Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Stephen Fry in America

I'm full of busy, so this one will have to be quick...

Anybody been watching "Stephen Fry in America"?

I think it was the last episode wherein we saw working-class American families eating at soup kitchens along with the homeless, because an ordinary 9-to-5 no longer pays even the grocery bill.

In the same episode, we saw a bunch of millionnaires wittering on about how socialised healthcare and other such things were BadWrong, because charity! and the trickle-down effect! could fix everything perfectly - and one simply needed to ostracise other rich folk who didn't contribute enough to Good Causes. Send 'em to Coventry.


...oh, never mind.

My parents are travelling to the US this week. Because they've got a bit of nouse, they're aware that they'll only see the shiny happy parts. So they won't come home going "Everything's so BEAUTIFUL! And new! And the people are all so polite and welcoming! And we need to move there right now!!!" like I've heard so many deeply stupid white, wealthy, able-bodied tourists do.

On the end of that episode - it's sad that the American Dream still thrives, in a way. At least, the part about the streets being paved with gold. Those people were willing to die for the chance to enter the US - and plenty of them do, every day.

As Hagrid put it - "They want to sponge off the state! And get all the free... um... er... never mind."

I'm sure the tax dollars used to maintain that big fuckin' border fence could pay for a lot of life-support machines or schoolbooks. And if the authorities let in every Mexican in Mexico, and those people thus learned that their choice was between living in poverty in their homeland and living in poverty somewhere else (with added racial discrimination!) they'd soon go away again.

Oliver's Solution To Our Own Immigration "Crisis" will have to wait for another post, if those wishy-washy liberals won't let him simply do a swap - we'll have all the world's asylum seekers and economic migrants if it takes our Sun readers, fox-hunters, traffic wardens, the BNP, Julie Bindel, bankers and... y'know, child murderers and stuff.

Deal, world? Didn't think so.

On another political note, I'm getting into the anti-choice (sorry, pro-life-until-birth-after-which-who-gives-a-fuck?) mindset. I'm currently LRP-ing a pro-life Catholic French minister. While that sounds like lols all by itself, I know, the setting is a world troubled by zombies.

But they're not zombies! They're unfortunate victims of a psychosomatic illness, whom I'm sure can be cured with a little effort! We must keep every single one of them well and happy (Hagrid made the character, as you can tell if you've ever come across any of his more tiresome ones).


Battybattybats said...

on the pro-choice thing I have an ethical dilemma on that.

Firstly I agree people should have access to contraception and morning-after type pills to protect their right to choose whether to reproduce or not.

And the main reason I agree with abortion is a persons right to utter control over their own body. That if they don't want to carry a foetus to term thats their decision.

But as some scientists are working on artificial wombs to save endangered species and very prem babies...

If the baby could be helped to survive at the time of the abortion by being transferred to an artificial womb (or transplanted into a willing natural one or a mans abdomen!) isn't there a potential ethical obligation to do so?

At what point would that start or not?

And should the pro-lifers morally be obliged to take the babies?

With male ectopic pregnancy a dangerous (to baby and man) but possible option should not the pro-life males be lining up to carry and raise the babies?

And is it just me or has the word verification started to make real words often related to the subject being discussed?

It wants me to type in 'flesh'. I find that disturbing!
I take it the Zombie rpg game your playing might be All Flesh Must Be Eaten?

Silverback said...

I'll try and make sure your parents see a few unsavory people and places to give them a balanced view of life here. However I think they'd prefer to have a good time, being here for only 2 weeks after all.

Everyone has their own opinion of course but why would you call those specific tourists 'deeply stupid' for their views ?

Maybe if you actually came here and saw things for yourself, you'd return with a slightly more informed opinion. TV shows are primarily for entertainment and as Michael Moore has proved, documentaries can be very subjective.

Oliver A. FP said...

BBB - ah, those are actually pro-life questions. I was thinking about the "pro-life" people I lose all sympathy for because they oppose all measures that might make life the tiniest bit easier for the children, and their parents, once they're born - the usual right-wing fundamentalist type. "It's a tragedy if that child is aborted... but not a tragedy if he dies aged 10 because he can't afford health insurance."

That type. If every pro-lifer did offer to adopt an unwanted child, or offer to have one transplanted into their womb if that became possible, I'd be much more impressed with their arguments. But we don't hear much (hang on, any) of that, just demands for control over women's bodies.

SB - I know when I'll revise my opinion. It'll be when I hear *one* US citizen, who is without the privileges one needs to live in the first-world veneer over the US rather than the rest of it, say "People are always polite and lovely to me! I've never had any trouble getting a house or a job! I can go anywhere I like and feel reasonably safe!".

In fact, even just someone who has nearly all of those privileges, but is lacking one or two of them.

I mean, I'm autistic and so have that cliched "theory of mind" problem. But even I can fathom that other people have different experiences from me - *I* would be treated very well as a tourist, because I am WHITE and appear wealthy. How does that understanding take any amount of brainpower?

I've never seen anything by Michael Moore, so can't judge.

Finally, in a "civilised" First World nation, healthcare (healthcare!) is not a "privilege". It should be a universal right.

I'm not saying my country's perfect. Ha, like any Brit would say that. We're all ashamed of it.

But... it's not THAT bad.

David K said...

C20 America ~ C19 UK