Showing posts from July, 2009

On the subject of healthcare...


Recently the subject of healthcare reform has been very much in the press in the United States. A friend alerted me to the video below of Mike Rogers' opening statement in relation to healthcare proposals that are before the US Congress:

Congressman Mike Roger's opening statement about the healthcare proposals before the US congress

I think Mr Rogers' comments are quite telling in as much as they summarise the reason why the US healthcare system is as it is today.

"Punishment" vs. "service delivery" focus

Significantly, Mr Rogers talks about 85% of the population being "punished" by healthcare proposals intended to benefit the other 15%. I think it is important to take note of his reference to "punishment" since it reveals how he approaches the whole issue of healthcare and the government's role in providing that service.

It seems to me that his attitude is very much "punishment focused" (as I will discuss in a …

These hands: a vignette

"These hands were made for fighting, not for music," the artist says ironically, lifting his shovel-like palms and meaty digits.

I look down at my own impossibly long, slender and delicate fingers. Then I notice the oversized and calloused knuckles. I see how one finger slants at an acute angle. I feel the once-broken, now-healed bone that juts sharply out of the back of my right hand.

And I wonder how the reverse came to be true.

Copyright © 2009 Dejan Djurdjevic

My old man: a vignette

A big, brooding figure he was.

He would come home from work and sit in the kitchen of our old weatherboard house in Footscray, Melbourne, dressed only in his underpants and a singlet, using the big breadknife to smear slabs of unsalted butter on thick hunks of bread.

I would sit nervously next to him while he buttered the end crust for me.

He was also the menacing figure who, belt in hand, towered over my crayons and me, glaring at my artwork scribbled on the wall or in his precious encyclopedia.

He was the guy who let me tag along with him into town on Saturday mornings, saying almost nothing.

He was my old man.

Copyright © 2009 Dejan Djurdjevic

James and the pressure-cooked chicken: a vignette

James was like a brother to me, only he lived in a two-storey mansion big enough to get lost in, with distant, preoccupied parents and a brooding, venomous, older brother, where I lived in a cramped, prefabricated asbestos house with a family given to screaming matches, raucous laughter or both.

Whenever I went to James' house we would dine alone (his parents having eaten already, his brother nowhere to be seen), small portions neatly spaced on large plates, pristine cutlery clinking on crisp-white porceline.

At our place James and I would sit with the family, crowded around our chipped linoleum table in the kitchen, digging into the over-used pressure cooker for pale, gelatinous chicken that fell off the bone.

I still remember how James, a rake of a boy with a tousled mop of hair, would be completely absorbed in his meal, greedily gnawing at the palid chicken with greasy fingers, pausing occasionally to grin, food caught in his teeth.

For many years later I would cringe at the memory…