So here I was, in the countryside last night, for a dinner party. The setting was the newly built pool house on a renovated farm – cue thunder and lightening, and cue a case of hostess hysteria as rain puddles in the courtyard. We rushed about, bringing the benches and cushions under the roof (the pool house had ample room for two dining tables, benches, chairs, and all the guests…) so we ate under the roof, while rain pattered, lightening flashed and thunder growled. It was nice.  The people were all very sparkly and witty, and I was rather exhausted, so I just sat and smiled, thinking that if I couldn’t be witty, at least I could look cheerful. The women mostly hunted, so some were going skeet shooting the next morning, including my hostess, Lady Susan, who, as anyone who reads Saki knows, disapproves of everything. I said I loved skeet shooting. But I’m not a hunter. The only thing I ever shot,  I said apologetically, was a parakeet, and that was by accident.  But the next morning, during breakfast, I still was not invited to the skeet shoot. Perhaps they were afraid I’d go berserk and shoot everyone? As an American, I suppose I’m considered dangerous with a gun. So I settled in a comfy chair to read. Thank goodness for books, I always say. They can make dreary visits to the countryside seem almost entertaining. After Lady Susan came back from blowing clay pigeons to smithereens we had a late lunch, everyone settled on pool chairs and fell asleep, except for yours truly who still had a few chapters left to read. Country living, one can suppose is idyllic and restful. But think of the poor farmer. Day in, day out, weeding, planting, watering – then picking and selling the fruit of his labors. The weekend countryman can show up, shoot clay pigeons, and lie by the pool, while the farmer slaves away so that the weekend visitor can serve fresh raspberries with coffee. (Coffee made by serfs somewhere in South America who pick coffee beans until their fingers bleed…OK, maybe not, but they can’t afford a country residence…) I did warn you I was reading “Sapiens”, and my posts would be savage thrusts at human weaknesses – the latest being a rag called “The Conservative Tribune”, which goes on to say “protects Western civilization” or some such rot. It is, by far, one of the most amazing source of cognitive dissonance I have ever seen. The articles I read ranged from jokes to howls of outrage against the liberal agenda. One in particular caught my eye – an article about a man who was bitten by a snake, spent several days in the hospital, and got a bill of over 150,000. To explain this, the article said:

“With the skyrocketing rate of illegal aliens using California hospitals as their general practitioner, it almost makes sense that hospitals are forced to charge American citizens so much for something like a snake bite.
If the snake bite victim isn’t able to negotiate a reasonable bill with the hospital, his next option will likely be bankruptcy court, as most can’t write a check for that kind of money, nor should they be forced to take out a second mortgage to pay for a hospital bill.
Hopefully, with enough media attention, the man will get the relief he deserves. He’s certainly earned it after getting bit by both a snake and the hospital billing department in one go.”

With enough media attention the man will get the relief he deserves? He lives in the USA – he never voted for socialized medicine. He has to pay his own way, and not expect others to pay for him. What is this magazine? An anti-American pro-socialist rag? Or a truly racist degenerate relic of the Nazi era? Somehow, the Conservative Tribune combines Nazi evolutionary humanism with Ultra-right Christian doctrines that would make the Inquisition look moderate. Hopefully I’ve blocked all their articles. Anyone following this magazine might want to block me as well – I’m sickened by their view of humanity. No, seriously – it’s sick, and if you agree with it, you’re sick too. The Nazis believed in a master race, and thought that everything else was pollution. This magazine reminds me of Hitler’s propaganda, filling the hearts of dissatisfied Americans with bile and spite. Oh well – perhaps I’ll just go back to the countryside and hide in a raspberry patch. Their thorns might protect me.