Being Poor is Hoping the Toothache Goes Away.

For want of a dentist

Maryland boy, 12, dies after bacteria from tooth spread to his brain

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren’t so hard to find.

If his mother hadn’t been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte’s own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George’s County boy died.

Some folks will want to blame the insurance system in the US. Some folks will want to blame the dentists. Some folks will want to blame the government. Some folks will want to blame the mother. Some folks will blame some combination of any or all of the above.

I’m not particularly interested in whom to blame. You all can argue about that. I just think it’s a shame that ultimately this kid is dead for no other reason than because he was poor.

Author Interview: Hal Duncan

The taunting is over: The author interview with Hal Duncan is now up over at By The Way. Hal talks about his books Ink and Vellum, the state of the fantasy genre, and why he writes such long entries over at his blog. It’s a really excellent interview. Enjoy.

Cheese: The Universal 80s Constant

For your consideration: A perestroika-era video of Soviet musicians doing a snappy, jazzy remix of a Soviet anthem:

Also for your consideration: “Stars,” by Hear N’ Aid, the 80s metal analogue to Band-Aid and USA for Africa:

Compare and contrast.

Deven Desai, Deven Desai, Every Single One of Us is Deven Desai


Happy birthday to Deven Desai, who is a charter member of the Scalzi Inner Circle, the entrance requirements of which — well, let’s just say if you’ve had the initiation you wouldn’t be forgetting it. No, this is not an invitation to speculate on what the initiation might be. It’s not like that, you sick freaks. Damn it, just let me wish my friend a happy birthday in peace. Sheesh.

The title to this entry, incidentally, should be read with INXS’ song “Devil Inside” running along in your head. Yeah, it’s a high school thing. For all you kids who only know of INXS as that lame reality TV show band, here’s the video for the song:

That Michael Hutchence, not a bad singer. Too bad about that death by auto-erotic asphyxiation thing.

I shoot the first person who makes an association between auto-erotic asphyxiation and initiation to my inner circle. Don’t give me that look. I know how you people think.