Value vs. worth (again)

WeatherGrrrl is today starting down the difficult road of recovering from knee replacement surgery. Being modern folk, we’d counted on wireless in the hospital to allow Netflix to be a key mental narcotic, helping keep her mind off the pain that unavoidably comes of having bones reshaped with saws, ligaments removed, and various other tissue pushed around and annoyed.

Turns out that this hospital is really quite wonderful. The staff have been splendid and caring, she has a very nice room to herself, and they have treated me as a real part of the process and not just a mildly annoying guy in the way.

So, really wonderful. Except that the guest wireless doesn’t seem to reach her room. It’s great in the lobby. It’s great here in this family room. But her hospital room appears to eat radio signals, as neither wifi or cell seem to penetrate that space reliably.

As a result I suggested that we buy a film or similar for the iPad to help make up for the Netflix shortfall, and came here to the family room to download Thor as a bit of distracting popcorn.

And it was $20.

Which gave me pause.

Which in turn really made me annoyed with myself.

So far today I’ve spent that much on meals. We’ll certainly spend that much on gas back and forth for this procedure. It’s a fraction of our minuscule share of the huge bill this will rack up. (We are very grateful for the University’s excellent health care plan.) Or we could compare this to the cost of Thomas’s tuition at Hampshire. Or my soda pop habit at the office. Or money I lose under the bed.

JOCP!!! What was I thinking? Why did I even remotely care? If this film gives her even an hour of distracted relief from the mending and tearing going on in her leg it’s totally worth it! And, I’m quite sure it will do more than that.

I realize that there’s a lot of privilege assumed in this, and that there are people for whom that $20 would be a genuine concern. (& way too many for whom an operation like this would be out of reach.)

But that’s not us.

And I just spend the best $20 I’m likely to spend in a very long time.

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The big picture of what’s wrong with the economy

A great 2.5 minute “big picture” view of what’s wrong with the U.S. economy:

In short, we’re being played, peeps. A small number of very wealthy folks have rigged the system in their favor and trashed the economy in the process. The amazing thing is how thoroughly they’ve convinced the middle class to support them as they’ve smashed up the family china. They have only a few votes, and their power rests ultimately in their ability to buy and bully ours.

Sadly, a culture that values sound bites more than data and rational discussion is ripe for this kind of abuse. It’s probably no accident that these people are so intent of gutting our schools, as it just serves their short term goals. Ultimately, though, they need a solid middle class to buy their toys, so this can’t be a good long-term strategy for anyone.

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