I’m a famous YouTuber. Now pay my hospital bills

There’s a guy named Wedge. That’s not his government name. That’s his online name. He runs a popular Magic: The Gathering YouTube channel called The Mana Source.

While in Las Vegas for a Magic: The Gathering tournament, Wedge experienced debilitating back pain. The next morning, he awoke to find out he couldn’t move his legs. Someone called an ambulance and doctors performed emergency spine surgery.

The good news is Wedge is going to be alright. The bad news is he doesn’t have health insurance.

Reportedly he now owes over $200,000 in hospital bills. He wants his fans to pay 75 percent of that. A GoFundMe was started. As of this morning, he’s been able to raise $73,242.

Why didn’t Wedge have health insurance?

Ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010, people have been required to have health insurance. If they choose not to have health insurance, they’re breaking the law and they have to pay a fine. A person cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. By all accounts, Wedge is in a place financially where he could afford health insurance. If he can afford to travel to a Magic The Gathering tournament in  Las Vegas, then he can afford health insurance.

Life is a series of choices

He chose not to have insurance. He rolled the 20-sided die and lost. Instead of facing the financial consequences of his shitty choice, he wants his YouTube viewers to bear most of those financial consequences.

As I type this, I’m recovering from my own major surgery. As it turned out, if I didn’t have the surgery, I could have died. We didn’t even know that going in. My surgeon discovered it on the operating table. The thing is, I have health insurance. I’ve had health insurance my entire adult life. It’s not cheap, it’s not very affordable. Not only do we pay monthly premiums, we have a large deductible that must first be met before the co-payments kick in. Once a certain threshold is met on the co-payments, everything is paid by the insurance company. Leading up to the surgery, we spent so much out of pocket that we easily reached that threshold.

For example, on March 7 I went and had a colonoscopy. I had to pay $1,018 out of pocket just for walking in the door. Even when you have health insurance, you end up paying a lot of money out of pocket.

Will Wedge now get health insurance?

Who knows if Wedge will now go out and get health insurance like he’s supposed to. I guess it depends on how comfortable he is living on the kindness of strangers. If it was me, I would feel very uncomfortable receiving money from people I didn’t even know. Then again, I would never be in a situation where I didn’t have health insurance. I’d worked a lot of terrible jobs in my life and one of the primary reasons I continued to work at them was for the health insurance.

I not only follow the law, I practice common sense.

How many YouTubers don’t have health insurance?

Will someone please go and fund me?

I wonder how many other popular YouTubers don’t have health insurance. I guess we won’t find out until they start asking their fans to pay their hospital bills. Even then, we won’t really know who has health insurance. You can say you don’t have health insurance and need people to donate money to you. It’s not like you can just call up the hospital and verify the bill. This is all very much a faith-based system. You have to have faith the person raising the money actually needs it for their hospital bills and not something more nefarious.

Wedge takes a break from asking people to pay his medical bills to lecture them on what words they’re allowed to use.

When people elect not to buy health insurance and then cannot pay their medical bills, it’s normally the people that have health insurance who cover the costs. The price of treating the uninsured is rolled into the cost of what the insured pay. It’s an unfair system. This is why the Affordable Care Act included a health insurance mandate. It wasn’t fair for the insured to pay for the uninsured.

YouTube should look into this

Before YouTube cuts a check for a YouTuber, they should have to first prove they have health insurance, especially if that YouTuber is making serious money. It would be easy to do. All the YouTuber would need to do is take a photo of the front and the back of their health insurance card and upload it. Uber requires something very similar for proof of a drivers license and insurance. A typical Uber driver makes far less money than a typical YouTuber.

I think it makes YouTube look bad to have their content creators beg for money, money they need because they refused to follow the law. Some YouTubers are critical of how Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, and James Corden seem to take up so much bandwidth on YouTube. At least you don’t have to worry about them ever setting up a GoFundMe to pay their hospital bills because they chose not have insurance.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business

Toys R Us has declared bankruptcy and will close all of its retail establishments. Everything still on the shelves has been marked on clearance for easy liquidation. Or has it?

When I go into the Hagerstown Toys R Us, I feel like they aren’t truly committed to going out of business. They haven’t committed to the bit. The signage on the front windows says the entire store is “up to” 30 percent off, but I don’t think that’s true. I’ve gone in and walked around and I haven’t seen anything that was 30 percent off.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

The entire line of Lego toys is marked down only five percent. I don’t buy Legos, so I don’t even know if that is any cheaper than what Walmart, Target, or any other retailer sells Lego toys for.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

Their entire line of Funko Pops! is marked down ten percent. Even with the discount, they are still charging more than Walmart, Target, and every other brick and mortar retailer.  When I buy Funko Pops!, I buy them at Target for $8.99 each or I order them on Amazon for even less.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

All their Marvel Comics toys and related paraphernalia is only discounted ten percent. I did want to buy a Diamond Select Gallery Classic Iron Man PVC figure statue. The last time I checked, they have only one left and at ten percent off, it’s going for $35.99. That’s more then what the statue is going for on eBay and Amazon. 

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent CornerI’m thinking if I truly want the PVC Iron Man statue, I should just go into Toys R Us and buy it. It’s not like it costs more than it costs anywhere else. It’s the last one and I can make it the last thing I ever buy at a Toys R Us.

One thing I noticed as soon as Toys R Us announced it was going out of business, they removed all of their Magic: The Gathering cards from the shelves.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

I don’t know if they were able to return them to their distributor or to Wizards of the Coast, the manufacturer of Magic: The Gathering. I only know the Hagerstown and Frederick stores didn’t have any Magic: The Gathering product. It didn’t really make any difference since Toys R Us actually charged more for Magic: The Gathering product than the standard MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). That way they could run gimmick sales such as “buy one, get another at 40 percent off ” and not lose any money.

How did that work for Toys R Us?

Update

I went and bought the Iron Man statue and it cost me $38.15. The receipt says I saved a whopping $4.00.

 

Boogie2988 and his roommate Chad just hanging out

The above is a screen grab taken of Steven Williams, the man who plays Boogie2988 on YouTube sitting shirtless at his computer with his loyal roommate Chad hovering in the background.

Who is Chad? He’s Steven’s roommate. The two met while playing Magic The Gathering years ago.

Steven has had Chad the roommate for years, even when he was married to now ex-wife Desiree Williams. Chad evidently gave Steven a place to live back when Steven was homeless and had nowhere else to go. Chad then later saved Steven’s life when Chad found him in bed dying from a serious infection. Chad took Steven to the hospital which allowed medical staff to cure Steven’s infection.

Steven has been indebted to Chad ever since.

Now that Steven is rolling in all that YouTube money, he’s repaying Chad by giving him a permanent place to live in his fancy YouTube house.

So why is Steven shirtless? Some on Reddit have asked that same question. My theory is that Steven and Chad just finished playing one-on-one basketball where Chad was shirts and Steven was skins. Before hitting the showers, maybe Steven wanted to check his email to see if he had any new messages from Philip DeFranco, Ethan Klein, or some other top YouTubers Steven is friends with.

What else could it be?

Shoplifting cuffufle takes place at Hagerstown Target

Someone tried to shoplift from Target last night located behind the Valley Mall on Cole Road. The shopping center is actually in Halfway, not Hagerstown.

When a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy tried to stop the shoplifter, the suspected wrongdoer tried to ram their vehicle into the deputy’s vehicle.

Over something shoplifted from Target.

The deputy reacted appropriately to the attempted ramming by firing a shot at the suspect. I don’t think they were hit, but there is a lot that’s not public quite yet.

I hate to say this, but I may have to subscribe to the Herald-Mail, the area’s newspaper of record.

I don’t understand shoplifting. Although there are lots of nice things at Target, most of the high-value things come with anti-theft devices. Buy a pack of Magic The Gathering cards for $4.19 and there’s a sticker. What are people shoplifting? Do they not care about the anti-theft devices? So they just allow the security gate to sound the alarm and they’re happy with the notion of ramming a law enforcement vehicle if it gets in their way? That sounds very JV to me.

I don’t get it.

Update – The suspect is Melson S. Perry

Melson S. Perry

Here’s a photo of last night’s shoplifting suspect. Something tells me he wasn’t trying to steal Magic The Gathering booster packs. Maybe he thought since he had the word “BOSS” tattooed on his neck, the Target employees would just let him walk out with his ill-gotten goods.

Plus, he has a dollar sign tattooed at the center of his unibrow. It makes you think he has money.

Evidently, he was trying to return an iPad box without an iPad inside. From the Herald-Mail:

Troopers said the suspect, later identified as Perry, was known to enter Target stores, where he would return a previously purchased iPad for a refund or gift card. Instead of returning an iPad, however, he would return an iPad box with materials inside to simulate the weight of merchandise inside.

Maybe it’s just me, but this caper doesn’t sound very boss to me, especially when your backup plan is to just ram any law enforcement vehicles that get in your way. Did he know that Washington County deputies carry guns?

 

Boogie2988 doesn’t want you to come to his house

Steven Williams

Steven Williams, the man who plays Boogie2988 on YouTube, is making it crystal clear he doesn’t want you coming to his house. He made a video showing all of his Halloween decorations and then showed them set up on his front yard. Evidently, he’s now worried people will watch the video and find his house and come to see him.

A stranger knocking on the front door? That’s some really scary stuff.

Why anyone would want to go to this man’s house is beyond me. He lives somewhere in Arkansas. I’ve been to Arkansas one time in my life and that was one time too many.

Boogie2988 is not real

I think the problem is that there are some people who don’t realize Boogie2988 is just a bit. It’s a character being played. Boogie2988 is no more real than any of his other characters, Francis or Jessy.

Boogie2988 does not love you

The worst thing Steven does is at the end of every Boogie2988 video, he tells his viewers, I love you very much.

If you don’t want strangers to feel as though it would be cool to come to your home, stop telling them you love them very much. It sends the wrong message.

Boogie2988 loves stuff

Steven doesn’t love his viewers. Not at all. He loves having viewers, but he doesn’t love them as people. If it wasn’t for viewers, he would have to go back on disability and he wouldn’t be able to afford the massive amount of nerd junk he accumulates. The video games, the Magic The Gathering cards, the collectible action figures, etc. Those are things people working for a living cannot afford, at least not to the extent Steven does. If he had to get a real job or go back on disability, he wouldn’t be able to afford any of those things.

Japanese man has cat in campaign posters

Satoshi Shima is running for elected office in Japan and for some fantastic reason, has featured a beautiful white cat in some of his campaign posters.

His posters seem to follow the common-uncommon-rare format found in Magic The Gathering and other collectible card games. The normal, common poster shows Mr. Shimo without a cat. Then, there’s a less than common poster with the cat in the lower right corner, in scale with Mr. Shima. Then, there’s a rare version featuring the cat in place of Mr. Shima, while Mr. Shima is shown in the lower right at a smaller scale than the cat.

I of course am a fan of the rare version.

Too bad I can’t vote for Satoshi Shima. Maybe I’ll write his name in instead of the non-choices have waiting for me this November. I don’t know what Mr. Shima stands for, but I know he’s better than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I wish there was a way to get my hands on one of these. Maybe an Etsy artisan will rip off the image and start selling them.