Thursday, July 4, 2013

Silliest Ffourth, or The Decoration of "Independence"

I have been in an absolutely wretched mood of late. I turned 27 Earth-years old about a week ago — the age at which Jimi, Janis, Jim, and many other icons, musical and otherwise, fled this existential plane. I have a useless bachelors' degree that took eight years to achieve — or just under 26 years, if you count all the schooling and growing up before college — no hope of employment in a dead-end town, the finest writing skills that ever failed to gain a following beyond a very small circle of cyberfriends,* a splitting headache from the onslaught of familial aggravation and yelling in a small house with greater acoustics than ever thanks to the replacement of carpet by hardwood, and, after my mother told me that I'm "debt-free", I got a thing in the mail that informed me that my bi-monthly health insurance payment is hopping up to $286 and change. For my reader (-s?) outside the US, that's right; my mere existence, let alone its continuation, apparently requires me to forever cough up dough in increments, because if something horrendous happens to me, I will not be allowed to just die and escape the madness, no matter how limited my contributions are to endless menial errands and half a gigabyte of scribbled lines. I'm unallowed, and I'm feeling mighty unappreciated. I don't even get a word of criticism most of the time, save from my mother who complains that I keep making fun of her; people "unfriend" me without so much as "goodbye", or they ignore me. One person in Portland seems to appreciate me quite well, but suffice it to say that the idea of going to them has perished. And I may not be far behind.

Be it personally or (inter)nationally, I gotta say, independence is bullshit. On the national scale, we in the US have run ourselves into the ground and will soon be buried six feet deep there. Everything is outsourced to....other countries. (Including pop stars from Britain, I might add.) That's not independence. Employing our own people to produce our own goods on our own soil would be closer to independence. No doubt we'd still be making treaties and starting unnecessary wars with other countries, but it would be a start.

As for the personal level, I'm not even sure where to begin. We make a big enough deal about it. I hear it from my parents; I have to be independent! They won't support me forever! Nobody will support me! I have to support myself! Nobody will hire me! I have to support myself! Nobody will host me! I have to support myself! What, do I build a house out of wood and mud, with my bare hands? Do I grow my vegetables in the roof of that house? Where do I build that house? The whole country's divided up into other people's properties. I'll be shot and/or arrested.

With the possible exception of some radical guys in Montana — or so I've heard — nobody is really independent. At the very least, we have to deal with others to get the goods, materials, and decorations we need and want. And even before we get to an age where we can do that based on our own decisions, who among us can claim that they raised themselves as children, without anyone around to teach them what things are, reach the snacks off the top shelf for them, prevent them from stuffing that mud and those creatures in their face, et cetera, et cetera? Hell, our being born in the first place is dependent on at least one other person! We don't just pop out of thin air; we pop out of another human! And, thanks to our grotesquely fucked-up evolution, even she can't conjure you alone. At least one other person needs to help with a normal, natural delivery, which I understand is superhumanly painful for her. And how about that increasing number of cesarean births? How many people does it take to surgically remove someone from their own umbilical cord? Not to mention that the mother didn't impregnate herself. Unless she broke into a sperm bank at night. But even then, she didn't build that sperm bank alone. I should think it very implicit and inherent in our biology that we are inexorably dependent on each other.

So why this crushing "independence" mindset? Outmoded macho bullshit, mixed with the greed of those special few who never outgrew that bit of childhood where the kindergarten teacher tried so hard to get you and the other kids to "Share". Those stupid, uncooperative brats ruined everything for the whole class. The whole working class.

We depend on each other. Some in certain ways, some in others, some unfortunate souls on life support completely and terminally. If the family or hospital goes cold and pulls the plug, they're gone. We're humans, and physical care is not enough for us. We need emotional support — love. We need to know that our existence has value, even if it's merely local. And by "value", I don't mean financial. If money is your primary concern, may I say this: It's humanity, stupid!

That seems such a perfect ending, right there. But I got to thinking about something I read recently on the Good Men Project, an intriguing site whose publisher somehow came to follow me on Twitter and still does. Apparently I've reached a point in my feeling of loneliness that I'm reading mating/dating articles. Anyway, one of them said something akin to "you're not looking for a partner; you're looking for a caretaker." Yes. Yes I am. And she should be too. We take care of each other. That's what we're supposed to do.

I bid you an American Fantasy Day full of happy festivity, delicious food, and well-guided love. Make it happen.

*Lucy in Cyberspace's official followers remain at three after some five years and change. I still have no idea who Daniel is, which could be the tiniest spark of encouragement. Daniel, looks like you're near Chapel Hill. You don't happen to know Rockin' Ammonia Karaoke, do you? Also, Hi Mond_licht! Long time no interact with. And Type, great to have you. Otherwise, I get a very occasional comment from the likes of Momo and Beccabear. And Tucker, I think. Love you folks to bits.


Rebecca said...

A belated happy whatever it was (birthday, declaration of nationhood, sale on carpeting). I've heard of the problems with the health care reforms/expansion... being Canadian we're brought up with paying for mandatory health care at a certain age (depending upon income), it's just one of those things like the traditional winter game of hide the moose, never thought to question it. When I'm out of the country though I have to pay for private coverage and it can bite quite deep, but then just to renew my passport this last time added up to almost $200 what with photo and secure transit to Ottawa. Costs have really been offloaded onto the bottom for quite awhile I think, and yet they say productivity is up while services shrink. I think Canada is doing about as well as anyone (thanks to financial regulations we went against Clinton and whoever else to not throw out for the sake of stimulation).

A lot of people would be thinking, 27, what have you got to complain about. Like me, I'm 45 but spinny as ever, and I remember hitting 33 1/3 as if were last week!

I think blogs are mainly a form of self amusement, something to do.

Cheshire Adams said...

Good Sunday morning, Becca! :+)

I can't begin to actually understand the US health care "system". I'm not convinced anyone can. But I'm pretty sure it's that much better in, for example, certain bits of Europe.

>"I think blogs are mainly a form of self amusement, something to do."

In part, yes. (I suddenly realize, I haven't looked at *your* blog in rather a long time. I should fix that.) If you lived here, you'd take every form of amusement you can get. But, for me at least, it is also frequently a hell of a catharsis. Not to mention the third possibility of being a virtual writing portfolio, visible to the world. But I've had very limited success there as yet.

>"A lot of people would be thinking, 27, what have you got to complain about. [...]"

Yes, and I think my next blog post shall touch more on this..........

Joyous tidings!