Red Wine, Dead Wine

by J. Jules Vitali

It's a Thursday here in Freeport, Maine and I'm confused. It's 5:04am and I am having my first bout with the daily news. Perusing a web site that supplies such erstwhile information I come across an article that tells me definitively that ''Red Wine May be Good for People's Sanity'' Ša pleasant yet dubious thought, especially for me, where I doubt my own sanity and am a teetotaler. Two articles further down the page I find one that reads ''Alcohol Poses Breast Cancer Threat, '' uh oh, this could be trouble. Does this mean what it sounds like? Is this like one of them syllogisms: Red wine may be good for people's sanity, Alcohol poses breast cancer threat, therefore, sane drinkers may get breast cancer Šor something like that. Maybe it's an oxymoron. A mantra perhaps. A code for some high-level international espionage rings. A subliminal ad for Marty's Furniture Lay-a-way. My best guess is that it's an example of too much information and excessive communication speed.

I chatted with two people today, an insurance salesman and a doctor. The insurance salesman and I got to talking about world conditions and agreed things ain't all that they could be, especially at our mutually humble work-a-day level Šyou know, the grunts. He and I had to try to find a way to reduce my health care costs from $2,660 a month down to something more manageable. What we came up with was this doozy of a policy that if I am shot in the head (not wholly unlikely in today's society) and mauled by the neighbor's dog just before I get run over by a stolen car I can indeed go to the hospital if I can readily come up with $5,000 cash Šprobably from my meager IRA that I rescued just weeks before the corporation I worked for failed and I became ineligible for any kind of credit anyway 'cause I don't have a traditional job no more. No one said life was going to be easy.

A great many of the people I talk to are in this same position with their health insurance. I am beginning to wonder what the words Šof the people, by the people and for the people mean? Granted, I live in a small community and may not be able to see the big picture from here, but if I'm on the phone with someone from the southeast or the west and if we talk long enough, the subject will eventually turn to some major national boondoggle such as insurance or corruption or taxation, and I'm not the one who always brings these subjects up. I can't believe that if this many people are aware of it and don't care for it and that if our elected officials supposedly represent the masses then why are there not any changes?

Methinks there must now be more lobbyists than there are people like you and I and that they are the ones being represented. I get it, it's another one of those syllogisms. The United States is run by the masses as per our constitution Šthe masses now consist of mostly money grubbing, ''sell you down the river'', don't give a damn about tomorrow-type folk and lobbyists, thereforeŠ


The doctor I talked to was a neighbor and a friend. He's an emergency room doctor. He loves to help people in their time of greatest need. He is in the process of readying his house for a multi year absence wherein he will be in China helping people that can't afford the medical help they might have. He is doing this because he loves people and is humane. He doesn't care for the way insurance is run in this country either. It many times interferes with him helping people, which is not supposed to be the purpose of health insurance. Health insurance is supposed to help people. If I am supposed to come up with $2,660 a month to stay healthy, won't that in turn cause enough stress and grief to make me sick? I could perhaps, take one of those pills they advertise so prodigiously to the masses that would help me cope with such mundane day-to day problems Šthe insurance would pay for it, so I shouldn't really have to worry. I don't have to worry anyway Šall I have to do is lose my life's savings and my insurance costs go to zippo Šthe public picks up the tab, and taxes go up as well as insurance for those who still can pay for it. It sorely is a vicious circle we have weaved. I'm getting weird now, so I better stop. I Think I'll go into the other room and contemplate a nice glass of healthful Carbonet Skull and Crossbones wine.

J. Jules Vitali is a sculptor and free thinking moral philosopherwho lives in Freeport, Maine. <>

Uploaded to The Zephyr website January 22, 2003

Back to The Zephyr home page at: