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The Tsunami Effect - Coming to Theaters Near you... - words first
some sense later
wrayb
wrayb
The Tsunami Effect - Coming to Theaters Near you...
shanekeiko wrote:
"Making me really re-think wealth and benevolence.

"Conclusion: Natural disasters (in places rich people frequent and in places populated by "exotic" and "friendly" natives) receive much more empathy (in the form of money and in-kind donations) than systemic poverty (in the daily lives of brown people impacted by globalism). "

Which triggered me to capsulate my thoughts.

I gave the equivilant of 1/2 day pay (before tax) to the red cross for the tsunami effect. Conflicted feeling over it. On one hand I know that there will be waste and silliness in the distribution of aid and that the disaster has the world's attention so my contribution is just a grain on the beach. On the other hand I do feel that such excess and waste and silliness are acceptable in the cause of helping those who did survive.

Then there is the long term affect on Aceh. There is the potential for substantial change (for better or worse or likely: both) as a result of the unusual and unatural (in the course of human events) amount of resources that will pour into the area.

A big "other hand" is, as shanekeiko pointed out, that there is on-going poverty and health related misery in the world impacting millions of people on a daily basis. These people are either abandoned to their fate and, even worse, oft considered to be "deserving" of their situation. NY news radio stations have been featuring a sound bite or two each morning from representatives of other charities who fear that they will be out of luck this year since there is the potential that people will be saying "I already contributed to the tsunami effect." One medical/health charity that focuses on Africa said (I think, assuming I was awake enough to not misunderstand) that nearly 1,000,000 die from malaria in Africa each year.

SooooOOOh?

When will the tsunami movie come out? Who will be the supermodel atop the tree? The waif Swedish boy wandering the beach in search of his family? The family of 3 who steered their sail boat over the wall of water? Doctor sawing off gangrenish limbs with a hand saw and the Muslim female patient refusing the double shot of vodka offered as the only available aneasthesia [sp?].

Hollywood can you hear the call?

Thank you for your time.

Current Mood: bouncy caffinated (working late)
Current Music: Miles Davis - Bird of Paradise (w/C Parker)

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Comments
bricody From: bricody Date: January 8th, 2005 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
oh wray, man

i would hope hollywood would not exploit the tragedy of all of this

dude, i would soo move to freakin canada
From: wrayb Date: January 8th, 2005 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

sorry dude

come on. you know it. eventually some one will do it.

i just wonder which will be first: the movie or the book(s)

i only hope, no, cancel that. I have no hope. Only fear.
zenseer From: zenseer Date: January 8th, 2005 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Not only did Shane break it down to the fullest in that post, but she did so more than any news report that I've seen on TV yet. People really didn't seem to be all that moved when they first heard about the genocide in the Sudan. You heard more outrage about Janet Jackson's breast than about the slaughter of an untold thousands of people. Fortunately for those who were hit by this tsunami, there was a scared little blond boy to focus on and get US sympathy into action. Otherwise, who knows if the support would be as strong as it is now...

At the very least, there'll be at least one crappy direct-to-Sci-Fi Channel movie that will have something similar to this, but not exactly this.
From: shanekeiko Date: January 8th, 2005 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)

you know ...

... I thought about that when I was watching the fuss over the Swedish child. On one hand, as a woman with a biological clock and a ton of boy cousins, I felt for the child -- bewildered and now motherless ... but yes, he's relatable and camera-ready.

The U.S. spends billions per day in a country they invaded and dismantled. Where does that money come from? It's allocated by the Dept. of Defense through appropriations ... but the pot ain't bottomless. I highly doubt big oil and the defense contractors are putting their profits back into the gov't -- they're the ones with the major tax breaks!

(Sorry ... Dubya calls it "tax reform.")
From: wrayb Date: January 8th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: you know ...

mass media owns us and it owns mass media.

shit. i think i'm starting to remember stuff that i forgot. thanks for the stimulation. now i need to work on assembling and articulating.

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From: wrayb Date: January 8th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: but do rich people deserve to be rich?

wow. How do i luck out and get these intelligent and articulate people to visit my lj? Thanks for the comments!

one aspect further that I really don't have time to go into now (i would love to spend the day trying to articulate thoughts in writing but there are other commitments for the day) is systemic and historical dynamics of humanity and how they feed into the disparities that have evolved and seem to be getting greater every year.

Laters.
From: shanekeiko Date: January 8th, 2005 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)

no, poor people do not deserve to be poor

While I believe in the bootstraps practice, I also believe that it is incorrect to posit that poor people are the ones solely in control of their socioeconomic position.

We often forget about the basic systems we access here in the States: drinkable water, functioning sewage systems, a reliable electrical system, a functioning telephone network, decent roads, political stability, limited health care safety net.

Those systems are often non-existent in other nations -- or in the territories that the U.S. claims for itself. How can one ask someone living in Haiti, for example, who is infected with TB and lives in a dirt-floor hut with no running water, no electricity, no navigable roads nearby and who lives in fear of political unrest -- how can we, with all that we have at our fingertips, expect them to not be poor?

By placing the burden upon those with less access, we ignore the invisible systems that keep us warm and connected to the internet, we ignore the histories of racism and imperialism and we place our existence as a priority over others.

The "others," it is demonstrated, are (by sheer population numbers) brown people in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. They live in the countries that produce our goods, that give us our natural resources and give us stateside labor who pick our produce, clean our offices and generally do the work that we dare not dirty our hands with.

We have more important things to do: create reality shows, blog, throw trash on the ground, consume high-calorie meals, develop diabetes, watch football.

In order for poor people to not be poor, rich people cannot be rich. It's a rather simple equation. The sentiment of compassion does not equal out to a meal for a hungry person. Encouragement is not clean drinking water. Guidance is not a roof over one's head.

No one deserves to be poor -- and no one deserves to go sleep hungry and cold and sick at our expense.
From: wrayb Date: January 8th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

woah hoah!

You've succeeded in triggering 3rd world rant 546 from Shane. While I agree with what she says 109% I do note that you said "I dont think the poverty stricken "deserve" to be poor".

One mental tool for grappling with the issue is a quote attributed to Joseph Stalin: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." I wonder about the context of Joe's comment but for me it expresses a kind of duality. There is each person and there is that person in the context of history and pooh! I just don't have the time or presence of mind right now to explain what I'm getting at here.

Thanks for visiting. I haven't lived in New Orleans for over 12 years but I occasionally return and make my family take me to the best cheapest neighborhood restaurants they've learned since I left. Dang. No matter the subject somehow I always make it be about food.

cheers.

wray
From: shanekeiko Date: January 8th, 2005 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)

anything helps

Joe Marshall, one of SF's local heroes for his conflict resolution and academic support work with young people and a MacArthur "Genius" Award recepient, said his grandmother taught him that the more you know, the more you owe.

You're very generous to give money to the Red Cross. Whether it was motivated by compassion or guilt, there are people in the world who need basic necessities and you are kind to support the efforts of those who are out in the field.

I heard on CNN that $1 to the major charities provides drinking water for four people for a week. $1 here buys you one 16 oz. bottle at the corner store.

Such strangeness in the world.

From: wrayb Date: January 8th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: anything helps

strange yes, but i suspect info bite like that.
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