November 13th, 2004

The Incredibles

I very much enjoyed Pixar's new animated feature, The Incredibles.  It did feel like there was an Ayn Rand influence, but it wasn't crystal clear or all-pervasive.

The premise of the movie is that common people got tired of superheroes, and now the superheroes are forced to live boring "normal" lives.  The children of superheroes are particularly put upon, since they are asked to never show their powers - i.e., to never live up to their true potentials - for the sake of not upsetting the less able.

It occurred to me that there is an international analog.  Who is the one remaining superpower?  What are we constantly asked to do?  To save the world, of course.  And what do we get for it?  Thanks?  Or criticism for flaunting our power?  (I won't even mention the E-word.)

Rhyme of the Day:

Living up to your potential
Is essential.

Finding a Flu Shot

It wasn't hard, just harder than normal. The local drugstore chains were not having their annual Flu-Shot-Fests, due to the vaccine short-fall foul-up. So back in October I called the 1-800 flu-shot number of Advocate, a local hospital chain, and they gave me an appointment for yesterday at Bethany Hospital.  It's in a tough neighborhood, but the people at the hospital were over-the-top friendly and helpful.  What's more, the nurse who gave me the shot, Deborah, was a champion dispenser of painless injections.

I do have a few thoughts about the vaccine shortfall.

1. The government is way too involved in lining up our flu vaccine supply.  I can understand they might want to get involved in stockpiling vaccines to deal with bioterror attacks from anthrax or smallpox.  But... flu?  I think the market can handle flu shots if the government would just get out of the way.

2. The media whipped people into a panic about the shortfall,  partly because they love scare stories, and partly because it could be turned into an anti-Bush story.  Most people, most years, don't even bother to get flu shots.  Even if you get one, it's not guaranteed to work, because the vaccine is based on an educated guess about what form of the flu will be prevalent this year.  Last year, their guess wasn't too good, although the vaccine probably provided some protection anyway.

3. There is an inhalable vaccine that is available to healthy people aged 5-49.  It's more expensive than the shot, but it was not in short supply.  I'm 52 so I was ineligible for the inhalable.  Hmmm.  Maybe I could get a fake i.d.?  Do they even check i.d.?  Could I just lie?  Maybe I could use one-day hair-coloring to wash out the grey?

Rhyme of the Day:

Anyway, I got
My shot.

UPDATE: According to this MSNBC article, the inhalable vaccine (FluMist) is only chaotically available, so don't dye your hair till you have a supplier lined up. Or perhaps this is more scaremongering?