Thursday, October 15, 2009

The plastic jug meme*

Zuska, the Science Blogger, just had a great idea. I'll let her explain.
In August I did some writing about health insurance, and in particular about the Pittsburgh shooting victim whose friends and family held a car wash to help raise funds to pay for her medical expenses. picked up on that post, and Robin Stelly commented on the post as follows:
Every person at birth should be issued a big plastic jug. When people become ill, they should tape their most endearing photos and a brief description of their illnesses to their plastic jugs. Then all they have to do is display the official containers at a local pizza shop - or something similar - and problem solved. More seriously ill people can apply to receive more big plastic jugs. I'm pretty sure that Sen. Coburn (R-OK) is planning to introduce this plan in response to "Obamacare" when the Senate returns from the district work period. I for one look forward to codifying our status as a nation of desperate beggers.

That comment really stuck with me. I'm sure we've all seen these types of containers at one place or another, and tossed some money into them here and there. After reading Robin's comment, I thought maybe I'd start photographing them whenever I run across them.


So herewith, my first offering of Big Plastic Jug Photos. If you are so inclined, take a photo of one in your neighborhood, and send it to me by email. Be sure to include a bit of info - general geographic location, what type of establishment it was found in.

[Several heart-rending, or infuriating, examples]

I plan to keep taking pictures if I can, and I encourage you to as well. Even better, contact your senator and/or congressperson, and ask him or her if they think this is how those struggling on the margins of our society ought to be expected to get by when medical disaster strikes. Do we really want to be a Blanche DuBois nation, depending upon the kindness of strangers to pick up the tab for society's least fortunate?

I think this is a great idea. It should be a movement and all bloggers should take part in it. Photograph these appeals whenever yo see them and post them on your blog or Facebook page or whatever. Then send the picture and story to all members of your congressional delegation. Yes other groups are pressuring them in their own ways, but one more vector of pressure can't hurt.

Zuska offered to repost some photos on her blog, but I don't think she meant the whole country to send them to her. If she looks overwhelmed, send them to me. And pass the idea on.

* And, no, plastic jugs is not a reference to the Miss California competition. You should be ashamed of yourself for thinking that. This is serious stuff.

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