Monday, February 15, 2016

The Shelter Point Life Kiada

Life, as I have said several times before on this blog page, is sometimes a kiada, something punctuated periodically by the nightmarish, the bizarre, the surreal, and the absurd. After I got out of the hospital for my hip replacement, a visit that was itself a kiada thanks to the increasing McDonaldisation of hospital services by cost saving bureaucrats in the health services industry and the health insurance industry whose one size fits all modus operandi is to get you out of the hospital as quickly as possible despite the consequences, I experienced yet another one of these bizarre, nightmarish, bizarre, surreal, and absurd kiadas that punctuate late modern and postmodern life.

First some backstory: Before I went into the hospital I filled out forms in December from the Shelter Point Life Insurance Company so to get short term disability so that at least part of my earnings from Honest Weight would be paid to me during my convalescence. I couldn't get short term disability for my SUNY job because the state is apparently doesn't participate short term disability programmes. It is now February and I still haven't received any short term disability monies. What I have received is a series of forms from Shelter Point all of them sent without a cover letter explaining what they wanted from me and why they wanted it. First, there was the we hear you are in the hospital form is that correct. I returned the form with a yes on it. Then there was the we need proof that you were in the hospital so we need the voucher form. I returned it with the voucher. Then there was the authorisation for third party representative form. I couldn't return this form because I could not make heads or tails of it so I couldn't return it.

Anyway, because Shelter Point didn't take the time to send a cover letter with these forms telling me what they wanted and why I am still waiting for my monies. The "voucher" they required was not the "voucher" I sent. One would think that if a particular voucher was needed Shelter Point's bureaucrats would tell you the specific voucher needed but no that appears to be too reasonable and logical for the bureaucrats at Shelter Point. The third party information the required was for SUNY. Despite the fact that my SUNY financial information is irrelevant--I cannot get any short term disability for my SUNY work--Shelter Point wants it. Can you say bizarre and absurd? Did they tell me this is what they wanted when they sent me a request for this information? Of course not. That would be too reasonable and logical for the bureaucrats at Shelter Point. Kiada, it seems, is the rule in the modern nightmarish, bizarre, surreal, and absurd world of private bureaucracies that feed at the public trough.

To make a long and nightmarish, bizarre, surreal, and absurd story short, what was needed from Shelter Point was finally obtained after four letters all of which went unanswered and a phone call. Perhaps I will get my monies in another three months or so? Don't worry, I am not counting on it. Anyway, all of this has proven to me once again--I really didn't need this confirmation again--that life, at least in part, is a kiada. Y'all be careful amongst all of those kiadas out there.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Film Notes: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I grew up with the films of Frank Capra. When I was a child I did as many children did, I believed the optimism, I believed in the Capricorn of Frank Capra's films. As an adult I still enjoy Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). I greatly admire the darknesses in American life Capra explored. I admire the dark parallels Capra draws between dictatorships elsewhere, Hitler in particular, and capitalist dictators in the US. I admire Capra's exploration of just how easy it was to manipulate the masses via what we today call the corporate media. I admire Capra's montages, montages that are worthy of the great Eisenstein. I admire Capra's strong leading women even if, by film's fantasy end they end up in love with the Hero and generally married. I find the parallels Capra draws between Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, and, Mr. Smith's hero, Jefferson Smith interesting, parallels which probably tell us something about Capra ideologically. As an adult, however, I realise that Capra pulls his punches at the end of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington giving us one of the unlikeliest and even one of silliest fantasy endings in celluloid history. Still, sometimes I wish real life was as simple as the endings of Capra films. It would be nice to think that right and justice do sometimes triumph over graft and injustice. Lost causes, however, just don't triumph in real life.