Too bad, so sad…giving the smackdown 4: I’m A Progressive Liberal, But Bitch, Please!

I read every day to get the news of the world (along with the Times and other sources for balance). Now, the readers of Alternet are absolutely wonderful most of the time – smart, eloquent, and thoughtful, with a good sense of proportion, right/wrong, etc.

The site posts a running blog called “Peek” that includes commentary about what’s happening in the world, incl. entertainment news. Yesterday, they happened to post something about a new show by the producers of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”:


Kate over at Healthy Policy takes a look at ABC’s new reality show, Miracle Workers, a show Ezra aptly describes as “both the most charitable thing on television and entertainment’s most poignant window into all that’s wrong with our society.” Kate feels it’s, quite bluntly, “the wrong take on health care.”

The show, following in Extreme Home Makeover’s footsteps, creates a construction that Bad Things happen to people, and a choice handful will be lucky enough to come under the lens of millions and deemed worthy of assistance. It’s a revival of the notion of the deserving poor…

It’s taking the uninsured and making them special cases to nurture and heal. It’s ignoring the fact that 46 million people are in the same place as the two patients featured every week on this show…

This show could really make leaps and bounds for health care if it discussed these cases in the context of what they are: the lucky few of an addressable problem. Every person in this nation deserves access to this kind of care, and there’s any number of ways we can go about ensuring that. We should take that joy and hope the sick enjoy when they get adequate care, and use that as reason to cover everyone.

Instead Americans will blissfully sit in front of their television, eyes a little wet as the “miracles” progress, little thought given to the rest of the uninsured and how they’ll never see doctors like this.

It wouldn’t take a miracle to solve the nation’s health care crisis; just a little hard work and determinism to fix it once and for all. But I guess that doesn’t make good television. Just ask CNN, MSNBC, Fox News…

Um, right. OK. Way to find the bad in a whole, horking load of good there. They have a comment section. I, of course, posted a comment. I found that I was in good company, that someone had beaten me to it:


It might help
Posted by: Moonray on Mar 7, 2006 3:59 PM
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A show that focuses the attention of millions of viewers on people who desperately need health care should do a lot of good — even if it’s packaged like the usual TV fluff.

Many of those viewers will be smart enough to connect the dots and conclude that government must do more to help the sick and injured among us. Public apathy is the big problem — we are so besieged with distractions that we often fail to focus on important political issues. This show might help.

Right on, right on. Good stuff. I posted:


Give it a chance (this is moi)
Posted by: mmeetoilenoir on Mar 7, 2006 7:17 PM
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Actually, “Extreme Makeover” has done a lot of good, and has opened a lot of people’s eyes to things like Habitat for Humanity, kids in need, hell…even the joys of helping out at thier community centers.

The general public these days are (shamefully) TV driven. That being said, this is a great opportunity for people to stop and say, “Wow, I wish (blah) could’ve had that happen to her. Why can’t that happen? Hmm. Gotta think on this, look at our health care more deeply.” It may also educate people on illnesses, on thier bodies, and taking better care of themselves, which is never a loss to society in this day and age of crap-ass food and fast eats.

In other words, no, it’s not an open offer for there to be care for everyone, but it’s a push and an eye-opener for some, and that’s what we need right now to get the ball rolling even faster towards a solution. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater (a common theme on Alternet, an otherwise excellent source of news!).

And then, here comes THAT person. You know, the one who just drinks the red Kool-Aid instead of the purple Republican variety:


more lotto method
Posted by: schnoggi on Mar 8, 2006 6:38 AM
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though I suppose the show could raise awareness some, I also agree it’s problematic, in that it furthers what i call the “lotto method”: a lot of hope gets generated, and all drained into one lucky node. Hitler loved lotteries, hold them in the fall, announce the winners in the spring, all the po folk get through the cold season with bushels of hope to float them along, and you even make money off it. it’s just another mythology used to control public sentiment, to validate the callousness of inadequate programs. it smacks of fascism in a big way, everybody look up real high at that cool thing way up there we all want but can’t quite reach, oooh oooh ooh.

!!! Well, gee. I’m sorry that your mother didn’t breastfeed you, your father didn’t buy you a Louisville Slugger, and your sister didn’t set you up with her HAWT! best friend back in the day. Are you for fucking real?

I replied:


RE: more lotto method
Posted by: mmeetoilenoir on Mar 8, 2006 9:13 AM
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Um, I’d love to look like Naomi Campball, but the great lottery of life didn’t grant me that. Doesn’t mean the man’s trying to keep me down.

No, not everyone can have that right now. That’s the way life is. Not everyone can be everything, or have everything, all the time. To liken someone getting expensive treatment for free to a Hitlerite program is really messed up, in fact. Perhaps you’re the jealous type that deeply resents people getting what you want, but I think there’s a lot more people in this world that aren’t.

And, yeah, most people know that their not going to be doing this show because they’re healthy, or not interested in reality TV, or any number of things. By your logic, I should be expecting the same huge Big Game jackpot that the actual “winner” gets, even though I don’t play. Be realistic!


Have we grown this cynical, or is this just the extremist version of the progressive movement? Doesn’t this person know that change takes time? We WILL have universal care one day, after all of these fucktards are out of office. There will be changes, I swear. However, we can’t have it all right! now!And, what is the logic of depriving someone else of thier chance to get the treatment they so desperately need because of our cause? “Yeah! We’re telling you to take you money and get stuffed! And…wait, Grandma, stop looking green like that…I’ll scrape money together for the dialysis, I swear…we don’t need that show’s stinking money, because it’s not given to everyone right this second!”

I can also not emphasize enough the sickness of spirit that this person must have to liken this show to Hitler’s lotteries. I would hazard a guess that the Nazis probably watched to see who bought a ticket, because it was a statement of state support to do so. Back then, not making those sort of shows would get you shot, shot, shot.

I don’t think anyone I know of is gonna get angry because the producer isn’t knocking down thier door offering them million-dollar kidney transplant surgery.Yeah, it’s reality TV. Yeah, it stinks. But you know what? These are TV minutes that will positively impact someone’s life; in fact, lives will be saved outright, and there ain’t no shame in that.

So, no, schnoggi, you are not a winner in the sweepstakes of life. Maybe you’re sick and need care, but I’m thinking that that’s not the case. I think that you’re just eaten up by your own bile, and ruined by your own selfish, spiteful, and delusional nature.

Too bad, so sad.


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~ by isiskali on November 28, 2006.

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