plums, heavy patients and physician burnout, america’s nearsighted fortunate sons

This is from a post by someone who maintains a blog about Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) who apparently was friends with William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963) – Mind, Mouth and Page – 36 (Plums)

AG: The poem I like best to illustrate his (William Carlos Williams’) point, his method, is something that he told me, I think, was simply, literally a note left for his wife (Floss), which, when he reread it in the morning, he picked up (on) and put in the book as another poem. “This is Just to Say” is the title. [Allen reads “This is Just to Say” in its entirety] – “This is just to say” [title] I have eaten/ the plums/ that were in/ the icebox/ and which/ you were probably/ saving/ for breakfast/ Forgive me. they were delicious/ so sweet/and so cold”. I think that’s one of his greatest exemplary poems, because, finally, it’s where life and poetry are identical. There’s no separation out.

And since it is easier to get the narrative rhythm of “This is Just to say”,

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

I post some poetry once in a while yet I would not describe myself as a big poetry person. The poems that I do like tend to be written before 1970 – Frost, Dickinson, Whitman…the kind of stuff that makes so many high school students yawn. In one episode of Californication Hank says something about his daughter quoting a “minor’ Frost poem. There is no such thing. Just as there is no such thing as a minor Williams poem. Aspiring poets read the plums poem or The Red Wheelbarrow and think, I can do that, so simple, so plain. Then it pours out unto paper as someone trying too hard to be simple and unaffected.

bath chairs and pump room circa 1900, england. At one time public baths were a big deal in terms of personal hygiene and supposed health benefits of soaking in the warm mineral waters. There is a Bath, England that was and still is famous for its natural spring baths.

Doctor won’t treat anyone over 200 pounds. The doctor did not come across to me as being malicious and this was not an emergency. The woman who wanted to see the doctor was new patient and the doctor had started a new policy not to see new patients they are severely overweight. One of the reason the doctor started the policy was that handling overweight patients has caused some injuries to her staff. That is not the first time I’ve heard that. Acquaintances who work in hospitals feel a little guilty in confessing that they have come to recent people who are morbidly obese because of back injuries. Doctors are not legally obligated to see and treat new patients. That said I wonder if this could not be carried a little too far. You drink more than one beer a day, sorry I can’t see you until you reduce your daily alcohol intake. You’re not eating enough red meat, come back when you’re not anemic. That doctor and others may subconsciously be fighting what they feel are relentless problems. Health issues they see everyday and people just not listening to medical advice, The Root of Physician Burnout

According to psychologists, signs of burnout include decreased enthusiasm for work, growing cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. As the name implies, individuals suffering from burnout feel as though a fire that once burned inside them has dwindled, and perhaps even been entirely extinguished. In many cases, they report a sense of having “run out of fuel,” and like my colleague, feel as though they “have nothing left.”

Of nearly 7,300 physicians who participated in the Archives of Internal Medicine’s national survey, 46% reported at least one symptom of burnout, and the overall rate of burnout among physicians was 38%, as opposed to 28% among other US workers. The highest rates of burnout were reported among primary care physicians, including family physicians, general internists and emergency medicine physicians.

WW II work safety poster

In freaky stuff that people want to believe, Why the Gold Standard Is the World’s Worst Economic Idea, in 2 Charts. This is not some wacky libertarian-conservative fringe idea now, it is an official part of the RNC platform for 2012. Ayn Rand and modern conservatives, especially including VP candidate Paul Ryan are not the first to think that all economic issues, all failures on your part to get ahead, to even make a living are part of your moral failings as a human being. This is not to be confused with the general acknowledgement that some people are a little lazy. Paul Ryan and the Great Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852)

John Kelly, author of “The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People”, has posted a fascinating look at VP candidate Paul Ryan’s policy on public welfare by looking back at the Irish Famine.

It started in 1845 and before it was over more than one million men, women, and children would die and another two million would flee the country. Measured in terms of mortality, the Great Irish Potato Famine was the worst disasters in the nineteenth century—it claimed twice as many lives as the American Civil War.

Kelly points out that Ryan claims a direct Irish heritage, yet the VP candidate’s views are diametrically opposed to his own family’s story of survival. Ryan is compared with British who wanted to decimate the poor during famine.

between 1845 and 1850, repeated crop failures reduced the population of Ireland by a third. But crop failure wasn’t what caused the worst of it: a government economic philosophy called “Moralism” and speeches made in Parliament that are almost word-for-word like Ryan’s own speeches about his Republican budget are what made the famine catastrophic, causing needless deaths.

Let’s not let morally deprived ideas die, let’s polish them up and recycle them in order to have repeated disasters. If heads could really spin, Clueless Mitt Romney Cites Businesswoman Who Presided Over Huge Losses And Job Cuts As Model For His Cabinet. Aren’t those perfect free market mechanisms that punish failure supposed to be in play – that anyone has any respect for Meg Whitman’s business record says not.

We do not have a spending problem we have a revenue problem, Add It Up: Taxes Avoided by the Rich Could Pay Off the Deficit

Today’s video is dedicated to Mitt Romney, another fortunate conservative elite son who managed to miss all the fun. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son

CCR – Fortunate Son music video from xousod on Vimeo.