I’m one of the 38%, people who had the vaccination who nonetheless got the flu. It’s been many hours hibernating in bed (about 60), barely reading much less writing, barely standing up. I apologize for those who posted comments that weren’t reviewed until now.
This, of course, makes me appreciate that I don’t usually feel like this. And it is a good reminder that there are many folks out there with chronic pain and illness who don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
In my process of gaining some strength, I started wondering who is funding Fred Phelps hate group (the “Westboro Baptist Church”). As is often the case, Wikipedia offers a succinct answer. It is self-funded. The group’s 40 members chip in $200,000 per year for travel and other costs. They have also filed some suits of their own, seeking fees and damages to further their bizarre cause.
WBC’s travel expenses exceed $200,000 annually. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Westboro is funded entirely by its congregation and accepts no outside donations. The church has received money from lawsuits and legal fees. For example, they sued the city of Topeka several times in the 1990s. WBC received $16,500, and is pursuing another $100,000, in legal fees for a case won in court. The WBC is considered a nonprofit organization by the federal government, and is therefore exempt from paying taxes.
The world is a crazy place, especially given that we cannot any longer have rational non-vilifying conversations with people with whom we disagree. George Carlin has said so very many things that resonate with me. One of them is that he no longer claimed a “stake in the process,” and that he simply has stepped back to see life as a bizarre entertainment spectacle, and nothing more. I don’t agree with this nihilistic outlook, but it nonetheless haunts me, in this day where major issues go unanticipated and unaddressed while we blast each other about trivial and tribal concerns. If only we had a way to remove all the tribal labels and figure out what needs to be done to preserve the planet for the next generation. That’s my benchmark. Anyone who can’t agree that this is the (or at least, a) prime directive, is a nihilist. Or equally bad, perhaps they are well-meaning people who have given up, who seen no way to apply their personal energies to change the world for the better. Yes, there will always be local victories, but the bigger context seems to me that ordinary citizens are becoming disempowered, except as consumers.
Category: American Culture