I'm thinking about the rat fable David Sedaris read on This American Life. BTW: Some time ago, I heard Sedaris read at the Canon Center, and he said that he had a lot of them and didn't know what to do with them. Now he does. Anyway, he's amazing, squee,etc. But yes, I really dislike people that Sedaris is satirizing with the rat character. On an irrational level, it feels like bad luck. I'm a grumpy guts, and I'm way less sick than many beautiful people who love life and help others. Thinking that they must have secretly done something wrong seems overly distrusting, especially if they are out saving the lives of babies instead of playing Civilization 5 for a zillion hours, and less logical than simply thinking that say...one can't help that they have breast cancer or lupus, etc.
The American belief that the individual has almost mystical powers bothers me on a deep level, that sadly for this blog, I can't quite articulate. All success is on an individual's shoulders, but also all failures, and that's too heavy for one person to bear.