Artist in Residence 27: The nature of reality

Just had an interesting exchange online with someone who tried very hard with camouflage but couldn’t help revealing true colours quite quickly – it was all in a response to a meme that suggested that nurses should be paid more than politicians. Most people who  responded to that were HARD in favour. THis one guy comes in – of course it’s a guy, a lot of the responses that preceded his were women and of course nursing is mostly considered a “female” profession, so a guy had to come in and explain things to us – and this guy’s response boiled down to “that’s not how the real world works. How much do you want to pay for staying in a hospital?” Then he “Edited” his comment, and out it came: “Salaries are always a mess when the govenrment takes a hand in it”.

A couple of  things. One, so a government intrinsically makes a mess… but when salaries are in the hands of greedy corporate overlords, that’s just FINE? Two, there are lots of countries where staying in a hospital doesn’t bankrupt you (as it frequently does in America) because HOSPIALS SHOULD NOT BE RUN AS PROFIT CENTERS to begin with. And, you know, if we gave politicans’s salaries to the nurses as the original meme suggested that would just be an equitable redistribution so how would that INCREASE the cost of your stay in a hospital? How much are we all paying right now to “stay” in this country? Can we afford to do it any more at all…? Three, here’s a prime exaple of a character screaming “but the world works for meeeeeee stop “fixing” it so that it’s better for somebody else!!!” – and this is precisely the kind of attitude that is digging America into the ground. Rugged individualism is fine; arrant selfishness is not, and the “screw you I got mine” attitude is destroying society as we know it.

He said that isn’t how the “real” world wrks – but the “real” world is what we make it, after all. That’s our reality, that’s what we live in, that’s what we can make choices about, what we can mould, what we can shape. And so long as there are people in power who shape it only according to their own wants and needs… we’re fried.

When people say that a rising tide floats all boats… there sre some who frequently fail to understand that they are just another boat on the same tide, and that in the “Real” world it is not possible for their boat to always float higher than someone else’s unless they are illegally damming rivers and building locks that charge inaccessible admission and the simple fact of their boats staying afloat is leaving other boats high and dry in their wake (but they don’t give a damn about it).

Let the river run. Pay the people who deserve the money. Politics should be run on the same basis that many creative endeavours are run – become a politician for a nominal sum of money, and the “exposure”. Look at all the exposure it gets you. You become famous. But you emphatically do NOT deserve the same salary that a nurse who has just worked two shifts in the ICU deserves. So there. THAT should be the “real” world.


About Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. You can find out more about Alma on her website (, her Facebook page (, on Twitter ( or at her Patreon page (


Artist in Residence 27: The nature of reality — 3 Comments

  1. “But politicians have expenses.”

    So do artists. We’re expected to cover costs upfront and take them out of the tax on the proceeds of our hard work. Spinach.

  2. I saw that meme and the troll response. Creeps like him are emboldened by the relative anonomynity of the internet. I’d say shout him down but that would just encourage him. The worst thing that can happen to him is to told to go sit in the corner SILENTLY.

  3. Yes, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed by the sheer insanity and imbalance of power and resources in the U.S. And the patriarchal basis thrives on “power over.” We all need to just keep pushing for reform. Hang in there!