I had never heard of the band Future Islands before. I’m guessing you haven’t either. Odds are, outside of reading this post you never will. They’re not going to be U2 or even The National. They are a band making music because they love it and have something they want to say.
All of which makes me very, very happy they landed an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Not only did this band I’d never heard of make an appearance, they made the most of it. Weeks later, people (like me) are still buzzing about this performance.
It’s hypnotic, exciting, fun and passionate. It’s also a great song. More than anything though, it shows someone just going for it, seizing the moment and not caring if he looks silly or cool. He’s desperate to make you understand what he’s saying. It’s an actual performance in a time when so many are more concerned with looking cool than being passionate.
The other thing I loved about this is Letterman’s enthusiasm. This is a man that does not suffer fools gladly (see his interviews with Paris Hilton, John McCain and Lindsay Lohan, for example). His interviews can be contentious if you’re not bringing anything to the table. Likewise, if you bring something interesting or exciting, Letterman will be sure his affection is communicated to the audience on your behalf. Just listen to his joy at the end of this song:
“I’ll take all of that you’ve got! That was WONDERFUL!” -David Letterman
It’s clear he had a terrific time watching Future Islands. You can bet it won’t be their last time on the show.
Watch the YouTube video above. I’ve seen it about twenty times now; I’m addicted to it. That’s the power of music, of performance. Nice job, Future Islands. You made the most of your moment!
JAMA: Physicians and Medicare
The Incidental Economist highlights the following information from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):
- Less than 1% of physicians have formally opted out of Medicare
- 88% of Medicare beneficiaries could usually or always get an appointment for routine care as soon as they needed
- 92% of Medicare beneficiaries could usually or always get an appointment with a specialist as soon as they needed
- Of the 14% of Medicare beneficiaries who sought a new specialist, twelve of them had no problem doing so
- Half as many Medicare beneficiaries reported not getting care or delaying care than privately insured individuals 50-64.
When talking with friends and family opposed to the Affordable Care Act, one concern I frequently hear is that doctors may opt out of the system or quit their practice altogether. This data seems to dispel that notion pretty thoroughly.
Just think of the narrative if Healthcare.gov had worked properly from Day 1! Even with the disastrous roll-out and the website being virtually unusable until November 30, enrollment should reach over 6 million exchange signups.
Considering the disaster that the Affordable Care Act is supposed to be, you would think that there would be a greater number of (legitimate) horror stories. Instead, it seems whenever you look under the surface, there’s very little of substance to complain about. Of course, there must be people who are actually worse off now than they were before. Why is it so hard to find them?
These elements are all pulling together to tell me that the Affordable Care Act is working for most people. Even after a disastrous roll-out, years of misinformation and stonewalling by Congress, the ACA is making a positive difference in American lives. The ACA is here to stay.
Creepiest encouragement ever.
I recently wrote about the owners of 111 Cakery refusing to make a cake for a gay couple’s commitment ceremony. The owners of that business should really read this post from Rachel Held Evans. Like, stop making cakes for five minutes and read it now. From Ms. Evans’ blog post:
But what I want to address here is whether followers of Jesus should devote their time and efforts to rallying in support of legislation that would empower business owners to deny services to gay and lesbian people (many of whom are fellow Christians, by the way)…
[A]s Christians, our most “deeply held religious belief” is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for sinful people, and that in imitation of that, we are called to love God, to love our neighbors, and to love even our enemies to the point of death.
So I think we can handle making pastries for gay people.
And I think that refusing to serve gay and lesbian people, and advancing legislation that denies others their civil liberties in response to perceived threats to our own, does irreparable damage to our witness as Christians and leaves a whole group of people feeling like second-class citizens, not only in our country, but also in the Kingdom.
I think it’s important to note that Ms. Evans is writing this from an evangelical Christian point of view. After watching the documentary Jesus Camp last night, I’m relieved to know that not everyone shares the Jesus Camp mentality of being literal ‘Christian warriors.’
I also hope that this experience has invited the owners of 111 Cakery to reconsider their actions toward those they disagree with and to see their work as an expression of love for all of their neighbors, not an endorsement of each activity for which they bake. I think if they are truly open to their faith, they will find much to like in Ms. Evans’ thoughts.