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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

A meme of a different color.

You see the damnedest things on LJ. Many of the crazy things to pass my reading page are memes. Many profess to despise memes on blog pages, because for the most part, they represent trivial and often silly ideas. Of course, silly triviality is not the essential characteristic of memes. The term "meme", coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, refers to a unit of cultural information transferable from one mind to another. Well, I ran across a good one on bronxelf_ag001's page yesterday, one which is not so trivial or silly.

Basically, bronxelf_ag001 used her considerable management skillz to talk a friend of hers into developing a website for a group which she formed. The group was formed to help a mutual friend of theirs cover the considerable cost of cancer treatment medication. To that end, she convinced this group that they should create and sell calendars to raise the funds. But wait, that's not all. No, on top of this, she convinced fifteen of her lovely but non-model gal pals that the calendar should consist of pages featuring them in the buff! Okay, you try talking fifteen women out of their clothes and in front of a camera. I don't know about some people, but I know if I tried that trick I would soon collect a set of overlapping facial palm prints until I looked like some red-tattooed Queequeg. At any rate bronxelf_ag001 managed to pull this off and the calendars are to be printed in December.

It is my contention that the health industry in this country is messed up because of too much government interference. Everyone is trying to use the political process to get what they want and need in the way of healthcare and it is ruining local community cohesion, innovation, initiative, and responsibility, and degrading cost effectiveness, among other things. One of the great things about efforts like these is that these ladies aren't waiting for the political system to come to their rescue. They decided to do something for their friend and they used their talents and initiative to pull it together. This brings me back to the point of the meme. I'd like to see ideas like this spread and take hold in our society again. This effort of theirs is a great idea, and they've pulled it off well. Check it out.


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I didn't have to do a lot of convincing. The day I came up with this over 20 models signed up within four hours. I think we had 24 when we began.

In the end, I do believe 3 of the girls are models/have modeling experience.

Thank you very much for the plug. Every little bit helps, and I invite everyone to go see the site and please help out. While we can all debate over the state of US healthcare til the cows come home, the reality is that nothing is going to change either way in the time frame Heather needs it to happen.

tbh, I actually prefer my solution. Less paperwork, faster results.

Oh, that's right, rub it in

You really know how to hurt a guy. Heh heh. I haven't seen naked female flesh up close and personal for four years or so. Leave me my illusions will ya! I like to think it's because it's so difficult! *snerk*

Damned straight. We are on the same page when it comes to your solution. Direct Action!

I've always thought of thos web thingies as "me-me"s and not true 'memes'.

Memes are 'thought virus' or as I call them 'brain germs'.

Yes, I understand the difference between a me-me and a meme.

Nevertheless, I would suggest that a me-me is really a kind of meme. They are created and spread through "the blogosphere" just like any other sort of meme, from person to person, virally.

I don't see this as a solution to a widespread lack of access to medical care.

There have been other similar projects to raise money for worthy causes. Even if this is still a novelty, it won't be for long.

While exhibitionism and voyeurism are somewhat instictive and are part of artistic expression, these types of projects contribute to a coarsening of our culture. Will future similar projects be increasingly explicit? Will there be pressure for more people to pose for them? Those interoffice United Way competitions can get mighty competitve!

Should the calendars be displayed everywhere to prove one's charitable activism and to encourage others to contribute?

Obviously, one approach is not for everybody.

The point is that this is individual initiative. This is direct action. I find your comment that: "I don't see this as a solution to a widespread lack of access to medical care," to be completely unfathomable. Who do you think produces anything? It isn't the government. Government can only take, it cannot and does not produce. All of the government "largess" that you seem to believe is neccessary, ultimately came from somebody who was not in government, some producers, either individually or in voluntary cooperation with each other. Every doctor, every pharmacist, every researcher, every paramedic and ambulance driver, every hospital administrator exists because of an individual's desire to enter these industries and serve the health of their neighbors. To believe that people cannot take care of one anther without an authority figure stealing from some to give to others (and sloshing the loot around to all sorts of connected interests in the bargain) is puzzling indeed. It demeans the choices of those who have freely chosen to use their talents promoting the health and wellbeing of their neighbors. That is what I call "cultural decay" much more than a little nudity. Mind you, as I said, this one small particular avenue of expression and entrepreneurialism is not for everybody. There are limitless other approaches that could be practiced with the aim of achieving the same goals. If given a chance, people will find them. Markets excel at diversification of products and services. There are more approaches to the task of health and medicine than can be dreamt up by a small collection of power-interested politicians and the bureaucrats they support. Socialism doesn't work. Ludwig von Mises explained the reason why in 1922. The truth just takes a little time to get into the mainstream. Nevertheless, I think it is getting there. You'll see. ; )

Re: Obviously, one approach is not for everybody.

There are a number of issues involved here. I don't condemn those participating, but I wouldn't like to see this fundraising style become the norm or expected. Having seen other similar projects, to some extent it already has.

As far as socialized medicine, yes, I would like to see a publicly supported basic level of care. Some things like roads and tap water have an economy of scale. A healthy populace is more productive.

Conversly, many people regard medicine in what I'd call a religious or superstitious manner. We don't owe doctors a huge percentage of our income. Another approach to the topic would be stoicism toward mortality or universal access to presciption drugs as long as you paid for them.

Re: Obviously, one approach is not for everybody.

Yeah, well, you're right about there being numerous issues wrapped up in this bundle.

Roads, water, medicine...all work better under the private sector. Economy of scale is not an essential characteristic of publicly provided goods and services, assuming that it could even be calculated for a pure monopoly agency like government.

We don't owe doctors a huge portion of our income. We just started paying them that as soon as the politicians got involved. Doctors used to make housecalls. The AMA works like a coercive union and restricts entry of doctors into the market. The FDA retards research and multiplies the cost of pharmeceuticals development. The government mandates and regulates insurance providers. The government cap on wages during WWII (a monumentally foolish thing to do) lead employers to compete on non-wage bases, like health insurance, thus opening the can of worms whereby insurance came unportably bundled with employment... The political sphere cannot effectively provide goods and services. The best the public sphere can do is to provide low-to-no-innovation mediocre service.

You talk like a collectivist when you say things like "Another approach to the topic would be stoicism toward mortality" as if you mean "society as a whole". Balderdash. Health is an individual value. Everyone evaluates their health needs differently, and not amount of handwringing can negate the economic considerations involved. Countries where medicine is heavilly socialized kill people on waiting lists. One way or another, scarce goods and services are rationed. The difference between public and private sphere is that in the private sphere market feedback systems tend to streamline services and lower prices.

Let me be crystal clear: The Lime Project is not now nor has it ever been a political statement or cultural commentary.

This isn't about finding a widespread solution to lack of access to medical care; this about about a small group of people raising money for one specific person. Our friend Heather.

Perhaps you should actually *see* the calendar before you accuse us of coarsening culture as a whole. First of all, we're not spread-eagled a la Hustler - these are artistic and tasteful photographs. Second of all, we're not competing with any other charity project for most items sold. Our goal is clearly focused: raise enough money to pay for Heather's medical bills. Period.

Besides, a couple of thousand tasteful calendars can hardly be blamed for the vulgarity of society as a whole.

As for your last comment, how is hanging a calendar any different than wearing a t-shirt, using the free address labels that the Sierra Club sends you, or putting a bumper sticker on your car? It's not any more or less of a statement simply because the models in the calendar aren't wearing clothes.

If displaying this calendar puts more money in Heather's pocket, I'll put it on the side of a freaking bus.

Perhaps it is I who have been a flawed lens...

I think my friend pr1ss based her assumptions about the calendar on assessments of my typical male proclivities, and figured that if I were interested in it...

I wish your friend well. She is fortunate to have your support. My differences with Montecristo over economic theory were not intended to affect your actions. I am also completely in favor of freedom of speech.

Not for nothing, but...

Should the calendars be displayed everywhere to prove one's charitable activism and to encourage others to contribute?

I don't much care about anyone displaying their charitable activism, but if it encourages others to contribute I don't care if you use the moon as a projection screen and put it up there, too.

And I can't even *begin* to figure out a way to care about some supposed "coarsening of culture". "Culture" is made up of individual people. I gotta tell you, I find the articles within the pages of The New York Post, People Magazine, and Fox News to be far more likely to cause a coarsening of culture than 14 people taking their clothes off to help a friend pay for her medication.

And I'd MUCH rather do it this way than have a government agency handle it.

I'm not sure why you thought this was a solution to a widespread access of medical care, OR that the people involved with the project a) ever thought it did or b) had that as a concern.

Oh, and btw? I don't need to pressure anyone to pose. The day I asked for models I got 24 to volunteer within four hours just by *asking*. I have a line of people as long as your arm who have emailed asking me if I had any spots left or if there would be one next year in which they could participate.

Re: Not for nothing, but... Again my influence at work here...

My friend pr1ss and I frequently discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages we perceive to plague the free market and government, respectively. I think it was my admiration for the entrepreneurial initiative demonstrated by this project which inspired her to opine that it wasn't a general solution to the provision of health care. Naturally, we disagree on this, and I pointed out to her that this particular project is but one of many possible approaches to the problems presented by the provision of healthcare, and that it was the underlying individualist quality which made the approach a worthy one.

Re: Not for nothing, but... Again my influence at work here...

Fair enough. I should also mention that if one looks at the site one will find a button where you can donate *without* ordering a calendar.

We gave people a choice.


I should mention that I've lived without *any* coverage *at all* for the better part of the past 18 years. I am well aware of the problems of Health Care in this country. I just don't think it's "government"'s problem to "solve" it.

Indeed, we face an uphill job in convincing people that the market can accomplish our ends best

Unfortunately, the idea that people participating in a voluntary basis in the free market has been tarred by politicians for the past half century at minimum as being "inadequate" to address human social needs. Government is seen as being all to necessary to "correct" or even replace individial initiative and decentralized decision making. It's changing, I think, but right now we seem to still be in the minority. ; )

Re: Indeed, we face an uphill job in convincing people that the market can accomplish our ends best

I would prefer the government to stay the hell out of my life- period. I expect nothing more from the federal government besides the basics of national defense and national infrastructure. *Pretty much* everything past that? I feel is an issue for smaller bodies, be they states, municipalities or individuals.

(and before anyone else says it...)

...That doesn't violate the US Constitution....

Re: Not for nothing, but...

The potential coercion that concerns me would be in workplace based fund raising efforts. I did not intend the comment to specifically address your project.

actually, it isn't about making things more "coarse"

in our society woman have long fought to not be seen as sex objects... although it is pleasing from time to time, women have more depth and passion for life than they are usually credited with by others.

that said, art is expression... women have been seen as beautiful physically for centuries, why would or should it matter that these caring women would bare themselves to help a friend? if anything, it is most symbolic because in exposing their naked forms they acknowledge, knowingly or not, their physical forms not as sexual objects, but simplicity of form, of the vulnerability that nudity, of taking a risk in being exposed... in many ways this expression of that vulnerability, of that beauty, is an open statement that their friend Heather is facing the same vulnerability, the same nudity, so to speak, because she is exposed in every way possible to medical professionals, and to her own fears.

oh yes, and for the record, i think the government has over-stepped their bounds in many areas, and failed the people of this country miserably in ways we will continue to discover as the years roll on... healthcare is something that should be socialized, but greed lives on and on like a bad fungus on the side of a tree.

but this isn't about government, it's about women rallying around their friend.

make a donation if you don't like the nudity... we can always find alternative ways to help, just like these women have for their friend.

as for me, i am buying a calendar and will be distributing the link for Heather in my online Scrabble league's next newsletter...

all we can do is good enough, if everyone did that "little thing" imagine how the world would change.

Why do you never come on aim?

I should like to talk.

Well, the last time I came on AIM...

I was busted for indecency and public lewdness!

Actually, I have been off of AIM since replacing my hard drive. I have Yahoo up and running, and the new LJ Gizmo Talk system, surprisingly enough, but haven't really worked all of the bugs out of my Trillian installation (allowing me to chat on AIM) yet. Perhaps I can do that this evening.

Thank you for being of this level of mind, it's a pity that more people don't open themselves up to the reality that all the good there actually is, politics or no politics, gets done between people, period.

Hope you are doing well.

Read on, I replied to a comment here, too.


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