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April 05, 2011


Scott H

There was a time when I found your ideas quirky and humorous. Now I think the grey NW skies have addled your brain a bit too long (OK, easy to say from Florida). So if you’ll allow, you’ve motivated me to respond with a rant of my own…

First off, you’re right. Absolutely and without question. Yet I can’t help but wonder if you’re not missing the mark. How is it we live in the richest country in the world and yet the few in power are so narrow minded about almost everything? Many women have died from back-alley procedures, and doctors have been murdered trying to care for women in need. Yet at the same time , who remembers Brandon Mayfield these days? (A bona-fide modern-day Rosa Parks, if you ask me. Readers are encouraged to Google the name – this is an open book test.)

In an earlier post you talk about how exhausting, depressing and downright scary it is trying to converse with people when actual, physical documentation won't change people's minds. I now work with a birther (“You can doctor up anything with photoshop…”). The Wall Street financiers are back to raking in their millions (note to the US Justice Department: couldn’t you at least have jailed just one of them to make us feel better?) When I see you railing, albeit rightly, over issues that should have been settled 40 years ago, I’m reminded of the closing line from the computer in War Games – "An interesting game. The only winning move is not to play."

Well, at least not to play forever. Ecuador. Belize. Panama. Medellin (yes, THAT Medellin). Mexico will be on the table again if they ever get the drug gangs under control. Places with arguably better health care and where you can live on $900/month without even being overly frugal. We fully intend to check out and Escape from New York (which is what I expect the landscape to look like) when we’re ready to stop working. Canada is more restrictive on immigration, but you and Lil together might qualify, and the Vancouver suburbs aren’t that different from Seattle in terms of weather if you’ve become addicted to those grey skies.

And what of all those left behind women whose rights we should be fighting for? What of the Brandon Mayfields fending off the secret police in a "Christian" State? Look – the US population is about 300 million, in a world of about 7 billion. There are oppressed and suffering everywhere, far more and far worse outside the US than within. I’d rather help make adobe bricks for a local women’s shelter in the so called "Third World", knowing the local priest won’t approve of all the care, but also knowing he’s even more appalled at the idea of conducting another funeral mass from a botched procedure. I may not help large numbers of people, but I’ll know that they are real people on whose lives I can make a direct and positive impact.

If you think yelling, "Uterus! Uterus!" at someone will have any positive impact on their views, well, I’m afraid it’s time to stop tilting at windmills, Doña Quixote. But maybe the windmill is the wrong engineering metaphor. Perhaps a modern-day underground railroad would benefit from your considerable energies? We may need one in the not too distant future.

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