As of June 2007, I have redesigned and relaunched the site at www.thedissidentfrogman.com/blog
This page won’t be updated anymore, and remains here for archiving purposes. After all, that’s a piece of my history.

I’m just next door, really. I have consolidated all the content of the site since 2002, and I’m running on a much improved software.

Please update bookmarks and blogrolls:
http://www.thedissidentfrogman.com (preferred)
or
http://www.thedissidentfrogman.com/blog

See you there.

A compter de juin 2007, j'ai redesigné et relancé le site en www.thedissidentfrogman.com/blog
Cette page ne sera plus mise à jour, et demeure à titre d'archive. Après tout, c'est un morceau de mon histoire.

Je ne suis pas loin, vraiment. J'ai consolidé tout le contenu depuis 2002, et je tourne sur un logiciel bien plus amélioré.

Merci de mettre à jour bookmarks et blogrolls:
http://www.thedissidentfrogman.com (de préférence)
ou
http://www.thedissidentfrogman.com/blog

Rendez-vous là-bas.

Previous: Vampires in the Sunlights • Vampires sous les Sunlights
Home
Next: Watch Out Your Dead • Attention À Vos Morts

August 25, 2003

Who killed Uncle Fungus? • Qui a tué Oncle Fungus ?

Fired from France by the dissident frogman

The following is a true story. The names were changed to protect the dissidents.

To be honest, I never really liked my Uncle Fungus. He was a rather authoritarian man, much the "do as I say, not as I do" kind of type. Mom always told us how insufferable he was, when they were both kids, and even if he never really tried to let loose his inclination for command and control over the dissident frogman's sibship - he knew our Dad wouldn't have tolerated it - meeting him was always a slightly uncomfortable experience, at least when we were young.
Unfortunately, Cousin Zeke, one of Uncle Fungus' nephews, wasn't so lucky and after several demonstrations of authoritarianism ended up cordially hating the guts of Uncle Fungus.
Cousin Zeke being my favorite cousin at the time (You know, the one you'd wanted to have for brother), I guess it didn't help me to conceive that much of affection for the aforementioned Great Dictator Fungus.

A retired mechanic, Uncle Fungus was married with Auntie Katiusha, a Russian born immigrant who, oddly enough, fled this Marxist Ideal Society somewhere around World War II under obscure and egregious conditions she is still reluctant to relate. She would only go as far as telling you, with a tremor in her voice:
"I really can't understand how people, especially young ones, can still be Communists nowadays. After all the evil they have done."

The voice usually breaks on "After all the evil they've done".

I bet Auntie Katiusha, who incidentally happens to be the dissident frogman's godmother, knows what she's talking about. Like so many others, she had a first hand experience of the way Communism, this ultimate embodiment of the toxicity of the State and coercion of an elite over the masses, deals with society and the individuals that compose it.

One may wonder why, then, she would end up marrying such an overbearing guy as Uncle Fungus and I would answer that it is indeed puzzling but considering Auntie Katiusha's past experience with totalitarianism, Uncle Fungus would have been probably nothing but piece of cake to deal with.

And all in all, piece of cake he was. Auntie Katiusha is a tough woman by force of her own history and, Oh-the-irony, our Great Familial Dictator eventually found - and married - somebody able to stand up to him.

I'd say it's safe to assume that Cousin Zeke literally worships Auntie Katiusha.

Which is the other reason why he attended Uncle Fungus' funerals last Thursday.

Uncle Fungus was suffering from smoker's cancer (a fate I'm trying to avoid, having already lost my two grand fathers, devoured by the Beast) but wasn't exactly at a terminal phase.

Which is an elegant way to say that he could still hope for at least one year of chemotherapy before the medical corps eventually acknowledge its defeat and pass the subject to the undertaker, I give you that.

Unfortunately for Uncle Fungus, an indisposition while having what became a ritual visit at the hospital to receive his treatment, had him sent to intensive care and directly to a room in that very hospital, his physician considering that he should stay in observation for some time.
He was therefore hospitalized, in the middle of the now famous heat wave, away from his reasonably cool home in the countryside nearby Small Town, France.

Uncle Fungus left the hospital on Thursday, August 14.

In a box or, as some would say "in peace".

While gathering in front of the cemetery after the inhumation the following week, Cousin Zeke and I had a short discussion, confronting his views and mine on the topic at hand, The Death and the Why, and falling almost automatically back to the Mother of All Conversation Pieces, The Weather, that in the case in point revealed itself more pertinent than it usually is.

Cousin Zeke's opinion on his Personal Great Dictator's apparent premature passing away was rigorously along the self-exculpating line that's starting to appear, here and there in the Country With The Best Health Care System In The World As Opposed To The Loathsome Selfish American Capitalist Hell (from now on, I'll refer to it as 'France'. More convenient and equally significant.) in front of the ghastly and unequalled tragedy, at least for a so-called "advanced country".

Namely:
« The heat is not to blame. And neither is the government.
Sure, it was hot, but these people were either old or ill, and sometimes both. What do you know? These people would have died no matter what, be it in a few weeks or a few months. None can tell ya know.  »
Indeed.

Since I also read the same kind of arguments on a few forums and among the comments on a famous French media website, I guess Cousin Zeke is not the only village idiot of this assisted neurasthenic society.

My first repartee to Zeke, was to clarify a somewhat important point that he apparently missed: eventually, we will all die no matter what, even though I certainly agree with him that there's no way to tell if it's going to take weeks, months or years.

None can tell ya know.

But the thing is, when you die, there are usually one or several reasons. When you're old or ill and you die during a serious heat wave, all it means is that you were too old or too ill to resist the heat without the appropriate precautions and care, and therefore also means that the heat and the lack of counter measures killed you.

Not the condition you were in.

Unless, you happen to coincidentally die of old age or illness when the weather, still coincidentally, turns to scorching hot.

I'm not saying it didn't happen but, excuse me Cousin Zeke... 10 000 coincidences in what, two weeks of time?

Let's push it a bit further: when the organisms and authorities who fleece tax you, supposedly to deal with such issue, depriving you of the choice and therefore leaving you virtually no other option than sweating in a hospital room or a pensioner's house with half of the caregivers on holidays and the other half completely submerged by the task or not working more than 35 hours a week, do you still believe that the heat is the only killer on the loose?

The reason why this self-exculpating line is such a success, is that almost everybody in this tragic chain of events is looking for redemption:
The part of the population that favored bitch banging on the beach (or even just lawn bowling on the sand), relinquishing its responsibility towards its own kin to a State that's been telling them for decade that he was the only one able to take care of them, but in turn stood utterly idle and inefficient, taking therefore the biggest share of blame (you can't take the responsibility out of the people and then blame them for not being responsible. ChIraq's late TV address to the nation, blaming whatever lack of "solidarity" and "attentiveness" on the French society while he was peacefully enjoying the Canadian hospitality is, in that respect, a deplorable demonstration of the French oligarchy's mendacity) but also, hardly sorry to say that, the professionals on the field and their monitoring agencies who are now trying to cover themselves, singing the so common "We warned the government" tune.

Maybe you warned them and, who knows, maybe you even warned them on time - hey, accidents happen - but what the heck did you do apart from waiting for an order from the Big Guys on Top, who weren't listening anyway?

While having a drink after Uncle Fungus' burial, I heard the story of a care giver staff, visiting home based pensioners that lost 50% of their patients, in two days.
Granted, it wasn't a big pool of patients (we're not talking about hundreds of dead. Not that it's less unsettling though) but I would love to know how you can have half of the people you're supposed to take care of every day, 7 days a week passing away. How can that possibly happen in a developed country?

Anyway, I certainly can't tell about the other 9 999 but I can explain to Cousin Zeke what I know about Uncle Fungus' last days in the claws hands of the So Enviable French Health Care System.

You see Cousin Zeke, small Town's hospital is not one of those old buildings, inherited from the Napoleon era and scarcely "patched" over the decades with long-standing temporary prefabs as you can see in many French medium-sized towns. It's a rather modern building, constructed in the 80s, the pride of Small Town with a fancy architecture, a nice park around and a groovy interior design.

But of course, no air conditioning.

You see Cousin Zeke, France has a record rate of sedative consumption and suicide (which shall not come as a surprise for anybody able to see the deplorable state of the French society behind the official French blustering on the Greatness of France) and Small Town's hospital had its own share of defenestration, until some smart-ass civil servant monkey came up with a bright idea.

Locking all the patients' rooms' windows.

You see Cousin Zeke, in Small Town's hospital you can't slide the rooms' windows and get an aperture wider than 10 cm.

You see Cousin Zeke, in the end, Uncle Fungus would tell Auntie Katiusha: "Can't breathe. I can't breathe".

But of course, Uncle Fungus had lung cancer right?

The problem is, Cousin Zeke, that his healthy visitors couldn't breathe easily in the room as well.

You see Cousin Zeke, Mom had to brought him a fan to help out, but that didn't make a significant difference really. Just pulsing hot air around.

You see Cousin Zeke, from time to time, a nurse would come in, tap Uncle Fungus' cheeks, telling him loudly:
« Wake up Mister Fungus! Don't sleep! »
You know Cousin Zeke, I can't help but thinking that she was making sure he wouldn't croak while there were visitors in the room. Too messy I guess.

That said I imagine we could have told Auntie Katiusha to get him out of there and let him spend whatever weeks or months he had in front of him, in the relative coolness of their house, instead of joining him everyday in one of the hospital's oven, till the fatal ending.

And believe me Cousin Zeke, we did tell her.

But if there's one responsibility that's definitely hard to take, it's certainly going against your own doctor's decision, especially when the guy tells you that "if anything serious happens at home, we may not be able to treat him in time. On the other hand, if he's here..."

Well, there's no reason not to trust the judgment of a professional from the Country With The Best Health Care Sys... France, is it?

We buried Uncle Fungus last Thursday. Auntie Katiusha lost her husband and, despite some irritating facets of his temper, we're mourning Mom's last brother.

You can sleep now Mister Fungus.
L'histoire suivante relate des faits réels. Les noms ont été changés pour protéger les dissidents.

En toute franchise, je n'ai jamais vraiment aimé mon Oncle Fungus. C'était un homme plutôt autoritaire, du genre "faites ce que je dis, pas ce que je fais." Maman nous a souvent raconté à quel point il était impossible à vivre lorsqu'ils étaient tous deux enfants et, quand bien même il n'a jamais vraiment tenté de se laisser aller librement à son penchant pour le contrôle et le commandement envers la fratrie dissident frogman - sachant que notre père ne l'aurait pas toléré - le rencontrer a toujours été une expérience passablement inconfortable, tout au moins lorsque nous étions jeunes.
Malheureusement, Cousin Zeke, l'un des neveux d'Oncle Fungus, n'a pas eu notre chance et après plusieurs démonstrations d'autoritarisme en est arrivé à haïr cordialement Oncle Fungus.
Cousin Zeke étant mon Cousin favori à l'époque (Vous savez, celui que vous voudriez avoir pour frère), je crois que cela ne m'a pas aidé à concevoir une bien grande affection pour le susmentionné Grand Dictateur Fungus.

Mécanicien à la retraite, Oncle Fungus était marié à Tati Katiusha, immigrée russe de naissance qui, curieusement, a fui cette Société Marxiste Idéale aux environs de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, en d'obscur et manifestement dramatiques circonstances qu'elle répugne toujours à relater. Au plus loin qu'elle aille, elle vous dira, avec un tremblement dans la voix :
"Je ne peux vraiment pas comprendre comment les gens, particulièrement les jeunes, puissent toujours être communistes de nos jours. Après tout le mal qu'ils ont fait."

La voix se casse généralement sur "Après tout le mal qu'ils ont fait".

Je pense que Tati Katiusha, qui se trouve être accessoirement la marraine du dissident frogman, sait de quoi elle parle. A l'instar de beaucoup d'autres elle a eu une expérience concrète de la manière avec laquelle le communisme, cette ultime incarnation de la nocivité de l'Etat et de la coercition d'une élite sur les masses, s'occupe de la société et des individus la composant.

L'on pourrait se demander pourquoi, alors, elle en est arrivé à épouser un gars aussi autoritaire qu'Oncle Fungus, ce à quoi je répondrais que c'est effectivement plutôt énigmatique mais que considérant l'expérience passée de Tati Katiusha avec le totalitarisme, Oncle Fungus ne pouvait probablement être que du gâteau.

Et l'un dans l'autre, du gâteau il fut. Tati Katiusha est une femme solide du fait de son histoire personnelle et, ironie du sort, notre Grand Dictateur Familial à finalement trouvé - et épousé - quelqu'un capable de lui tenir tête.

J'imagine que l'on peut raisonnablement en déduire que Cousin Zeke adore positivement Tati Katiusha.

Ce qui est l'autre la raison pour laquelle il a assisté aux funérailles d'Oncle Fungus, jeudi dernier.

Oncle Fungus était atteint du cancer du fumeur (un sort que je tente de m'éviter, ayant déjà perdu mes deux grands-pères, dévorés par la Bête) mais n'était pas exactement en phase terminale.

Ce qui est une manière élégante de dire qu'il pouvait au moins espérer encore un an de chimiothérapie avant que le corps médical ne reconnaisse sa défaite et ne repasse le sujet aux croques morts, je vous l'accorde.

Malheureusement pour Oncle Fungus, un malaise à l'hôpital à l'occasion de l'une des visites rituelles pour recevoir son traitement, l'a envoyé en soins intensifs et de là directement dans une chambre dudit hôpital, son médecin considérant qu'il devait rester en observation quelques temps.
Il s'est donc retrouvé hospitalisé, au milieu de la désormais célèbre canicule, loin de sa raisonnablement fraîche demeure dans la campagne environnant Petite Ville, France.

Oncle Fungus a quitté l'hôpital le jeudi 14 août.

Dans une boite ou, comme le disent certains, "dans la paix du Christ".

Alors que nous nous rassemblions devant le cimetière après l'inhumation la semaine suivante, Cousin Zeke et moi-même nous sommes engagés dans une courte discussion, confrontant ses vues et les miennes sur les sujets du jour, La Mort et Le Pourquoi, tombant presque automatiquement sur le Père de Tous les Sujets de Conversation, Le Temps, qui en l'occurrence s'est avéré plus pertinent qu'il ne l'est habituellement.

L'opinion de Cousin Zeke sur le trépas apparemment prématuré de son Grand Dictateur Personnel se situe rigoureusement le long de la ligne d'auto disculpation qui semble commencer à apparaître ici et là, au Pays Qui A Le Meilleur Système De Santé Du Monde Par Opposition Au Méprisable Enfer Capitaliste Egoïste Américain (que je désignerais dorénavant pour simplifier, par 'France'. Plus pratique et tout aussi signifiant.) face à l'épouvantable et inégalée tragédie, tout au moins pour un soi-disant "pays évolué".

Nommément :
« La chaleur n'est pas responsable. Pas plus que le gouvernement.
Bien sur, il a fait chaud mais ces gens étaient vieux ou malades et parfois les deux. Alors quoi ? Ces gens là seraient morts, n'importe comment. Que ça soit dans quelques semaines ou dans quelques mois. Personne ne peut le prédire, t'sais.  »
En effet.

Etant donné que j'ai pu lire le même argument sur certains forums et parmi les commentaires du site d'un célèbre media français, j'imagine que Cousin Zeke n'est pas le seul idiot du village au sein de cette société d'assistés neurasthéniques.

Ma première répartie à Zeke, a eu pour but de clarifier un point quelque peu important qu'il avait apparemment omis : au final, nous allons tous mourir, n'importe comment, même si je ne saurais douter du fait qu'il est impossible de prévoir s'il s'agit de semaines, de mois ou d'années.

Personne ne peut le prédire, t'sais.

Mais cela dit, lorsque vous mourrez, il y a généralement une ou plusieurs raisons. Lorsque vous êtes vieux ou malade et mourrez au cours d'une sévère vague de chaleur, tout ce que cela signifie c'est que vous étiez trop vieux ou trop malade pour résister à la chaleur sans les précautions et les soins appropriés et qu'en conséquence, la chaleur et l'absence de contres mesures vous ont tué.

Pas la condition dans laquelle vous étiez.

A moins, bien entendu que vous ne vous trouviez par coïncidence à périr de vieillesse ou de maladie lorsque le temps, toujours par coïncidence, tourne au franchement brûlant.

Je ne suis pas en train de dire que le cas ne s'est pas présenté mais, excuse moi Cousin Zeke... 10 000 coïncidences en deux semaines de temps ?

Poussons ça un peu plus loin : lorsque les organismes et les autorités qui vous rançonnent taxent, supposément afin de se charger de telles questions, vous privant du choix et ne vous laissant donc virtuellement aucune autre option que de suer dans une chambre d'hôpital ou une maison de retraite dans laquelle la moitié du personnel soignant est en vacance et l'autre moitié complètement débordée par la tâche, ou ne travaillant pas plus de 35 heures par semaine, croyez vous toujours que la chaleur soit le seul tueur à battre la campagne ?

La raison pour laquelle cette ligne d'auto disculpation rencontre un tel succès, c'est que pratiquement tout le monde cherche la rédemption face à ce tragique enchaînement d'évènements :
La partie de la population qui a préféré se péter une pouf' sur la plage (ou simplement une pétanque sur le sable), abandonnant ses responsabilités envers les siens à un Etat qui lui a assuré pendant des décennies qu'il était le seul à même de s'en charger alors qu'il est resté inactif et inefficace, prenant en ce sens la plus grande part de culpabilité (vous ne pouvez pas affranchir les individus de leur responsabilité et leur reprocher de ne pas être responsables. En la matière, l'intervention télévisée tardive de ChIrak blâmant la société française pour son manque de "solidarité" et "d'attention" pendant qu'il goûtait paisiblement l'hospitalité canadienne est une déplorable démonstration de l'hypocrisie de l'oligarchie française) mais aussi, et je suis à peine désolé de le dire, les professionnels sur le terrain et les agences qui les chapeautent et qui tentent maintenant de se couvrir en chantant la ritournelle "Nous avions prévenu le gouvernement".

Peut être l'aviez vous prévenu et, qui sait, peut être même l'aviez vous prévenu à temps - hé, les accidents, ça arrive - mais bordel, qu'avez vous fait à part attendre les ordres des Huiles qui, de toutes manières, n'écoutaient pas ?

Vidant un verre après les funérailles d'Oncle Fungus, j'ai entendu l'histoire d'une équipe d’aides soignants visitant des retraités à domicile et qui a perdu 50% de ses patients en deux jours.
C'est entendu, il ne s'agissait pas d'un grand nombre de patients (on ne parle pas de centaines de morts. Même si cela n'en est pas moins inconfortable) mais j'adorerai apprendre comment il est possible de voir mourir la moitié des gens dont vous êtes censés prendre soin tous les jours, 7 jours par semaine. Comment cela peut il arriver dans un pays développé ?

Quoi qu'il en soit, je ne peux rien dire concernant les autres 9 999 mais je peux expliquer à Cousin Zeke ce que je sais des derniers jours d'Oncle Fungus dans les griffes mains du Si Enviable Système de Santé français.

Vois-tu Cousin Zeke, l'hôpital de Petite Ville n'est pas l'un de ces vieux bâtiments hérités de l'ère napoléonienne et vaguement patché, décades après décades, au moyen d'éternels préfabriqués temporaires tels que nous en pouvons voir en de nombreuses villes moyennes. C'est un building plutôt moderne, érigé dans les années 80, fierté de Petite Ville et doté d'une architecture chic, d'un parc magnifique et d'un design intérieur de standing.

Mais bien entendu, sans air conditionné.

Vois-tu Cousin Zeke, la France détient un record de consommation de tranquillisants et de suicide (ce qui ne saurait surprendre quiconque à même de percevoir l'état déplorable de la société française, au delà des fanfaronnades officielles quand à la Grandeur de la France) et l'hôpital de Petite Ville a eu sa part de défenestrations avant qu'un fonctionnaire malin comme un singe ne formule une brillante idée.

Verrouiller les fenêtres de toutes les chambres des patients.

Vois-tu Cousin Zeke, à l'hôpital de Petite Ville, tu ne peux pas obtenir plus de 10 cm d'ouverture en faisant coulisser les fenêtres des chambres.

Vois-tu Cousin Zeke, sur la fin Oncle Fungus disait à Tati Katiusha: "Peux pas respirer. Je ne peux pas respirer".

Mais bien entendu, Oncle Fungus avait un cancer des poumons, n'est ce pas ?

Le problème Cousin Zeke, est que même ses visiteurs en bonne santé avaient de la peine à respirer dans cette chambre.

Vois-tu Cousin Zeke, le ventilateur que Maman lui avait amené pour le soulager n'a fait que peu de différence. Brassant l'air chaud aux alentours.

Vois-tu Cousin Zeke, de temps à autre, une infirmière entrait, tapotait Oncle Fungus sur les joues, lui disant d'une voix forte :
« Réveillez vous Monsieur Fungus! Il faut pas dormir! »
Sais-tu Cousin Zeke, je n'arrive pas à m'ôter de la tête l'idée qu'elle s'assurait ainsi qu'il ne crèverait pas en présence de visiteurs. Ca fait désordre, je pense.

Cela dit, j'imagine que nous aurions pu dire à Tati Katiusha de le sortir de là et de le laisser passer les quelconques semaines ou mois qu'il avait devant lui dans la fraîcheur relative de leur propre maison, plutôt que de le rejoindre tout les jours dans l'un des fours de l'hôpital, jusqu'à l'issue fatale.

Et crois moi Cousin Zeke, c'est ce que nous lui avons dit.

Mais si il y a bien une responsabilité difficile à endosser, c'est certainement d'aller à l'encontre de la décision de ton propre médecin, particulièrement lorsque le gars te dit que "s'il se produit quelque chose de sérieux chez lui, on ne pourra peut être pas le traiter à temps. D'un autre côté, si il est ici..."

Bien, il n'y a pas de raison de douter du jugement d'un professionnel du Pays Qui A Le Meilleur Syst... de France, n'est ce pas ?

Nous avons enterré Oncle Fungus jeudi dernier. Tati Katiusha a perdu son mari et, en dépit de certains traits insupportables de son caractère, nous pleurons le dernier frère de Maman.

Vous pouvez dormir maintenant Monsieur Fungus.

TrackBacks

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Who killed Uncle Fungus? • Qui a tué Oncle Fungus ?:

» Submitted for Your Approval from Watcher of Weasels
Welcome aboard to King of Fools and to Spiced Sass who will be both voting with us for the first time this week. Now let's get to all the links submitted by members of the Watcher's Council for this week's vote. [Read More]

Tracked on August 27, 2003 08:41 AM

» Economic Ignorance in the Medical Field from Flit(tm)
I'm on a random blog journey and I stumble across a clueless med student: After every question, I just wanted to shake them and scream “Single-payer!” (Yes, I have a slight flair for the dramatic.) And I’m not trying to... [Read More]

Tracked on February 2, 2004 02:03 AM

Comments

Even in this "Evil Empire" during that bad heat wave a few years ago, we did not have nearly the per capita death rate that you are experiencing.

I'm sorry for your personal loss, and for the families of the other 9,999, but can't help but wonder what kind of idiot designs a modern hospital without adequate environmental control? What sort of zoning or building ordinances would allow such a thing to be built? What Doctor would work in such a place?

I suppose that it is merely easier to be complacent and fatalistic, then to get angry about something that one could actually have changed with some involvement, politically or personally.

But France is not alone in this. We have all manner of people who would rather curse the dark than light a candle.

Apologies for the cliche.

Posted by: Mamamontezz | August 25, 2003 08:06 PM

Condolensces to you and to Katyusha. My in-laws also hailed from the Soviet Union, and their tales of the horrors of socialized medicine are certainly cut of the same cloth as France's disaster this season.

Posted by: doc Russia | August 25, 2003 10:40 PM

Frogman,
My condolences to you, your family, and most of all to your Aunt. No matter how the rest saw him, your Aunt saw something wonderful in your Uncle. May he rest in peace.

I also hope that more Americans read your piece on the benevolence of "the Government" before we go the way of France and Europe with socialized medicine.

Take care,

Guy

Posted by: Guy Slater | August 25, 2003 11:08 PM

Was wondering where you were during this crisis. Figured it was something along the lines of going door to door with a water pitcher. Or maybe tending to some death in the family.

Posted by: J.Mayeau | August 26, 2003 03:42 AM

Condolenes to you. I also happened to loose someone I hated in my familly, but the death of a human being is by no mean a nice thing. A concept difficult to understand for communists, that would necessarily blame the governement.
And, oh yes!, the americans. THEY are responsible for the bad weather, aren't they? No, don't tell me that Hadley cells have been growing on Jupiter, too, or that carbon dioxyde percentage in martian atmosphere is 80% (and that the greenhouse gaz effect is ridiculous out there). If there is a change in climate, then it HAS to be because of the americans. If you don't want to not take cause for consequence, or not blame your ennemy for everything with a (very) fuzzy logic, you are a rationalist, comrade. No, it is pure coincidence if in every other country in the same Hadley cell, the rate is not that high. It is the americans who polluted on purpose to avenge themselves, since we didn't want to fight by their sides.

Lives are at stake. That's a fact. Politicians (regarless of their political orientations), but also syndicalists, because they allowed the 35 hours or socialized medicine, are responsible. But of course, as soon as Bové is back from hollidays - or any gloomy moron that sees himself as a reliever of the poor, the exploited, the... oh yes! inventors of a criminal health care system - who do you think he is going to blame??? The americans! It's so easier, so that every whining moron will have an identified, easy to understand, ennemy to blame.
And, suddenly, I'm shuddering when I realise that if we go back in time, exactly 70 years ago, and that we replace 'french' by 'german speaking people' and 'americans' by 'jews, and anybody that doesn't belong to the german racial group (oh? Did I say those peoples were racists?)', we get a feeling of déjà vu.

Posted by: Guillaume | August 26, 2003 07:30 AM

When I was young my mother used to tell me that God would heap on my head what I whished on others. Not too long ago the French were giddy with the mere notion that "10,000's of US soldiers would die at the hands of Saddam. When this didn’t happen they were sad. Then one US soldier a day was killed in Iraq, again, glee and jubilation at our misfortune. Well, God has heaped on the French heads exactly what they wished to happen to the US. I do believe it is punishment from God.

Posted by: John | August 26, 2003 01:30 PM

Personally, I have no need for god: this is what happens when people prefer to look afar so that they don't see the problems they have: this doesn't solve the problem, but at least they believee they're not responsible when something happens. This is pure logic.
I find your comment rather unfair: France is not full of criminal morons, only those morons control the media, that's why they're the only ones who have a voice. Anyway, that's what I think. But I'm sure that among the people who died, there were people who certainly didn't wish for those American deaths. Most of them were old, and most likely witnessed France's liberation, and hence were among the most thankful. Would god have punished the wrong guys? I wouldn't believe in such a god.
Those deaths are human matters: it is because in France, those who decide don't use god's gift, namely reason. This is why France sucks, and why America will always be a better place (since those who think are given a chance to prove they can do it in a better way). If you don't use reason, then you are a murderer. No god took this decision. Humans did.

Posted by: Guillaume | August 26, 2003 03:57 PM

My condolonces, sir. My mother and grandmother fled that Soviet "paradise" (and not all that long ago - 24 years, in fact), so I can sympathize with your descriptions of the horrors of Socialism.

Posted by: Steve | August 26, 2003 03:59 PM


Peut être Oncle Fungus n'etait pas un modéle de bonté ou d'humanité toutefois , bien que malade , il ne meritait pas de mourir dans la souffrance et de maniére indecente en occurrence a cause d'une vague de chaleur et parce que le "meilleur systeme de soin au monde " selon l'Oms , n'a pas été capable d'assurer , ou encore a cause d'un gouvernement qui estime que c'est la faute au temps..................

Dans tous les cas je pense que la ou il est a t'il trouvé la paix de l'esprit et de l'âme......


Reçois mes condoleances sinceres a toi et a tes gens :(

Posted by: Fred | August 26, 2003 04:16 PM

Hmm, don't get me wrong. It's not that I hated Uncle Fungus (Cousin Zeke did), it's just that I had less affection for him than for other members of the clan.

That said, there's a significant difference between not liking your Uncle and not caring when he's being mistreated.

He's part of the clan, above all.

Posted by: the dissident frogman | August 26, 2003 09:22 PM

I am very sad to hear of the death of your uncle, and of the circumstances surrounding his death. Thank you for telling us the story. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Posted by: Mary in LA | August 26, 2003 10:34 PM

Also, my sympathies.

One question though, are the surgery rooms not air conditioned either? They have hot lights, and I would think that having a surgeon as confortable as possible (not distracted by heat) is important.

Posted by: ErikZ | August 28, 2003 12:18 AM

I showed your article to my wife, a nurse with 20 years clinical experience, and her comment was " There are about 10 different things in that story that would get my, or the hospitals, credentials revoked."

Of course that is in the "Bastion of all that is Violent, Crass and Not Nice" hereafter known as America, for brevity's sake.

I'm not naive enough to think that that the American health system is perfect, but your sad story only hardens my belief that further socializing the healthcare system in the U.S. is clearly not the answer.

You have my deepest sympathies on the death of your uncle. :-(

Posted by: SteveJ | August 29, 2003 03:46 PM

hi there,
deepest sympathy,and i couln<t agree more with what you said about that wonderfull ubbernice health system, I am a french born canadian and had to experience the treatement hospital people gave to my grandfather some years ago.
these are underpaid, ignorant nurse asisstants and they know shit, i saw them doing so i don't have any problem imagining what it mus have been like.

Posted by: harvey | December 12, 2003 04:45 AM

who is uncle fungus?

Posted by: nina | July 24, 2004 05:04 PM