Chris Kasper, America, and Thousands of Toothless People

I spent a good part of yesterday (every waking second, minus 1 hour) with my good neighbor friend from around the corner and 13 years ago. No, not Mr. Rogers. I’ll call him Jack, for all intents and purposes. I picked Jack up at 3 pm and we drove to Chapel Hill to watch the Carolina football team run circles around Virginia. It was like Rambo and the Black Swan had 11 enormous children, and they all went to UNC.

Rare photo of Chris Kasper hiding behind a flower, with the rest of his music

Before we arrived, Jack and I listened to an amazing song that I’ve never heard before. It’s called “Devil’s Gold” by Chris Kasper. Unfortunately, finding a well-recorded version of this song on the internet is like panning for gold (see what I did there?), and I refuse to post anything else because I do not want you to be discouraged regarding my taste in music.

I tell you! Wanting something that I cannot have, like this particular song, does not feel good.

But this is America, no? I can achieve/attain whatever I want as long as I apply myself, right? Of course! In the USA (I speak solely from experience), we celebrate Independence Day by doing whatever we want, in the bed of who’s ever pick-up truck we want, with our fifth of Wild Turkey in whichever hand we want, and our gun in the other. We scream at passersby about freedom and red meat, while setting Mexican explosives ablaze all night long until we can hear the roosters crowing (they are the free-est roosters in the world).

However, there are 364 days of the year that are not Independence Day. Three hundred and sixty four days of following the speed limit, paying off medical bills, paying taxes, and paying for (or becoming bankrupt over) our higher educations, whether they be private or public.

Please, do not be mislead. I love speed limits and taxes. Some people even call me Mao.

"This land was made for you to freeze"

What I do not love is the idea that, if a certain group of people get their way, all health care could be privatized some day. I can just see it now: the lower class migrating to the icy caps of the Rocky Mountains, freezing their decaying body parts for longevity in the chilly winter winds of Colorado. They’d go to Alaska, but there are bears there, and Palins.

Today, something hit me (not a leg-cicle, get your mind out of the snowbank). The situation was as so: Carolina football womped on UVA, scoring their 3rd touch down of the game. The entire stadium lost its mind, especially the very drunk man 4 rows down from Jack and me (but I digress). People were throwing babies into the end zone for autographs, seriously.

Suddenly, the referees decided to watch the play again. “You mean they can take our touch down away from us, Daddy?” Sobbed a little girl behind me. “Yes, honey. But we’ll just hope for the best,” replied the man I assume was the girl’s daddy, “It wouldn’t really be fair if they did.”

Tarheel fans before conservative health care reform

Wee-oo! Wee-oo! My political-relevance radar went off. This 100% American sport, this ‘game of the free’ that brings together people of all shapes and sizes (usually rotund), just pulled a Ron Paul on an innocent little girl! At that moment, I realized: touch downs are like health care- while both are found in America, both can also be taken away from Americans… If the wrong referee has the right whistle.

I have been trying to grasp what this mindf*** the White House calls health reform really entails for a long time now. Even when the facts are laid out in front of me, sometimes I want to pull my hair out just trying to understand the entire thing (but I don’t want that kind of medical attention).

I do, however, understand what really matters. What matters is that people are in real danger, here. Rather, real people are in danger, here. When the Right pushes free market health care, as long as they’re speaking to the majority of America, they’re speaking to the poor, the people in the lower class, and the people in the lower middle class, who make up around 84% of our country’s population. And they’re telling almost half of that 84% that they better go buy a big mason jar. A big mason jar to keep all of their teeth in once they have fallen out, because they can’t afford privatized health care and they don’t have insurance. It’s frightening to think about all of the people that could be left behind. It’s especially frightening to think about all of those same people without teeth.

Yes, wanting something that you cannot have is a horrible feeling. Yet having something, and losing it, well, that’s freedom.

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About Megan

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac, Dharma Bums
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