Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In which I grumble about the inequities of the world

I've been avoiding blogging lately for a couple of really good reasons (travel for work, NaNoWriMo come to the top of the list) and a really lame one.  My thoughts, my world, and thus the things I would write about, have become darker and deeper lately.  Maybe this is a product of growing up, but I don't like it very much.  It is now filed into the folder of Grown Up Things I Don't Like, along with visiting a financial planner, writing a will, and remembering to get regular physicals.

Reason number one: Infertility

Maybe it's because, after over three years of trying, and two years after having a stillborn son, I'm still not pregnant, and approximately $6000 has gone to the Loma Linda Center for Fertility when I could have spent that money on another trip to Iceland.  And this fertility merry go round could go on forever if we let it.  I had originally set a deadline of the end of the year for us to decide what next steps to take.  But at my last appointment, the doctor decided on a new drug to replace Clomid, and wants to continue for a few cycles on that, so the ride could continue.

I don't like this ride, and I want off.

The drugs arrived today from La Jolla Discount Pharmacy (a bright spot in this ordeal - they are really great, and if you ever need meds, I highly recommend them.  They're cheap, and really friendly.  And I haven't been paid to say that.)

I notice that it says I'm supposed to take them at night because they could make me dizzy.  What kind of drugs am I putting into my body, I wonder?  I google them, and the penny drops (duh) that all of this is medication messing with my hormones, which is similar to the hormone therapy that women going through menopause get.  Which has a lot of risks associated with it.  I found out today that use of my drugs for a year can seriously increase my chances of ovarian cancer, among other fun facts.

So wait.

I'm risking ovarian cancer so I can possibly go through pregnancy, which may or may not lead to a baby.  Really?

I'm so over it at this point.

So that's reason number one why this blog could take a really negative spin.

Reason number two: I am becoming disgusted by humanity.  

I always suspected this day would come, and I'm hoping that I can shift it at some point in Seminary so that, if I ever have my own church and congregation, I can, you know, preach to them without being disgusted.  But people are making it very tough for me to love them right now.

First, the day after the election, I get facebook defriended by a girl whose status was: "I pledge allegiance to the Koran of Iran, and to the Communism for which it stands."  Later in the comments, she compared Obama to Hitler, sharing that she had been to the Holocaust museum and was blown away by the similarity of how Obama came to power and the rise of Hitler.  I pointed out in the comments that a) we weren't lugging around barrels of money to buy bread because of horrible inflation like my grandmother in Leipzig did, b) as someone whose father and grandmother risked everything they had to come to this country, I found it disgustingly offensive that she would make such a comparison.  And finally, I pointed out that she had mixed her metaphors.  Iran is a theocracy and Communism, from everything I always learned, isn't big on religion.

Why have we all become so venomous to each other?  Why is Fox News (aka Bullshit Mountain Network for those who watch Jon Stewart) allowing people like Bill O'Reilly to say that Romney lost because over 50% of Americans want something, and the white majority is dead.  Fuck him.  But really.  Fuck him.  How do people like that live with themselves?  How do they sleep at night?

The other day at 7-11, I was getting the sunday newspaper (since I'm a coupon queen now).  The guy in line ahead of me was buying cigarettes.  The girl behind the counter asked to see his ID.  That pissed him off and he said, "how about if I call immigration on your Mexican ass?"  She calmly responded that she had been born here, so he could call anyone he wanted.  I asked him what world he lived in that he could be such a douchebag to a woman.  He told me to shut my mouth.

Look, I know the world isn't made up of douchebags.  I know the other people in line were as appalled as I was by his outburst.  But has stuff like this always happened?  Because I don't remember it.

I'd like to blame guns or video games or something obvious like that for our collective move towards douchebaggery.  And who knows, that might be part of it.  Maybe it's the food we eat.

I think I'm becoming an animal rights activist in this process.  A hundred years ago, people killed animals that they knew, and they ate them, and you knew that when you ate beef, you were eating a cow.  You probably knew the cow.  It had been your cow, or your neighbors.  You had respect for the life cycle.  You weren't all tree-huggy about it, and you didn't see the cow as a pet, but you still had some respect for the fact that humans were at the top of the food chain, we killed animals, and we ate them.

Now we go to the grocery store and buy ground beef wrapped in plastic and we have no idea what that cow went through so that we could eat it.

If you eat pork, this is the pain that you are ingesting into your body every time you take a bite of yummy bbq:

"A breeding sow spends her entire life confined in a crate made of steel bars where she cannot turn around or stretch her limbs when she lies down. The floor of the crate is slatted, but she still ends up standing and sitting in her and her piglets' own filth. She has litter after litter of baby pigs until she is considered spent, and then sent off to slaughter. Confined sows exhibit neurotic behaviors such as chewing on the bars of the crate and rocking back and forth."

No wonder we're all stressed out.  Factory farming like this didn't exist a hundred years ago.  Or even fifty years ago.  For the first time in human history, in the past few generations, we have started consuming food farmed not by individual farmers, but by enormous conglomerates who are more concerned with profits than our health.  I firmly believe that you can't put that much pain and disrespect into your body and not be affected by it.  

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that everyone who eats meat is a douchebag.  I know plenty of non-douchebag meat eaters.  My husband is one.

But the fact that we as a people are ok with millions of creatures, who did nothing but be born into the wrong place, suffering in horrific ways so that we can get some cheap food, which we don't even need anyway given the obesity epidemic going on - the fact that we can just sit by and not even care about those fellow creatures with whom we share the planet...and we have pets, and we walk our dogs, and we ride horses, and we give money to the humane society, but we don't give a damn about those animals...I can't reconcile it.  Are we just numb to it?  If we actually really got present to the pain and agony that they experience so that we can get a cheap chicken with a huge breast, would that pain and guilt just overwhelm us?  That's what I'm going with, because the alternative - that we really just don't care - seems too depressing to think about. 

HR2606 passed in the House today.  It's a gas "enhancement" line, according to the bill's title.  What it really does is allow a "natural" (from fracking) gas pipeline to go through Gateway National Recreation Area, the world's oldest national park.  Fracking has, by all accounts, proven to be dangerous.  Pipelines destroy wildlife.  When are we going to learn that short term profits aren't any good if they destroy the planet in the process?  When I graduated from high school I got a Geo Metro.  It got 40mpg.  That was in 1994.  Are you seriously going to have me believe that in 20 years, we could figure out a new and dangerous way to get gas from places in rocks that we couldn't get before, but we couldn't figure out how to make all cars get 40mpg?  Or more?  Really? I smell bullshit.

Look, there are plenty of people out there doing good, fighting fracking, caring for animals, and making the world a better place.  Most people try to do this every day.  But why does it still have to be such a struggle?  Have we as a people not evolved any further than this?  Will humans just always chase profits at the expense of pain, squeezing workers, destroying the planet?  Is that just the human condition?  

I know that we all see life through the glasses we're wearing, and right now I'm wearing depressing glasses.  And I keep seeing things to reinforce that. 

The good news last week was that we as a nation stood up to the Koch Brothers and showed them that, despite their best efforts, our democracy couldn't be bought.  That's good news.  

But overall, it's looking a bit dark to me right now.  

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