As of this morning, I’m an insured American. Serious sickness will only ruin me financially in this life rather than condemn my soul to eternal toil in satan’s salt mines.
For the price of two hundreds dollars a month and a one time one hundred dollar sign up fee, a featureless company will haggle with hospitals on my behalf when I lose a leg or my kidneys fail. I didn’t just pay for the service, I paid to sign up for the service. Someone’s job is to invent charges. They get paid to justify getting paid.
I’d convinced myself it was okay to live in an Estonian political prison because it was cheap and I could save money. Some day I would save enough to pay off my debt, improve my credit and move into a real house. I could afford decent food and clothing and get a new used car.
The car I drive now is running down. The power steering takes ten minutes to warm up and when I turn the wheel the axle makes horrible groaning sounds, like a man with late stage intestinal obstruction. The sound my car makes is what you hear when you open a crypt.
The tires are losing air. Every time I drive all four of my tires could simultaneously pop. My car is two inches off the road and has no shocks. Driving over a pothole gives me a grinding headache and a slipped disc. But I live in a sprawling city with sluggish and sporadic public transportation. A car is necessary.
Two hundred dollars a month. The cheapest plan available. My army surplus aluminum insurance plan doesn’t include mental health or maternity leave. If I become schizophrenic or pregnant then I’m on my own.
If I develop a crippling paraphilia and believe I’m a woman in a man’s body then I’ll pay full price to see a psychiatrist. But I’ll get a discount on my minimally invasive penis removal surgery. Some people say there’s a stigma against mental illness. They’re the same people who’ll burn your house down for encouraging a tranny to heal their head rather than butcher their body.
When you’re poor, it’s not the disasters that ruin you, it’s the inconveniences. You’re not worried about paying for cancer treatment, you’re avoiding routine maintenance on your car. You’re not haunted by the stock market crashing, but parking tickets keep you awake at night.
I’ll give credit where it’s due. It was eerily easy to get insurance. A quick call and my card and plan info are on the way. Unless I never talked to a real insurance company and a couple of international grifters in a Bulgarian warehouse now have my credit card and social security number. For all I know there’s no difference.
There’s an opacity to the bureaucratic processes that permeate our lives. Information systems break us down into bits and then store us in remote databases. We’re instantly accessible, retrievable and blind; we trade knowledge for convenience. It’s enough to know that you could learn how something works to make it not worth thinking about. When everything is explicable, nothing is noticeable.
We’re shedding our bodies, becoming immaterial, cellular and interchangeable.
There was a time when stealing someone’s identity meant studying his appearance, aping his mannerisms and copying his qualities. Now you need his accounts, his passwords, his quantities. We’re commanded to see past the superficial, to reject stereotypes. We shouldn’t care about skin color or observable characteristics. But beneath modern man’s skin there’s no depth, no soul, only another surface, a coded membrane ready for replication.
All that we see, hear and feel is a formula. Prejudice is an artifact of unenlightened sensation. Instincts are habitual errors. Our apparent differences hide an underlying equivalence. Economic, racial and gender inequalities are products of malevolence, conspiracy and domination rather than organic outgrowths of divergent adaptation. History is a record of difference, so we should despise it, forget it, or rewrite it.
The goal is a grid of uprooted node people ceaselessly exchanging information. Every moment is another indistinguishable present, another opportunity to pass your bits through a frictionless channel.