Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Since I am horrifically, hopelessly addicted to books (if they could be mainlined, I'd be a walking OD-waiting-to-happen), I browsed the local book shop and found this on the shelves:

Update, 6-18: via Karen G, in the comments:

The building on the right (at 1306 Music Street) has been demolished. It was the work of Arthur Raymond Smith.

Past issues of Habitus have explored Budapest, Sarajevo, and Buenos Aires.
Each issue focuses on a different city, penetrating deep into the emotional and political substance of the urban environment. Every new city is a venue for illuminating a different corner of the world, and a different perspective on the issues that define us.

While Habitus is rooted in the experience and language of the Jewish Diaspora, the magazine cannot be limited by the parochial boundaries of any single group. As Editor Joshua Ellison writes in the introduction to the first issue: “Habitus is not just about cataloguing distinctions. It’s a way of using the whole world as raw material for creating a more complete picture of ourselves.”
Volume 4 came to New Orleans. Check out a smidgen by Rodger Kamenetz:
The continued survival of New Orleans is an affront to urban planning, an affront to rationality of all kinds, the grandiosity of the human problem-solving mentality. It's not a can-do city. It's a can't -do, why-should-we-do city. There's really no way to understand what a city is without spiritual perspective, because a city is above all a place that has its own angel, its own spirit hovering above it. You can't plan an angel. And less and less in America do we even understand the concept of "the angel of a city" or the angel of a nation, what with the relentless machine crawling across the land, squirting concrete over it and then squatting and plopping out an Appleby's (sic) and a Wal-Mart before moving on to the next degradation.
Yes, the man may have gone all dreamy and Oprah on everybody and has some issues with a Sept 1, 2009 date on the front of his blog, but he can still turn a phrase. And there's much more in the Habitus issue than just his voice. And yes, I know I'm late to this news of the issue's arrival, but hey, I finally got hold of a copy of it and can recommend it.

Speaking of turning phrases, I suggest everybody, in celebration of ANTIGRAVITY's fifth anniversary, get hold of their latest issue in one form or another and turn to page 17 for the funniest bit of edgy music criticism ever by associate editor Dan Fox. A smidgen of the piece:
...for all of you out there reading and to those of you who have spoken with me about your concerns and ideas and especially to those of you in the various bands and projects around town, I dedicate the following:

Your band sucks. Your drummer sucks. Your guitarist is an asshole. The six people who come to see you suck. The way they stand there and smoke cigarettes while you play your crappy music sucks. The way YOU stand there, practically nodding off while you diddle your instrument sucks. The same tired venues you play suck and they all need to be hosed down, wall to wall. Your band name sucks. The mealy-mouthed, warmed-over tapioca indie pop you play sucks. The over-orchestrated, pretentious concept “songscapes” you’ve arranged suck. Your attempt at “legitimacy” or some kind of “career” in the “industry” sucks, and whatever facial hair you’ve sculpted to help that along sucks, too. Your drug problem sucks; you were barely tolerable enough as a sober human being but now you just need to be avoided.
Go read all of it. The criticism is for a good cause, really it is.

And finally, the organization Change Congress is getting a little something started regarding Mary Landrieu's current stance of supporting the insurance companies and seeing a public option in health care reform as a "compromise". Not only is local activist Karen Gadbois contributing her voice to this campaign to get Landrieu to buck the money from the insurance providers, Lamar White Jr. of CenLamar is weighing in from his perspective:
The Public Option Is Not A Political Issue; It Is A Human Rights Issue:

I am a 27 year old with cerebral palsy. Fortunately, my disability is very mild, and it does not affect cognition. I have degrees in Religious Studies and English from Rice University, and I’ve spent the past two and a half years working as the special assistant to the Mayor of Alexandria, Louisiana.

Until I was ten years old, I was covered by my family’s private health care plan, Traveler’s Insurance. Because of my disability, I spent much of my childhood either in hospitals or in physical therapy.

I was fortunate to be born into a family that recognized the power of preventative, pediatric intervention and treatment. For most kids with CP, it is absolutely crucial to ensure that bones can grow correctly, which usually requires rounds of orthopedic and/or neurological surgery and years of hands-on physical therapy.

At ten years old, Traveler’s told my family that I was no longer eligible for coverage.

At ten years old, I was told that, essentially, I was the best I could ever be; as I recall, they specifically refused any additional payments for physical therapy.

I had metal screws and metal plates in my body– things that were implanted as temporary fixes, as a way of guiding and instructing my growth, things that needed to come out.

My disability is somewhat unique and rare, and as a result, it was and remains difficult to find a doctor who thoroughly understands proper treatment. When I was very young, I was treated by a neurosurgeon, T.S. Park, who was recently featured by NBC Nightly News for conducting rhizotomies, a procedure that I was one of the first in the world to receive (paid for, in part, by my family’s private insurance company). Afterward and until the age of about 15, I was treated by Dr. Jim Gage of Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon roundly considered one of the world’s top experts in cerebral palsy. (After I lost my health care coverage, Dr. Gage remained one of my champions, providing me with medical care, no doubt, at a loss).

So I lost my insurance when I was ten, and my parents were making (barely) too much money for me to get government insurance. They tried to get me included in other private insurance plans, but I was always summarily rejected.

I was uninsurable.

And I had screws and plates in my body that needed to come out. I had other surgeries that were needed. I had physical therapy too. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in needed treatment.

There was only one solution at the time: My parents had to relinquish custody of me to my grandparents, who made less money than my family, in order to qualify me for Medicaid. I had to move out of my family home, away from my brother and my sister and my mom and dad, for an entire year.

Once again, go read it all.

Tell Mary Landrieu, in any way you can, how wrong this is.

1 comment:

Karen said...

The building on the right has been demolished. It was the work of Arthur Raymond Smith