"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
John Adams, July 3rd, 1776
I am willing to admit that this brings tears to my eyes. “Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory.”
America is a flawed dream, but it is a dream. We are at our best when we live up to the dream, our worst when we betray it. It’s our responsibility to fight for that dream.
I will also freely admit that I am aware of this quote because it was set to music, and placed in a wonderful and ridiculous musical. This, by the way, is why I believe in and work in the popular arts. They can keep things like this, like John Adams beautiful letters to his wife Abigail, alive for 238 years and counting.
As an aside, Adams thought all this would take place on July 2nd, but we can spot him the two days. He was right about a lot of other things.
I wrote this on a friend’s thread on Facebook. I was tired of hearing a lot of bizarre, uninformed nonsense about what health insurance is and is not, and I thought it might be helpful to just break it down to facts. The post got passed around a little bit and so I was encouraged to share it here. The moral of the story is probably “don’t encourage me”. Or “don’t let other people’s stupid Facebook friends get you mad.”
Here’s how employer-sponsored health care works.
Your employer gets a volume group discount on health insurance.
You WORK for your employer. Your health insurance package is PART OF YOUR COMPENSATION FOR YOUR WORK. It is not FREE. You are, explicitly, WORKING FOR IT.
Your employer does not discuss, with your doctor, what treatments you are given for any medical condition or circumstance you might encounter. Your employer has no right to your medical records. Your employer is NOT your health care provider.
Part of your compensation for work is actual money. Your employer has no rights over what you choose to do with your money. The same applies to the health insurance which you have WORKED in order to EARN. It is not free. It is not a gift. It is compensation for work. I’m saying that more than once because it seems to be a super difficult thing for some of the geniuses to understand.
Reproductive care is medical health care. All methods of contraception are legal. Abortion is legal. You have a right to legal health care. There is no moral or legal difference between reproductive health care and other forms of health care. Like all health care, it is a confidential matter between yourself and your doctor.
Anyone who pretends they are a “conservative”, but believes an employer has the right to interfere between doctor/patient privilege is — at best — someone who doesn’t understand conservative values of non-interference in personal lives. At worst, you’re just a fucking hypocrite who is deeply concerned about other people’s lives and choices.
Health insurance is not “free abortions” or “free contraception” or “government anything.” It is compensation. For work.
And it is, seriously, none of your fucking business what a woman and her doctor decide for her health care.
Period. Fucking. End.
You can pretend your objection is about whatever you want to pretend it’s about, but it’s pretty obvious you’re just a puritan asshole who’s afraid of ladies having the minimum control over their lives that you take for granted. If that’s you, my wish for you is that your employer is a Christian Scientist, and you get appendicitis.
The Ed Noon series has three distinct “eras”. The first era is the Classic Detective Era: a down-at-his-heels Manhattan gumshoe, dealing with murderers and thieves. There’s always a hint of the surreal (Dolores is Tall, Lucille is small, Betty is Bouncing) and some flirting with the spy genre (THE ALARMING CLOCK), but still… it’s mostly a guy with a .45 wearing a Porkpie hat, and running around New York City getting beaten up and Doing Good.
The second era is the Spy to Mister President era. Not immune to the commercial forces of the James Bond Craze, the Ed Noon series swings into the sixties with our humble local detective doing a job for the President of the United States, and becoming his special, off-the-books operative. The trademark Avallone surrealism is still there, teasing at the corners of the stories as they become increasingly outlandish, as the undersea shenanigans of DEATH DIVES DEEP attest. Noon now travels the world and tangles with enemy agents on a more regular basis.
The first two eras are unique — because Avallone’s authorial voice is always unique — but they are recognizable entries in a recognizable genre.
But the third era… well, that’s something else entirely again.
What to call it? The Psychedelic Era isn’t quite right, nor is The Science Fiction Era. The Mid-Life Era? Whatever we call it, the Third Era is Apocalypse, Noon. The surrealist impulse always lurking in the background of the series comes to the fore. In SHOOT IT AGAIN, SAM (called THE MOVING GRAVEYARD in England, see above) Noon is brainwashed into thinking he’s Sam Spade, and sent to assassinate the President. In THE MOON MAIDEN (unpublished, but coming this year on Amazon), Ed Noon comes face-to-face with a murderous witch. And in the final two books in the series (HIGH NOON AT MIDNIGHT and SINCE NOON YESTERDAY) Noon fights against an alien invasion. Or he simply loses his mind. The reader can decide for him or herself.
For me, his son… I love the Classic Detective era. Those books are incredibly entertaining and really capture the Times Square world of the Fifties. The Spy to Mister President thrillers are great entertainments. But the final third of the series is my favorite: it’s where Michael Avallone finally dropped the facade and burned the rulebook of his chosen genre and expressed the pure, unfiltered madness inside him. It’s Raymond Chandler meets Philip K. Dick, and in the coming months we’ll be rolling them out: re-releasing the originals, and finally sending the unpublished work into the light of day. Fasten your seatbelts.