Mingle2 - Rate your blog
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* death (2x)
* torture (1x)
succumbing to peer pressure
Mingle2 - Rate your blog
Oh dear readers, I can hear you now - Megan, enough with the nostalgia! No one cares! Tell us about the rest of the US Social Forum! Well, ask and you shall receive.
I found an old essay I started writing about the Footlighters. It was an exercise for class - to start writing about something you loved, as a way to just let the words stream out. This is my blog, so I'm indulging in re-typing it here, just to save a version for me. What I found is a rough draft, I don't even remember if I ever finished it, so you get disjointed paragraphs.
I walk into the room and immediately feel my throat constricting. One person sits at the piano, while two more lean on either side of it. They ask me to sing one of Mary's songs, which is above my miniscule vocal range. Pleading for something an octave lower we settle on King Herod's song. The other three graciously agree to accompany my timid voice so that I won't have to suffer through the sound of its smallness bouncing around the room. "Sing louder, please," from the director, as I stumble over the notes. It's been eight years since I tried to read music and I've forgotten which are the half rests and which are only a quarter. After a painful few minutes they politely say thank you and send me back to my new friends waiting in the hallway. We've quickly bonded over the trauma we share - we are all auditioning.
When we go to see shows together you can tell what aspect of theater we each typically work on. Seth wonders why the director had the lead use that accent. JP loves the dramatic climax of Mein Heir when Sally gets to throw the microphone stand. Mark and I marvel at the shadow cast on the floor as if light was streaming past a slowly rotating fan.
Standing in the back of the chapel I pause a moment to watch the cast work. Pieces of wood get screwed together on stage left, a flat is erected stage right. Slowly the church is transformed into a moonlit forest as more set pieces are put together. I change the CD to yet another musical and watch Ken and Jared painting, Beth and Christine sewing, Josh doing homework in the corner, Nate cleaning. This show has become our lives. A half dozen extra people have moved into the Ford apartment, and it's beginning to resemble a commune. We've all been taking shot little naps before wandering bleary-eyed and fuzzy-headed to class. We have to remind each other to eat at least one meal everyday - I swear forcing Seth to consume something, anything, other than coffee has become one of my official stage manager duties. Yet not a single one of us would change a thing about our current lives. After the show is over, we'll walk around in a daze, feeling lost and disconnected from people we've come to rely on.
Why would someone put herself through that? Only those who haven't could think to ask such a question. Only those who's hearts have never pounded moments before bursting into the light on stage could ponder life without it.
Holy crap, sometimes I'm really glad that I save bloody everything. When Mom came up a couple of weeks ago she brought some boxes I'd been storing at my parents' place. Mostly just old books that I didn't really have room for in my previous (studio) apartment, but also a couple of boxes labeled "Nostalgia items." (I do this sort of thing. I'm not really a scrap-booker, but I hang on to stuff for sentimental reasons, hoping to one day have some brilliant idea as to what to do with it all) Anyway, so I'm cleaning up the basement today and going through those boxes, and I come across this notebook from my junior year of college. And it's a jumble of notes from my journalism class, interviews, book, restaurant, and theater reviews, all mixed in with blocking notes from my gig as stage manager for "Into the Woods." I remember doing all those things, but part of me did sort of forget that I knew how to do all those things. The writing sounds totally different from my style these days and there are all these diagrams and theatrical notes for ITW. I remember how intense those rehearsals were, how I practically lived and died to please the theater kids. I had just forgotten that I was that person, for a period of time. That locked away in my brain somewhere is knowledge about constructing a scene and setting a rehearsal schedule and building sets and sewing costumes.
"Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness -- and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we're being brainwashed to believe.
Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."Arundhati Roy
If it’s possible to bring that element of authority that keeps women from abusing their bodies with drugs and potato-chip diets while pregnant, the health of newborns could be improved immeasurably.
You not only have to suffer the physical pain of being sick; you have to pay a bill for it. And since you can’t come to work, you get fired. And since you’ve been fired, you can’t pay the bill. And since you can’t pay the bill, you become a burden to others. Since you’re a burden to others, you lose all your friends.Say and believe what you want about Michael Moore, he asks the right question in "Sicko" - Who are we? Nevermind the comparisons to other countries, nevermind whether you find the whole thing horribly biased and manipulative (well, yes, he never really claims to be anything else). How is it possible that we as a society ended up in a place where it's ok to refuse to treat a sick person because they can't afford to pay? Where it's ok to put a sick person in a cab and drive them to another hospital because they don't have insurance? Where this happens?
Sure, someone along this line of suffering could have given you a break, paid you an easy ounce of compassion, but no one has to. No one is morally or even socially obligated to do a fucking thing, because you need to learn your lesson about, e.g. smoking or whatever.
I wish to begin by making a public confession: In the spring of 1987, as a physician, I caused the death of a man.
Although this was known to many people, I have not been taken before any court of law or called to account for this in any professional or public forum. In fact, just the opposite occurred: I was "rewarded" for this. It bought me an improved reputation in my job, and contributed to my advancement afterwards. Not only did I demonstrate I could indeed do what was expected of me, I exemplified the "good" company doctor: I saved a half million dollars!
Since that day, I have lived with this act, and many others, eating into my heart and soul. For me, a physician is a professional charged with the care, or healing, of his or her fellow human beings. The primary ethical norm is: do no harm. I did worse: I caused a death. Instead of using a clumsy, bloody weapon, I used the simplest, cleanest of tools: my words. The man died because I denied him a necessary operation to save his heart. I felt little pain or remorse at the time. The man's faceless distance soothed my conscience. Like a skilled soldier, I was trained for this moment. When any moral qualms arose, I was to remember: I am not denying care; I am only denying payment.
(testimony from Dr. Linda Peeno, see video from congression hearing here)
Speaking for myself, but recognizing my efforts as merely representative of all of you reading my words - I stood with a handful, maybe twenty other people at Dr. King’s grave when the war started. We all 20 of us stood in protest, when Bush and his lies had everyone else beating the war drums. We stood on the other side of the line from the vast majority of our fellow citizens. And then I listened for literally years while politicians and the media fed us all lines that anyone opposing the war hated the troops and hated America. My own family questioned my loyalty to my country, cutting me to the quick. I have marched, oh how I have marched, to protest the policies of this administration. We hear that now we torture prisoners – the pictures from Abu Ghraib are sickening and no one pays. We hear that we tap Americans’ phones without due process and no one pays. We see with our own eyes that we haplessly and carelessly abandon our own brothers and sisters literally to die in New Orleans. And we abandon our veterans to miserable conditions as they come, wounded and maimed, back from Afghanistan and Iraq. No ones pays. We fire federal prosecutors on a whim and no one pays. We stack the courts – buy the refs – thereby ensuring that NO ONE PAYS.
What are we to do? I have canvassed, OH how I have canvassed – all over North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, doing the only things I know how to change the representation we have. I took vacation from work over and over to speak, to lobby, to write, to call, to protest. And the outrage continues. I have written checks. I have blogged. I have cried, oh how I have cried. I have put my flag out on every holiday, as I will do today, and have done my very very very best to follow in the footsteps of our best patriots by raising my voice in dissent.
We interrupt this USSF re-cap for an ethical dilemma: