I'm sitting in a hotel room in New Jersey. Fucking Jersey. I fucking hate the Newark area - it's like all the city leaders could figure out to do was fuck people over with shitty roads and really terrible tap water. Like, if I lived in New Jersey, I'd fucking hate everyone and everything.
Two days later...
I'm home now and I still really fucking hate Newark. I can't yet tell if it was my visit to the Garden State that still has me agitated, or if it is the 100 day mark on this marmalade nightmare of a presidency that has me up at 4 AM with stress palpitations. My guess? A little of both. There's a part of me that is both nihilistic and optimistic when I say that we humans are a minor intelligence on a moderate rock circling a medium-small star in an unimpressive galaxy. The thing is, we're not that important. If the sun had a bad day, flare-wise, and we were removed from existence, the universe wouldn't even notice. Hell, the galaxy would barely blink while adding our particles to the stardust of which it is comprised.
We're only important because we're important to *us*. And that may well be our only salvation. May. I used to say "probably", but I think we're down to an even split. What really scares me is that there are a lot of people acting against our future (and our children's future) interests because they believe that some all-knowing God is going to save us. Why worry about global warming when God's got our back? Who has to care about refugees when God will sort it all out? I'm confused by this reasoning because if this is the same all-knowing God who allows five year-olds to be sold into sexual slavery, then I think we might be fucked.
Four days later...
My brain has been going to some dark places these last couple of days, and I'll be honest - I'm worried about the soul of our nation. I'm just so fucking sad for us, you know? People are acting like not being able to afford a million dollar heart transplant (or hell, a $10K overnight stay at a hospital for an accident) is a failure of planning and will so unforgivable that those affected deserve to be financially devastated, or worse, simply die instead of receiving proper healthcare (and no, emergency care is not the same as actual healthcare for long-term illnesses). People blather on about 'getting the government out of the healthcare business' as a catch phrase and 'personal responsibility' as a handy bludgeon, and they have no idea what the fuck they're talking about.
Look, I don't think that providing healthcare for a country of 350 million is easy or cheap, but neither is space travel, and it turns out that if you put enough of the right people together making decisions for a common goal, some pretty fucking amazing things can happen. And more than being able to land and re-use a rocket (which is really fucking cool, by the way), making sure that everyone can afford healthcare is the moral thing to do. You can't pull yourself up by the bootstraps when you can't fucking afford the boots in the first place. I have no illusions about the efficacy of big government, but we are a big fucking nation - small government will only further serve the immorally rich oligarchy, and fuck over everyone else.
Meanwhile you have people banging the 'pro-life' drum like it's some kind of sick joke, or perhaps they are so lacking in introspection as to not see the towering hypocrisy of forcing a woman to give birth while shoving a child with heart defects out of the next airlock. Never mind that health care is a luxury which many families simply can't afford without assistance. Never mind that fat-cat business can get away with rogering their employees for pay at every turn, then turn the majority of their workforce into part-time labor to avoid having to provide healthcare. Never mind that we crush entrepreneurship by forcing people to work in corporate jobs that do offer healthcare, and those people are considered the smart ones. And please don't talk to me about the tired, has-been high-risk pools, because the AMA is having none of that shit.
Other countries are looking on in horror at the Machiavellian shitshow that is the American healthcare system, yet people are so convinced of their own self-righteousness that they dismiss that condemnation without a concern for its veracity. Worse are the number of people who hold the line with this mindfuckery even when it is one of their own loved ones being shoved out of the airlock.
You know, I'm suddenly a LOT less concerned what anyone thinks about the sex scenes in my novel. At least I'm not so morally bankrupt as to fuck myself over for healthcare just to see someone who doesn't love Jesus die.
Wow, Christians. Muslims ain't got nothin' on you.
The House of Representatives just voted to repeal ACA and replace it with the AHCA, which makes sexual assault a pre-existing condition. Here's hoping that there are human beings in the Senate. Not from my state, mind you, but maybe from somewhere.
I was going to say something about how the vlogbrothers and Lin-Manuel Miranda really help me through the dark thoughts, but fuck it. This calls for a Wayne Goss video.
PS - While I dislike the setup of Newark, it should be noted that all of the people I visited were fantastic, and if you ever find yourself in Red Bank (about 45 min away), do yourself a favor and get thee to Birravino, then order the Stracciatella.