Friday, 15 November 2013

Just a Rant

Back in October, I was on an Iceland Air plane....transiting to the US....and had a choice of forty movies to watch.  That's one of the big positives about Iceland Air....plenty of viewing and choices.
So they had Les Miserables....the newer production.  I hadn't viewed it before and had watched promos about it last year.

I punched it up, and for forty minutes....tried watching it.

Bluntly, it's a musical....with great graphics, great acting at times, and plenty of opera-style music.  But, it's not for me.  I just can't sit there and watch some scene to unfold, and then suddenly a musical tune starts up.

Maybe this worked in the 1950s, and folks enjoyed musical movies in those days.  Today?  No.

So I came to this odd vision last night.....of this entire Affordable Healthcare Act business.  It is....Les Miserables.

Yeah, I've come to view it more as a musical....than some moment of reality in American history.  And I'm tiring of it.

From the distance, it’s a great theater act.

There are thirty-five companies in America that sell health insurance...so figure each one has a different view or thought on how this could or could not work.  Each has a say in some of the fifty states.  Each is practical about profits and delivery of services.

Then you have fifty insurance commissioners across the nation, and each of them have a view of how laws are read, interpreted, and enforced.  Just a mere waiver by the President...isn't usually enough.  You need law, and order.  What works in one state....won't work in another....thanks to the fifty commissioners doing their job.  

Then you have a hundred senators and 435 Congressmen, who each have a view. Some are as stupid as they come.  Some will claim to be clever, but have never done anything ever to demonstrate that.  Some will charm you with speeches, but then forget everything they said one hour later.

Toss in five thousand lobbyists....tied to various functions and groups. Each tries hard to fiddle with their favorite Senator or Congressman.  Each represents some gaming commission, some Indian tribe, some hospital chain, some group of lawsuit lawyers, some church operation, or some investment fund.

Figure at least thirty WH insiders who each have a view.  These are the folks who have direct contact to the President, and try to weasel in some different cause, favored slant, or brilliant idea.

Then you figure at least five hundred journalists or wannabe journalists, each with a different view.  Some appear as conservative commentators.  Some pretend to be neutral but they just start winking on every third sentence and it's obvious they aren't neutral.  Some will tell you forty lines of something.....which usually amount to one line of actual fact.

I would say that we have a mighty fine US version of Les Miserables.

Lots of songs, merry banter, woeful words, sorrow, charm, wit, deceit, lost morals, fleeting moments, gimmick solutions, cleverness at a marginal level, and a bit of political intrigue.

Les Miserables....just bigger, bolder, and more audience members than you can imagine.

Sadly, I can't stand musicals of this type, and am losing patience.

If only Clint Eastwood would suddenly appear, take a spit, glean hard at the camera and tell everyone to clean up their mess or prepare to be run out of town.  That's about the only way left to settle this awful musical.

Smoke Detectors

Every year in northern Sweden.....up around the region of the Arctic Circle.....there's a hotel that sends out some guys and they put together a ice-hotel.  It's built of big huge blocks of ice that they bring in and design an actual structure around.

You as a customer can drive up....check into the regular hotel....then walk across the parking lot to the ice-hotel.  You get checked into your ice-room....given a blanket.....some candles to provide light.....and you can sleep at freezing temperatures or less.

I've seen the hotel featured on German TV every year.  I'd take a guess at between twenty and forty rooms built for guests.  It's hard for me to imagine a guy driving for hours and hours.....just to have a chance to sleep on a block of ice as a bed, and having a plastic sheet of sorts below me to keep my butt from getting wet and cold from the melting ice.

This year....there's a change to the whole episode of the ice-hotel theme.  The Swedish government stepped in, and mandated more safety.

There's now a requirement for a smoke detector in each ice-room.

Naturally, a guy from Bama would pause and ponder upon this.  The need?  The ice-room is one-hundred percent ice.  No wood chairs.  The only thing that could burn is the stupid candle, your blanket, and your boots lying on the floor.

Yeah, a guy might sit there and have a smoke at night....and accidentally drop hot ashes on the blanket to set it on fire.  Maybe.

Swedes are mostly practical people.  If they only need a certain amount of space.....they only build to that level.  If they need only a certain type of bed, then they shop for only that kind of bed.  They don't generally overeat, or overdrink.

I'm guessing most Swedes who might drive up to this hotel and go through the ice-hotel experience....will sit there for hours that evening, with the candle flickering.....wondering why the heck you need a smoke detector.  It'll bother them.  Someone will call the front desk and ask if there's something special they should worry about, or if there's some gas mixed into the ice construction business.

Yeah, government regulation.....busy at work again.