Throat feels a little better this morning - Called the college health clinic to schedule a strep-test but the soonest they could give me is Monday afternoon; the nice lady on the phone advised me to avoid breathing on people until then. And so I shall. As my mother has often told me, oxygen is for wusses. Though I do take care to note that my respiratory system so far seems unaffected by the bug, which is usually the biggest fear to rear its head whenever my immune system takes a dive - still, I have taken the usual precaution of temporarily going cold turkey on my smoking habit. Day three now, and I've yet to bite anyone's head off.
Though I admit I've become far too upset about the Stupak Amendment the Health Care Bill has acquired during its time in the house - an amendment that guarantees abortion will not in any case be covered by the Public Option. That is, the portion of the populace for whom the Public Option was in fact created for, the people who by definition cannot afford coverage, and therefore presumably anything remotely like acceptable education, hygiene, nutrition and emotional and spiritual support, in other words the people who are most likely to make the kinds of mistakes, or fall victim to the kind of violence this procedure invariably stems from, will not qualify for it. It will be denied them. Bart Stupak, a Democratic representative from Michigan, insists this is nothing but the application of the Hyde Amendment to Health Care Reform. Which I believe raises the question, 'where's the reform in that?'
I'd like to take a moment to mention that the allocating of government funds to sponsor abortion is still... well, it grates, doesn't it? Whether or not the moral issue appears to us as clear as day - the American democratic majority is still Pro Life, and the federal government is an extension of public opinion, not a guardian of morality. If we allow our conscience to take exceptional rule to the law, what's to stop anyone else, and specifically religious groups, doing the same thing? Aren't we then as bad as them? Morality is by definition a gray area, in my opinion at least, Right and Wrong change, or at least shift slightly from one individual to another. You know what doesn't change so easily? Legal and illegal. So the idea is to make Legal and Right, and Illegal and Wrong to coincide as much as possible, by making laws that are right. So thank you Bart Stupak, for thoroughly messing that up... But you know what the really sad thing is?
There is nobody even remotely in my age group to whom I can talk to about this without getting this reaction: The head inclines slightly to the side, a single or both eyebrows rise, and the mouth quirks sideways. Oh well.
THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPEH:
- Lou Dobbs has retired, Iliana and I actually exchanged a high five in that regard; Iliana was born in Mexico, and I despise hate mongering, therefore we both benefit from a lack-o'-Lou.
- Lemony Snicket's A Bad Beginning is now available online for free download; I strongly suggest you refrain from reading this horrible tale. If you don't believe me, please allow the man himself to dissuade you.
- Heinrich Heine comparing Shakespeare to God:
I have been reading in the Old Testament again. What a great book! Even more noteworthy than its contents is its presentation, where every word is as natural as a tree, a flower, the sea, the stars - as man himself. It sprouts, it flows, it sparkles, it smiles - we know not how or why; but it all seems quite natural. This is truly the word of God; other works are merely products of man's wit. In Homer, that other great book, the presentation is a product of art, and though the material itself, as is the case with the Bible, is taken from reality, it is cast into poetic form, transfused, as it were, within the crucible of the human mind. It has been refined by means of the spiritual process which we call art. In the Bible no trace of art is evident. Its style is that of a notebook in which the absolute spirit, seemingly without the assistance of any individual human being, has jotted down the events of the day, almost with the same factual accuracy with which we write our laundry list. One cannot pass judgment on that style. One can only observe its effect in our minds. the Greek grammarians were more than a little perplexed when they were supposed to define some striking beauties in the Bible in the terms of traditional aesthetic principles. Longinus speaks of sublimity. Recent aestheticians speak of naivete. Alas! As I have already said, there are no criteria for judging this book... the Bible is the word of God.
In only one other writer do I find anything that recalls this unmediated style of the Bible. That is Shakespeare. With him, too, the word sometimes appears in that imposing nakedness which awes and moves us. In the works of Shakespeare we sometimes see the living truth without the covering of art. But this occurs only in rare instances. The genius of art, conscious perhaps of its impotence, for a very brief space transferred its office to Nature, and then once more asserts its supremacy all the more zealously in the plastic shaping and the artful entanglement of the drama. Shakespeare is at once Jew and Greek; or rather, both elements, spiritualism and art, prevail and are reconciled in him, and unfold in higher unity.
- Letter to Ludwig Börne from Hegoland, July 29 1830
Alright then. Time to get bundled up and off to math class.... The sun's finally come out, so that's something, though it's probably only going to last the length of time I spend inside getting dressed. Might take the time for an extra cup of tea.