a cab instead? We create these moral dilemmas for ourselves as Americans because of greed; ultimately greed separates you from your neighbor--there's no sharing in greed. So we live in indifference I think, because our collective moral health isn't good. Look at the south side of Chicago vs. the north, New Orleans and so on. It's not that we don't care as individuals, or maybe some don't; it's the characteristic of societal systems who don't care that we shouldn't be accepting. No one wants to change a system, though, and why should we? It's working just fine, and if it's not for some people, well they need to go and fix it themselves. I'm too tired for all that.

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