Home

Has the internet killed the library?

DS86DS

Staff member
Administrator
Member
Do you believe that the internet has killed the library, or at least - is leading to it's eventual fall sometime in the not too distant future? Gone are the days when the library was the ultimate source of finding either a rare book, or having the facility of library membership as a cheaper alternative to buying the books themselves outright. Though, often more than not it would sometimes be a stretch to find the particular book one wanted.

In today's world however, we not only have the internet, but also it's accompanying perks such as an ocean of available articles and written material. We also have services such as Amazon Kindle and other internet companies providing access to a vast amount of historically published literature at as a small fixed monthly fee. And even with that aside, the amount of free reading material available on the internet is astronomical and unprecedented, and from a vast array of available sources. Never before have we had so much literature available at our fingertips with the click of a button.

So the question remains - can the traditional library survive in the long term? Of course most libraries have improvised and now allow members to surf the internet free of charge. But with the advent of ever cheaper computation and effective and affordable smartphones, this as an advantage may go by the wayside and thus no longer a crutch for a dwindling institution.

 

Mowl

Member
Not at all up here in Helsinki: they cater for kids with dedicated play/learning areas, the academic libraries save third-level students an absolute fortune in printed materials, and the mobile libraries are a godsend to the older folks living outside the city.

Libraries will never die out completely: there'll always be a need for them.
 
OP
DS86DS

DS86DS

Staff member
Administrator
Member
A lot of the time in Ireland, the libraries don't have the required textbooks. Though the third level institutions can be crafty in that regard by limiting their availability and inflating the prices on top of that.
 

Mowl

Member
Up here there are clear distinctions between public libraries and academic libraries.

Anybody can join both if they wish, but they aren't the same N.ational institutions: the public libraries serve the general populace with modern libraries offering books, art, musical instruments, tool kits, music and video, and all the other basics under one roof. It's also extremely efficient in that any materials required which not be available at the station you're in can be ordered and delivered overnight to your local branch for collection. Even if the materials belong to another library out of town, you can still return them to your local branch and they're sent back at no additional cost.

The academic libraries are a bit more complex: you must be a registered student to use them - or at least have registration with a teaching unit. From there you can source everything from recommended reading to published theses by other academics on a range from very obscure subject matter to published works by known academics. Translation services are also available and documents can be scanned/translated automatically for you if they're in a foreign language.

See, on ting about Finland most people don't know/understand is that we have a higher percentage of graduates than we have regularly schooled persons. In other words - everyone up here has done a study of everyone else up here in relation to specific subject matters regarding all aspects of public health, politics and movements, and anything else could even dream of. My ex-wife's thesis was on the subject of youth health related to smoking, drinking and eating habits up to the age of thirty-two and is focused on general health deterioration related to lifestyle habits. She wrote in it Finnish but years back we translated it to English and she presented the entire thesis and study to an international group of medics in Strasbourg many years back. It was published after that, but only for the academic libraries, not general public use.

See how it works?

All information is pooled in together and equally shared around for everyone's benefit.

Last time I tried to use the library in Trinity College, I wasn't allowed in because I wasn't a student there.

How VERY fucking Irish and so fucking pathetically protestant.
 
Libraries are under threat in UK from government cuts. The Tory attitude is that of "What...?? Allow people to read books for free...??? We'll soon put a stop to that."

Libraries are expensive. That's a given. But our libraries are so much more than simply repositories for books. They are community centres. They are a source of advice and information for the general population. They are places where people go to find out about events within their community. They even provide publicly available computers for those who don't have any online access of their own. My daughter loves the children's events during school holidays, especially the book trails, which are great fun.

Funding cuts by local councils........... mostly those run by the Conservatives....... are threatening to decimate public libraries here.

I have argued the case for keeping them, if only on the grounds that they provide a vital link for people in poverty to obtain work. If a person is so poor (and many are) that they can't afford a computer and internet connection, how else will they be able to find work in a job market where just about every application has to be made online nowadays..? To cut access to computers to those people is to consign them to poverty forever.

As for the internet replacing books for reading, well, there is a point to be had there. I have a kindle, and I've loaded it up with plenty to keep me glued to it for many a holiday. But that is the only time I use it. The rest of the time, I actually enjoy reading a book. I enjoy holding the item in my hands... turning the pages. It's a delicious addition to the pleasure gained from the story unfolding.

And now if you'll excuse me, it's getting late and I am only half way through The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy. A dozen or so pages before I get my head down for the night, I think.
 
OP
DS86DS

DS86DS

Staff member
Administrator
Member
Despite being from a generation which came of age during the time the internet came to be, I still prefer physical paper books to kindle etc. I don't mind using digital services for music and video, but something just doesn't feel right about the layout of the online reading experience. I will read online forums and newspaper articles - but never a whole book.

I think with the Tories, everything comes down to money. Aren't some among them trying to Americanise the UK healthcare system? I couldn't imagine a bigger diaster for ordinary Britons. I have American friends and relatives, and the horror stories I've heard would be enough to put you off living in the USA. A surgical procedure there can bankrupt entire families for years. If that is their approach to healthcare, then it shouldn't be too surprising that they have such little regard for cultural institutions such as the local library and other community venues.
 
Despite being from a generation which came of age during the time the internet came to be, I still prefer physical paper books to kindle etc. I don't mind using digital services for music and video, but something just doesn't feel right about the layout of the online reading experience. I will read online forums and newspaper articles - but never a whole book.

I think with the Tories, everything comes down to money. Aren't some among them trying to Americanise the UK healthcare system? I couldn't imagine a bigger diaster for ordinary Britons. I have American friends and relatives, and the horror stories I've heard would be enough to put you off living in the USA. A surgical procedure there can bankrupt entire families for years. If that is their approach to healthcare, then it shouldn't be too surprising that they have such little regard for cultural institutions such as the local library and other community venues.

I hope I'm not straying off topic here, but I would like to comment on your remark about health care just as a one off.

My father in law had to go into hospital for coronary artery by-pass surgery nearly three years ago. He had absolutely first class care, the operation was a complete success and with the obvious limitations that go with such surgery, he is in excellent health.

When we collected him from hospital on release, we were waiting in the discharge area for his first batch of medications and he asked the nurse on duty to pass on his thanks to everybody and he said how wonderful the NHS is. The nurse then told of us of the talk going around about privatisations that, even three years ago, they knew are inevitably coming. She then suggested that if we wanted to know what things will be like afterwards, we should look up any American Health Insurance company and find out how much cover he would need to pay for the operation he'd just had and all the after care, medication, etc.

My wife took up that challenge and over the next couple of weeks she investigated about a dozen American health insurance companies. In the end, the cheapest quote she could get for cover that would have covered what he'd just received for free was an eye watering £475 A MONTH. I stress, that was the cheapest.

For sure, if privatisation does come to the UK health service, millions of people of ordinary means are going to suffer the loss of that which they have taken for granted.

Sorry about that digression. I'll get back on topic.
 

Mowl

Member
First thing I always check for when visiting people is whether they have a bookshelf or not. If they don't have any books in their house, I don't rate them highly. Call it snobbery if you like, but people who never read leave me cold and distant. I have a wonderful collection here and an even bigger one in my Mam's attic. If I could shift them all over to here I would, because my Mam has her own, my sister doesn't read books, she reads online. And my brother says that everything ever written can be sourced online, therefore books just take up space.

I disagree: learning to speak Finnish was done by hard copy. Nowadays, the language students all use a computer to learn and study. I dislike this approach because it individualizes the learner and isolates them to a cubicle. I had an open classroom when I studied Finnish and we'd all integrate and learn from each other. Conversation is tough in Finnish, but it's not impossible either. It is after all one the planet's most complex languages and has no roots in Latin, unlike most other European languages.
 

Thus

Member
First thing I always check for when visiting people is whether they have a bookshelf or not. If they don't have any books in their house, I don't rate them highly. Call it snobbery if you like, but people who never read leave me cold and distant. I have a wonderful collection here and an even bigger one in my Mam's attic. If I could shift them all over to here I would, because my Mam has her own, my sister doesn't read books, she reads online. And my brother says that everything ever written can be sourced online, therefore books just take up space.

I disagree: learning to speak Finnish was done by hard copy. Nowadays, the language students all use a computer to learn and study. I dislike this approach because it individualizes the learner and isolates them to a cubicle. I had an open classroom when I studied Finnish and we'd all integrate and learn from each other. Conversation is tough in Finnish, but it's not impossible either. It is after all one the planet's most complex languages and has no roots in Latin, unlike most other European languages.
If you went into someone like English James's bedroom you find comics and coloring books.
 
OP
DS86DS

DS86DS

Staff member
Administrator
Member
I hope I'm not straying off topic here, but I would like to comment on your remark about health care just as a one off.

My father in law had to go into hospital for coronary artery by-pass surgery nearly three years ago. He had absolutely first class care, the operation was a complete success and with the obvious limitations that go with such surgery, he is in excellent health.

When we collected him from hospital on release, we were waiting in the discharge area for his first batch of medications and he asked the nurse on duty to pass on his thanks to everybody and he said how wonderful the NHS is. The nurse then told of us of the talk going around about privatisations that, even three years ago, they knew are inevitably coming. She then suggested that if we wanted to know what things will be like afterwards, we should look up any American Health Insurance company and find out how much cover he would need to pay for the operation he'd just had and all the after care, medication, etc.

My wife took up that challenge and over the next couple of weeks she investigated about a dozen American health insurance companies. In the end, the cheapest quote she could get for cover that would have covered what he'd just received for free was an eye watering £475 A MONTH. I stress, that was the cheapest.

For sure, if privatisation does come to the UK health service, millions of people of ordinary means are going to suffer the loss of that which they have taken for granted.

Sorry about that digression. I'll get back on topic.

Not at all, in fact thank you for reviving the thread. 🙂
 

Wiggles

Member
Hi, new here, and this is my first post, albeit I appreciate it may not be a popular one. Libraries are a luxury the country can't afford. If it's knowledge you want, it's on the internet, if it's entertainment you want, you should be paying for it. Those who have no interest in books shouldn't be funding those who want to read them
 

Mowl

Member
Hi, new here, and this is my first post, albeit I appreciate it may not be a popular one. Libraries are a luxury the country can't afford. If it's knowledge you want, it's on the internet, if it's entertainment you want, you should be paying for it. Those who have no interest in books shouldn't be funding those who want to read them

1: education and learning shouldn't be considered a luxury in any civilized country, but rather as a basic first step.

2: I doubt that many tax payers whose funds build and stock the libraries would complain about the costs of educating the next generations - after all, they'll be old and infirm one day and will rely on the younger generations to help in keeping them comfortable in their august years.


Generally speaking, I think literature should be available to all and sundry; learning and study generate improvements in lives and lifestyles. Up here in Finland they focus very hard on education, they stock their libraries from top to bottom with new materials every passing season. The regular libraries for the regular guys and then the academic libraries for the more advanced and disciplined.

I would also say the literature saved my life.

When I was fourteen, I was sat in my class working on some sketches during a 'free' period which seven of us used as an art class because we didn't have an art teacher in Ballyfermot at the time. I wanted to go on to art college but life got in the way - or rather more succinctly - death got in the way. My Father passed away during my final year in secondary school so art college was out the window. But that one time in the class when one teacher called William Allen passed my desk and stopped and looked at my sketches. Then, when he was sure no-one was looking, he slipped a sheet of paper under my portfolio and tapped the side of his nose.

I discreetly slid the paper out and put it in my pocket without looking at it. When I got home I opened it: it was a list of books by author and title.

I can remember most of them:

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
The Old Man And The Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Waiting For Godot - Samuel Beckett
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Catcher In The Rye - JD Sallinger
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing

And several more, I've been scratchin* my head try to remember them all, but it's kind of hazy. The deal was that he discreetly gave me the list of material and I wasn't supposed to tell anyone about it, so I didn't - only my parents. Mam signed me up for the local library and that was when my life changed and I woke up to reality. Without the libraries, I wouldn't have gotten around to reading any of those classics, so for me the library was a fountain of knowledge.

There's eleven titles up above but there were maybe twenty-five in the list, over time I read them all.

Then started to write myself. I can remember some poems I wrote that would probably read embarrassingly for me today, but also short stories. I liked the short story format better and used to write letters to friends and family with stories I made up included in them, along with poems and other prose. My eldest sister gave me loads of encouragement and told me that she often took out my letters to her when she had guests over and would read my mad ramblings to them. By all accounts they loved them, and so did she.

In school, we were only ever given ONE essay homework from Thomas 'Barney Rubble' O'Sullivan: my excellent English and Irish teacher, and school canoeing cox-man. Myself and my childhood pal Terry-Lee decided to play it against each other that weekend and bring our stories in on the Monday. I handed mine over in the morning and the stories were all graded during lunch and handed back for the afternoon class. When he handed me back mine I looked at my grade and my jaw hit the table.

97% - with three points deducted for my story not having a title.

It was about a disillusioned kid from Ballyer called Pink who walked the streets and counted the broken lines in the pavements as a way of keeping himself awake so he could try to remember something from his childhood that haunted him but he couldn't remember what it was or why it happened. The cracks in the pavements were a nod to the lousy conditions we lived in in Ballyer, and for Pink, they were the only way he could stay awake and thinking about his life, where it all came from and where it was all going. It made for fairly grim and desolate reading, but for me it was also an exercise in self-therapy: I was trying to get my head around many difficult things in life - and death, with my Father dying of cancer at home at the time. My life was very mixed up by it all, and I realised then that writing was a gift I had no I idea I possessed at all. It just spilled out of me like streams of consciousness and I didn't try to contain or control it, I just let my mind wander and my pen dance on the page. It was the single highest grade I ever got in any test I ever did. I deliberately didn't title the story, I wanted it to stand up by itself. That cost me the three points I missed.

I was blown away by my grade and asked Terry-Lee how he did: not as well as me, but he was very envious and annoyed by it. His was about Janice And Eunice, a story about two aliens who came to him in his sleep and took him away from the earth to show him what all these stars were for. It was really good science fiction, but it was also based on a lie he used to tell about these two aliens who came to him in his sleep and took him away off out into space. He seemed to really believe it too which kind struck me as weird, but I liked weird and eccentric people - they reminded me of myself.

Without the libraries - neither of us would have been able to do as well as we did, especially considering the fact that we were the class messers, considered trouble by most teachers, and dismissed by several others. As it turned out - we both took the highest grades in the essay project. My story was photocopied and one given to everyone in the class - including me: Barney kept the original and had it pinned to the school notice board.

Never underestimate the power of learning, the value of books, the fountains of knowledge and experience which they can be.

I may not be as grim as Samuel Beckett or as subtle as Harper Lee, but I had something else which I treasured even more: my own style of writing.

One I never wold have discovered without the books that influenced me and started the fire in my belly.


* Val's some fucking epic tale unto himself.
 
Hi, new here, and this is my first post, albeit I appreciate it may not be a popular one. Libraries are a luxury the country can't afford. If it's knowledge you want, it's on the internet, if it's entertainment you want, you should be paying for it. Those who have no interest in books shouldn't be funding those who want to read them
I disagree. Libraries are an essential part of the cultural fibre of our society. The collected knowledge, wisdom and artistic output of our entire history can be found within their walls. They act as a community centre, they educate our children, they bring people together, they help to spread the news of projects in our community. For instance, at my local library, just before lockdown this time last year, i remember seeing leaflets available for helplines such as the Samaritans, LGBT advice lines, local charities, and notification that a member of the Citizens Advice would be available one evening in the week to give advice to those who asked for it. They are a meeting place, a cultural hub and a public service all in one.

These are essential services that people pay Council Tax for.

I understand the Neoliberal attitude of low taxation and minimal services, but Neoliberalism was originally a doctrine intended to create wealth that would trickle down in society and all would reap the benefit according to their contribution. It has, however, morphed into a cut throat mentality where price is everything and value is meaningless. The rich take everything and give nothing back.

I'd be very surprised if you yourself have never used a public service. Never gotten ill..? Never used the NHS...? Never walked down the street at night under the publicly funded streetlights...? Never rode a bicycle on the roads? I could ask why my road tax should be used to fund cycle tracks. But I don't. I have a sense of community and civic responsibility.

Neoliberals would have us live in a sparse, empty dog eat dog world where there is no community or sense of civic pride and duty. Neoliberals place no value on the lives of people except the amount of profit that can be extracted from their labour.

Neoliberals know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
 
1: education and learning shouldn't be considered a luxury in any civilized country, but rather as a basic first step.

2: I doubt that many tax payers whose funds build and stock the libraries would complain about the costs of educating the next generations - after all, they'll be old and infirm one day and will rely on the younger generations to help in keeping them comfortable in their august years.


Generally speaking, I think literature should be available to all and sundry; learning and study generate improvements in lives and lifestyles. Up here in Finland they focus very hard on education, they stock their libraries from top to bottom with new materials every passing season. The regular libraries for the regular guys and then the academic libraries for the more advanced and disciplined.

I would also say the literature saved my life.

When I was fourteen, I was sat in my class working on some sketches during a 'free' period which seven of us used as an art class because we didn't have an art teacher in Ballyfermot at the time. I wanted to go on to art college but life got in the way - or rather more succinctly - death got in the way. My Father passed away during my final year in secondary school so art college was out the window. But that one time in the class when one teacher called William Allen passed my desk and stopped and looked at my sketches. Then, when he was sure no-one was looking, he slipped a sheet of paper under my portfolio and tapped the side of his nose.

I discreetly slid the paper out and put it in my pocket without looking at it. When I got home I opened it: it was a list of books by author and title.

I can remember most of them:

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
The Old Man And The Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Waiting For Godot - Samuel Beckett
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Catcher In The Rye - JD Sallinger
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing

And several more, I've been scratchin* my head try to remember them all, but it's kind of hazy. The deal was that he discreetly gave me the list of material and I wasn't supposed to tell anyone about it, so I didn't - only my parents. Mam signed me up for the local library and that was when my life changed and I woke up to reality. Without the libraries, I wouldn't have gotten around to reading any of those classics, so for me the library was a fountain of knowledge.

There's eleven titles up above but there were maybe twenty-five in the list, over time I read them all.

Then started to write myself. I can remember some poems I wrote that would probably read embarrassingly for me today, but also short stories. I liked the short story format better and used to write letters to friends and family with stories I made up included in them, along with poems and other prose. My eldest sister gave me loads of encouragement and told me that she often took out my letters to her when she had guests over and would read my mad ramblings to them. By all accounts they loved them, and so did she.

In school, we were only ever given ONE essay homework from Thomas 'Barney Rubble' O'Sullivan: my excellent English and Irish teacher, and school canoeing cox-man. Myself and my childhood pal Terry-Lee decided to play it against each other that weekend and bring our stories in on the Monday. I handed mine over in the morning and the stories were all graded during lunch and handed back for the afternoon class. When he handed me back mine I looked at my grade and my jaw hit the table.

97% - with three points deducted for my story not having a title.

It was about a disillusioned kid from Ballyer called Pink who walked the streets and counted the broken lines in the pavements as a way of keeping himself awake so he could try to remember something from his childhood that haunted him but he couldn't remember what it was or why it happened. The cracks in the pavements were a nod to the lousy conditions we lived in in Ballyer, and for Pink, they were the only way he could stay awake and thinking about his life, where it all came from and where it was all going. It made for fairly grim and desolate reading, but for me it was also an exercise in self-therapy: I was trying to get my head around many difficult things in life - and death, with my Father dying of cancer at home at the time. My life was very mixed up by it all, and I realised then that writing was a gift I had no I idea I possessed at all. It just spilled out of me like streams of consciousness and I didn't try to contain or control it, I just let my mind wander and my pen dance on the page. It was the single highest grade I ever got in any test I ever did. I deliberately didn't title the story, I wanted it to stand up by itself. That cost me the three points I missed.

I was blown away by my grade and asked Terry-Lee how he did: not as well as me, but he was very envious and annoyed by it. His was about Janice And Eunice, a story about two aliens who came to him in his sleep and took him away from the earth to show him what all these stars were for. It was really good science fiction, but it was also based on a lie he used to tell about these two aliens who came to him in his sleep and took him away off out into space. He seemed to really believe it too which kind struck me as weird, but I liked weird and eccentric people - they reminded me of myself.

Without the libraries - neither of us would have been able to do as well as we did, especially considering the fact that we were the class messers, considered trouble by most teachers, and dismissed by several others. As it turned out - we both took the highest grades in the essay project. My story was photocopied and one given to everyone in the class - including me: Barney kept the original and had it pinned to the school notice board.

Never underestimate the power of learning, the value of books, the fountains of knowledge and experience which they can be.

I may not be as grim as Samuel Beckett or as subtle as Harper Lee, but I had something else which I treasured even more: my own style of writing.

One I never wold have discovered without the books that influenced me and started the fire in my belly.


* Val's some fucking epic tale unto himself.
That's a really challenging list you've posted. I've read nearly all of those and would recommend a few others. If you haven't read these so far, try:

The Grapes of Wrath (John Stienbeck)
Far From The Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)
Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier)
Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Frankenstien (Mary Shelley)
Atonement (Ian McEwan)
Middlemarch (George Eliot)

I could list dozens more. All of them exceptional reads. Books like these make libraries into treasure houses whose worth far exceeds the cost of maintaining them.
 
OP
DS86DS

DS86DS

Staff member
Administrator
Member
I disagree. Libraries are an essential part of the cultural fibre of our society. The collected knowledge, wisdom and artistic output of our entire history can be found within their walls. They act as a community centre, they educate our children, they bring people together, they help to spread the news of projects in our community. For instance, at my local library, just before lockdown this time last year, i remember seeing leaflets available for helplines such as the Samaritans, LGBT advice lines, local charities, and notification that a member of the Citizens Advice would be available one evening in the week to give advice to those who asked for it. They are a meeting place, a cultural hub and a public service all in one.

These are essential services that people pay Council Tax for.

I understand the Neoliberal attitude of low taxation and minimal services, but Neoliberalism was originally a doctrine intended to create wealth that would trickle down in society and all would reap the benefit according to their contribution. It has, however, morphed into a cut throat mentality where price is everything and value is meaningless. The rich take everything and give nothing back.

I'd be very surprised if you yourself have never used a public service. Never gotten ill..? Never used the NHS...? Never walked down the street at night under the publicly funded streetlights...? Never rode a bicycle on the roads? I could ask why my road tax should be used to fund cycle tracks. But I don't. I have a sense of community and civic responsibility.

Neoliberals would have us live in a sparse, empty dog eat dog world where there is no community or sense of civic pride and duty. Neoliberals place no value on the lives of people except the amount of profit that can be extracted from their labour.

Neoliberals know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Excellent point. Thatcherism and Reaganomics has done untold damage to countless communities and institutions with it's profit driven approach to everything. In Ireland, the two main political parties- Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have adopted since model since the 1990s, and it has proved to be a disaster for the country.
 
Despite being from a generation which came of age during the time the internet came to be, I still prefer physical paper books to kindle etc. I don't mind using digital services for music and video, but something just doesn't feel right about the layout of the online reading experience. I will read online forums and newspaper articles - but never a whole book.

I think with the Tories, everything comes down to money. Aren't some among them trying to Americanise the UK healthcare system? I couldn't imagine a bigger diaster for ordinary Britons. I have American friends and relatives, and the horror stories I've heard would be enough to put you off living in the USA. A surgical procedure there can bankrupt entire families for years. If that is their approach to healthcare, then it shouldn't be too surprising that they have such little regard for cultural institutions such as the local library and other community venues.
Healthcare in America can be very expensive. Sometimes expensive beyond people’s means. You’d be hard pressed to find any American happy with our existing system.

Problem in trying to change to another, better system is money. The great mountains of money insurance companies take in and the politicians they buy through lobbyists, all working together to keep things the way they are.
 

Mowl

Member
Healthcare in America can be very expensive.

This I've learned the hard way: I've a brother over in Penn State who contracted a rare disease which knocked him flat out and into a coma from which it took three weeks to come out of. And even then he wasn't even nearly ready to begin his recovery. He had to convalesce for a few weeks after waking from a coma and then after another few weeks start learning to walk again.

As a teenager, he played for the Republic Of Ireland junior teams for around four years.

You can imagine the impact this has had on his life: like Samson after Delilah had shorn off his locks, he had to go at the pillars with everything he had. He's still not back to peak performance though, and has a long way to go to get back to the level of physicality required to work as a professional soccer coach. How it's going to hit him financially is another bugbear.

Sometimes expensive beyond people’s means. You’d be hard pressed to find any American happy with our existing system.

I'm aware that marriages can aid access to the best of healthcare at a very low rate - or at least lower than a single emigrant would have to pay had they no insurance. But arranged marriages can also strip you bare of everything you have, so it's very much a rock and a hard place.

Problem in trying to change to another, better system is money. The great mountains of money insurance companies take in and the politicians they buy through lobbyists, all working together to keep things the way they are.

Agreed: we're taken for a ride by these shysters. I recall when my Father passed away and Mam and I had to go through all the paperwork regarding his insurance policy. After much effort we finally managed to broker a deal with them and when the cheque arrived it wasn't enough to pay for the handles on his coffin. I recall Mister Mooney calling in every Saturday morning with his little black book, taking the cash from Mam and marking it down in his little book and then signing hers off too. He was like a piece of furniture to us: we knew him well and he often stayed on and chatted with my parents while Dad was still alive.

He worked for The Royal Liver insurance company. He came every Saturday morning for a decade at least.

But for all the money paid out, we got fuck all back.

One thing I do know is that we were all on the same policy and that there's a reserve of money in each of my siblings N.ames still on their books. My youngest brother decided to call his in and he gave them some reference number and they struck him off the books and sent him a cheque for less than two hundred sterling. But then he was only insured up to the point of my Father's passing, so he got a tiny amount of what we're expected to collect for the older kids.

Personally, I don't have any insurance policy as I don't actually need one: everything I need is at my fingertips here, from medical to domestic, dental to education, and every other avenue possible. Maybe when I'm older I'll take out a policy, but for now - fuck it: the world's on her knees. An insurance policy looked at in that light is just another page tossed around in the wind like a discarded Covid19 mask.
 
Top Bottom