Friday, July 25, 2008

cancer

Have you ever asked yourselves how come, when Breast cancer is such a fashionable condition, there is no cure for the fucking thing yet? All that awareness and fundraising and nothing to show for it.


Well, yeah, you can do stuff about it. Surgery that will leave you with horrible scars, chemotherapy that will make you lose your hair ( not always, I am of the 0.001% that didn't), cover your body in pustules, make you throw up everything you eat, plus water, plus your own stomach's lining.

That is my experience , only got so far, and I was considered "lucky".

If you are lucky after about 2 years of the above you might be declared cancer free. But you know what? That is temporary. It might come back. In 80% of the cases it does. You will need more surgery, again chemo, more scars and so on.

Do you know why?

Because nobody is actively looking for a cure. All this awareness bullshit is exactly that, bullshit, because once you have it, that's that.

Finding a cure for cancer is a long and painful process. It requires research, research facilities, trained personnel, time and money. Who's gonna put it into it?

Pharma?

Now why would they do that?

It's not a profitable thing to do for them. Allow me to explain:

Let's say Pfizer goes and develops a cure for cancer. It would take them, say an average of 5 years( average research period ). During these 5 years, they have to pay for qualified staff, lab space, lab time, animal test subjects ( if you start going PETA on me, ask yourself when did you last take an antibiotic and STFU). They have to put these expenses into their yearly reports and explain to the idiotic bureaucrats why do they waste the shareholders' money.

But let us assume that they do. Let us assume that after 5 years of fighting bureaucrats, PETA, etc, they finish the product. Now it's going to pay off for them, right?

Umm, no. First, the whole process, which Pfizer had already tested to hell and back, has to be tested again by the government authority in charge of this. This takes an average of 5 years. And if you get sick in these 5 years and die... well tough luck. The government will take its sweet time. Does it need a 5 years testing time? Not necessarily, since most of these companies have to present large amounts of research and testing evidence when asking for a patent.

But, 5 years. Now let's assume that we are still alive at the end of the 5 years. The company has gotten all of the approvals and can start marketing the cancer cure. Now, the company needs to get its money back, right?

After all, it's a COMPANY. Its purpose is to make MONEY and keep its shareholders happy. Which means that CancerCure XYZ is going to cost hundreds of USD per month. If your ensurance company covers it, good for you. Chances are it won't. Which means that you'd have to either pay for yourself, or hope. Hope doesn't cure you btw.

Do I need to go further?

Plus, why in the hell would any pharma look for a cancer cure? IF cancer is cureable, who's gonna buy chemo drugs? anti sickness drugs? skin care ointments?

So until someone who's not in for the money and who doesn't profit from people being sick as long as possible gets into the research business... ain't gonna happen.



Best Compliment Ever

So Kid (who has developed his mom's insomnia) and I have been spending our wee hours watching Dr. Who online.

After seeing an episode tonight where Donna's mom says something to her about how Donna's "Not going to change the world by yelling at it" and then Donna proceeds to yell, Kid looked at me and said "Mom, she's like you."

Now you know. I am spending my days trying to change the world by yelling at it. And if I have to be compared to one of the fabulous companions, well, Donna isn't a bad choice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Social Welfare is Better Than Your Social Welfare

Soopermouse likes to torment me with the many many ways Europe has a better social safety net than we do here. I know it's all a ploy to get me to pack up and head overseas (and it's working)but I totally thought I should share some of the back and forth we do in chat all the time.

Quelipoth: there you are
beeeeeeeeeeeeeep
me: Im only kinda here

Quelipoth: are you ok crazy lady?
me: meh
Quelipoth: thats a no :(?
me: well yeah
Quelipoth: ok wazzup
me: we've got about 14 bucks to get through till the 8th
Quelipoth: fuck me :(
dont you have pound shops?
me: yep
yeah, but they don't ever sell anything for a dollar really
Quelipoth: boo
our poundshop sells 2-3 tins for a pound
me: stupid england
Quelipoth: 10 pounds yesterday_ 16 eggs, 3 400 grams tins of fish, 2 loaves of breadm 3 tins sweetcorn, one jar pickled gherkins
and some fig rolls
me: we spent that much and got macaroni and cheese
and sausages
Quelipoth: your country sucks bolox
me: yep
Quelipoth: 7 pounds of sliced steaks £5
me: fuck me with a chainsaw
Quelipoth: thats at the butchers, its more expensive at supermarket
me: we don't have butchers here
Quelipoth: we do. when we're very poor we get packs of meat flakes, 2 pounds for 1.15
throw them in stew
me: meat flakes
bwahahahaha
Quelipoth: what>?
me: meat flakes is a very funny phrase
we don't have meat flakes here
Quelipoth: when they cut off the nice slices of steak, there are meat flakes remaining.
nice quality
me: ahhhhhhhhhh
yeah we don't have those
Sent at 10:44 AM on Thursday
Quelipoth: shame on you. do you have a market?
me: no- I scrounge for groceries in the street by begging hapless passers=by. Of course I have a market
Quelipoth: an open air farmers and fishermen market?
me: yeah- we have those. A rather famous farmers/fish market is here actually

Quelipoth: is it expensive?
me: the problem is that not all the stalls accept food stamp cards, and you never know till they are about to ing you up
Quelipoth: ours take only cash
me: which still leaves me out. It's 14 bucks in food stamps that I've got.
Quelipoth: you wouldnt get them in fod stamps here, you would get income support
and child support
me: I'd have to be a citizen
Quelipoth: and rent support and council tax support
rezident
me: legal resident
Quelipoth: i got a travel pass: £1/month on all buses
me: yeah- I don't have that
Quelipoth: your country sucks balls
me: that's part of the problem. I don't even have bus fare
I get some rent assistance, $286 a month in food stamps, and healthcare. Thats it.
Sent at 10:54 AM on Thursday
me: I'm totally blogging this, btw
Quelipoth: does your kid get meals and free rides to school?
Sent at 10:58 AM on Thursday
me: yes, but it's summer and he's home so our food bill is much higher.
Quelipoth: dont you get summer activities tickets for him?
me: Nope
When he was little, I got scholarships for summer daycamps so I ended up only paying like $75 a month (still high when my income is zero) but now that he's 13 there is nothing for him
Quelipoth: up to age 14
they have pool and some skills training
me: thats cool. Kid loves to swim and there is a pool down the street but I can't afford the fees
Sent at 11:03 AM on Thursday
Quelipoth: they have activity classes that kids can choose based on their preferences, like computers, languages, history, geography, small farm
me: small farm?
Quelipoth: its an activity centre
me: do you live in the boondocks?
Quelipoth: yeah, they take care of small animalsliek rabbits and hamsters
me: ahhhhhhhhhh

I think ending on small farm animals is the way to go.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here's one for the Anti- War set

So we lost Pandagon to the pink Obamabot ghetto, but Punk Ass Blog has gotten massively awesome since Pandagon was lost to the hive mind.

From Quin comes this brilliant little gem of an entry titled Master of Jiu Jitsu about why both McCain and Obama are vying for warmonger in chief, but McCain is the only one being honest about it.

In the short term, McCain would be horrifying. If McCain tries to kick ass and take names on the ground in Iraq, the cycle of violence escalates, more terrorists are created who fight the US occupiers, the US retaliates even more forcefully, prices (especially gas) escalate wildly, and suddenly a breaking point is reached where the US must pull out because they simply CAN’T pay for it anymore. So, maybe a light’s at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel goes through Hell and back.
Now, one thing Obama definitely has is impressive managerial chops. I have no doubt that he will be a far more talented Imperial Overseer for Iraq. In the short term, I suspect Obama’s stewardship would result in a lower rate of anti-American retaliatory violence, which is good if that’s all you care about.

But Obama might very well be worse in the longer term. The Dems (of which Obama is just the latest runner to catch the baton in the relay) have figured out a winning strategy for how to keep this game going — the game, of course, being to please the military-corporate interests who are their most meaningful, powerful constituents. The Dems essentially continue to advance the Project for a New American Century while fooling people into thinking they oppose it the whole time. Though I doubt they think of it in those terms.



Go read the whole thing.

A How To Guide For Getting Over Your Own Privilege

A Must Read, Must Memorize, Must Use guide for how not to be a privileged asswipe.

And I have just one thing to add, but with a story first.

I have two friends, one an overeducated white guy who is the very definition of white male privilege. Now he tries very hard to be an ally, but sometimes even the best intentioned are blind. Friend number two is your average white woman (well not average- I think she rocks the casbah). Both friends are frequenters of a little party in the desert called Burning Man. Well call them DG ( guy) and CJ (gal).

DG was telling em a story about the topless ladies only bike parade that happens at Burning Man every year and how the women who ride in it are all empowered and happy. It's an awesome experience of freedom and self expression and no one ever gets bothered or cat called or any of the normal bits of everyday violence we girls have to put up with in the rest of the world.

Sounds a bit like Nirvana huh? I've always said that we'd know we were really equal when a woman could pass out stark naked at a frat party and not get raped or molested. If DG's view of the event is true, then we are closer than I thought.

So I talked to CJ who actually rode in the bike parade. Now CJ is by no means shy or retiring about nudity. She's done the local Freemont Solstice Parade naked bike riding thing with no qualms. So being nude in public is no big deal to her. I asked what she thought of the Burning Man experience.

And from how she described it, you would have thought she and DG were at two separate events. She hated it. There were all these drunk dudes along the route catcalling and making nasty comments. She said she would never ever ride in it again.

Privilege means never having to see things you don't want to see. DG wants to believe that there are places where women aren't harassed. He wants to believe that patriarchal ownership of women is something that he (and people he chooses to associate with, like fellow Burners) don't participate in. So he didn't see that women were being harassed. It didn't enter his consciousness. He didn't have to see it because it didn't impact him in any way.

CJ, on the other hand, did have to see it. It was directed at her after all.

Back to the checklist and the whole point of this story.

I have often ended up in arguments with people (men) over the harassment issue. I have been told things like "I just don't see it" or "This is a progressive place, those things don't happen here". Once while trying to explain to a group of guy friends that catcalling is NEVER actually used to get a date- I asked each and every one of them if yelling at a girl ever got them the girl. They had a million excuses why it didn't, but none of them ever admitted that getting the girl is not the actual point of catcalling. They just don't see the broader problem. They don't have to. (same thing is true of racism, btw. These same progressive liberals in a blue blue city don't acknowledge that Seattle is just as segregated by race as Mississippi was in the 50s).

So when you are listening to someone with less (or no) privilege tell you about their experiences, believe them. It's easy to not see what we aren't confronted with. Think of privilege as being red green color blind. You may not be able to see the difference between stoplights, so you have to trust someone when they say they can see it.

Public service anouncement:just because you don't call yourself a hypocrite doesn't mean that you aren't one

Let me make this clear: I have no problem with anyone supporting Obama because of his policies. If what Obama says make sense to you, if you really believe that what he says and what he does work together, if universal health insurance that leaves millions of people out works for you, if corporate pandering is your thing, then go on with your bad self and vote for Obama, make a shrine of him in your house and tatoo his name across your forehead if you so desire, you have my blessing. I have no problem with anyone who is voting for Obama because they are aware of his policies and agree with them, down to supporting FISA and chipping away at reproductive rights.

However, if you are and/or consider yourself a progressive, then we are talking about a completely different standard. Do you know why? Because you are supposed to know better.
If you're an Obama supporter and write a plaintive post about FISA legislation passing and the loss of privacy rights that this brings, and forget to mention that YOUR OWN FUCKING CANDIDATE voted for it after blabbering for months about what a bad things it is?
Then you, my friend, are a hypocrite, and need to go check your eyesight.

If you still support Obama after this, then you have forfeited the right to call yourself a progressive. You are supporting the guy who gave away your right to privacy. If you still support him, then you approve of his actions. Therefore, you are not a progressive.


If you are a feminist who knows what mysoginy is like and can call it out on anyone, yet you seem to turn a blind eye to Obama's misogyny? Congratulations, you are not a feminist. By not calling him on it you have become an accomplice to said misogyny.
Call yourself whatever you desire, but you are not a feminist. You can be an Obamacan, a DemoRat, whatever you desire. But feminist you ain't.

If you seriously think you can be a progressive and/or feminist and STILL support Obama, this is where cognitive dissonance comes into play.
What is cognitive dissonance? It's the gymnastics our brain does when it has to reconcile our proffered principles with our actions. Basically it pretends to not acknowledge some things in order to not feel like a hypocrite.
Of course, just because you don't WANT to call yourself a hypocrite doesn't mean that you aren't one. It just means you are not being honest with yourself.

If the same actions would have been committed by someone else, and you would have called them on it, or have called people on them in the past, but you refuse to do it now because it's Barack Obama... then you are a hypocrite and an accomplice to his deeds.

This has been a public service anouncement.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Romance my ass

The more I see this western society obsession with rrrromance, the more I believe that this oh so acclaimed thing is just another way for Patriarchy to opress women. Think about it.

Who is being told that not being part of a relationship means that you are uncomplete or just not good enough?
Not men.

Who is being told that rrrrrromance is supposed to be the ultimate goal of one's life?
Not men.

Who is being told that rrromance is more important than one's career, future, passions, ideas?
Not men.

It is a cultural venom so insidiously poured into all nonpenised creatures since birth. We are being raised on the ideal that being liked by others is the most important thing we should aspire to. Prince Charming gets to have all those adventures and kill all those monsters and gain the kingdom, whithe the poor princesses have just to sit in a fuckign tower and await for someone to ahve some use for them. They don't exist per se, have no individuality, no ideals, no fucking life. They are prizes to be won, and THIS is how everylittle girl is raised.

We HAVE to be nice. We HAVE to be liked, lest we are nothing. We cannot allow individuality, personhood, ambition, get in the way of that ultimate purpose of the female existence, to be liked, to "live happily ever after " with some guy we were never asked if we care about.

Has anyone ever bothered to notice that the prince kissing the sleeping/dead Snow White is in fact comitting sexual assault? Of course they haven't.

Has anyone bothered to notice that the alleged Father of the Ghost on a Stick Joshua ben Josef, aka Yahweh, aka God aka Big Fairy Daddy from the sky raped Mary, since he never asked for her consent ?

Yeah, you can sometimes find love and enough mutual respect and compatibility and affection to make a relationship worth having, andyou can even call it love if you so desire. But it is only women that should give up everything for it. It's only women whose relationship status ( or presence of ownership by an actual person as in penis wearer) has to be advertised publicly. It is women who are expected to abandon their name and individuality in order to become someone's unpaid slave and progeny bearer.

But you know what? There will never be any fucking equality or even pretense of it until society stops telling girls that rrromance is the purpose of their lives.

You know? I grew up in Communist Romania. From many point of view it sucked VERY bad. Abortion was illegal being one of them. But you know what?

Every fucking little girl out there was told that she could be whatever the fuck she wanted to be. I grew up seeing women on TV being whatever they desired. Engineers, doctors, crane operators, officers, scientists, steel mill workers.

Each and every little girl anywhere needs to be told that. She needs to be told that it's OK to defend herself without blocking herself when raising a fist against a penis wearer who attacked her. That actually happened to me. Some guy attacked me on the street and tried to fondle my breasts. I punched him. But for one fraction fo secind before hitting him, I froze. Hittign a man was against everything a woman was supposed to be. It was wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

End rant. And if you don't like my language you can go fuck yourself.










Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh Holy Shit!

Continuing in my movies you should watch (but not before bed) theme.

Teeth.

Seriously. OMFG. I'm not a big fan of gore, but this movie is totally worth it even if you have to watch a bunch of the scenes with your hands over your eyes while you peak out of your fingers.