Beleagured Universal Health Care Legislation, What's On Your iPod?


By now, you're probably aware that a Republican won the Massachusetts Senate seat that once belonged to the late Ted Kennedy. If you're aware of this, and fall strongly about it one way or the other, then you know that this development imperils the passage of universal -- or semi-universal, anyway -- health care legislation in this country.

What if that legislation were more than just a small mountain of amendments and bills and Congressional Budget Office memos?

What if that embattled legislation were a person -- a leper, maybe -- wasting away in an emergency room somewhere, gripping a bling-encrusted iPod as if her life depended on it, cranking up the volume to blow away the anxiety? What would that legislation listen to?

HEALTH "Die Slow"

Oh, trust me, you will - and you'll probably without half decent health insurance. Commies.


Lil Wayne "Dr. Carter"

Wherein Weezy, M.D. -- with cool-glass-of-water voiced nurse in tow -- successfully resusitates a rap industry that's on the verge of settling into rigor mortis with artfully deployed non-sequiters, post-E.R. camp, and a non inconsequential dose of roguish charm.

Suzanne Vega "Blood Makes Noise"

Dems would like to slash your deductibles, yep, they really, really would -- but wingnuts abound and the left's mandate's no good.

Phil Collins "Against All Odds"

"Take a look at me now," soft-rock's pate-bearing, avuncular poster-boy pleads. "I'm just an empty space!" The history of American politics is littered with empty spaces, which scholars call epic, over-reaching legislative failures.

Weird Al Yankovic "Like a Surgeon"

Because you can only cry for so long before you need a couple cheap belly laughs. That perm! Or whatever it was. The 80s were a strange, strange time -- even for those of us who lived through them and never worried much about whether or not our parents were gonna be able to foot the bills for our visits to the doctor. Why? Because health insurance was sanely priced in those long-ago days.

Nirvana "Aneurysm"

Nirvana "Lithium"

You know what? I bet Kurt Cobain never had a rectal exam. Or a colonoscopy! Does that kind of heavy duty invasive medical gaze shit start when you're in your 30s? He killed himself when he was 27. Wow.

The entirety of Drukqs, Aphex Twin's 2001 opus

You know those prescription-cocktail parties that were all the rage a few years back, where affluent teens would raid their parents' medicine cabinets for pills, then hole up in somebody's empty mansion of gobble down mystery handfuls of meds like so many Gobstoppers? That's kind of what listening to Drukqs is like, only without the debauched, not-quite-consensual sex and the puking and the panicked 911 calls and Dad catching you while you're trying to dispose of Muffy's corpse and getting grounded for two full presidential terms and breaking down crying during a full court trial. It's a two-disc sprawl of Richard D. James' ambitious flavors that's as uneven as it is diverting, piano trawls and dueling IDM spazzes and mood poison stacked together without much in the way of rhyme or reason.

Wilco "A Shot In The Arm"

Maybe that's all this arduous, politically volatile process needs, you know? But how will it get it? And who will pony up the cash for the deductible?