And yeah, just back from two weeks off art the beach, holiday on the seashore. How can I make a comment on starving children in Ethiopia?
Saw the news and got sick the other night, had to remind myself to keep it off, restore my head. The reporter was in Mogadishu, Somalia. She was interviewing one of the top officers in the African Peacekeepers, drawn from other countries' armories and people. He said they were in the worst place on earth. The soccer stadium in long weeds, the bombed out buildings, IEDs.
A Kalashnikov fires and the reporter and soldiers scramble for cover.
The world is responding to this humanitarian crisis but food coming in through here first had to go through civil war in a country without a government for 20 years. Who is making the war here?
Al Shabob (I am prompted to say "Shish Kabob") the AQ backed militias trying to take Somalia and turn the country into a terrorist training camp. They finally realized that they were killing the locals and pulled back to allow the pent up need for food distribution. Too little, too late as a woman with her kids cries "Where is the humanity?" Where, indeed?
So the camps grow in Dadhob, Kenya and we live our lives of luxury and privilege... Look up MSNBC.com for a list of charities to make a donation to feed these people.
i cried salt water.
for what it's worth.
brown skin painted on weak bone. shrunken carcass; something for the dust to claim. unholy abandonment for our viewing pleasure. no water no food no hope no life but do try, please.
cue ball eyes in that head on a stick.
our disconnect is perfect. we weep for a while and sleep soundly.
hang in there little one. hang in there as the man with the camera brings image not grain. lens into lenses and my body sagged. sagged with all the hurt; a shriek that could summon God and shatter your semicircular canal. it doesn't bring him of course; he only seems to listen.
where did we go so wrong when we can look straight into the eyes of a dying child and do nothing? a shameful spectacle. a suffering soul a stain on our species. sick and disgust as their organs fail. we've released so much pain into the world that the ether seeps decay. ghastly fog that chokes our brothers and sisters. suffocates and laughs.
it's head seemed swollen. his head? her head? i couldn't tell. emaciated. fragile. eyes of ache and injustice. twisted with hurt. i could tell it was broken. i couldn't tell what it thought of me.
why would i let a part of me suffer? for what purpose would i cut off one's own arm? because that's what i'm doing when i'm complicit in starving a life more pure and beautiful than mine. they ARE my life, have i not figured that out yet?
he/she got better by the way; i saw it on the news. little body became more like yours and mine. sunken cheeks expanded and eye's like a cow.
hope for that child at least.
let's hope Aids doesn't pay a visit; please God, leave them alone for a while.
reading this back, a thought of Arsenal's new signing Miyaichi entered my head; his debut on Saturday. looking forward to that.
Have been gone for a couple of days on a break, not able to see much news footage but heard of the spread of the riots in England. I put on the news today and what do I see...shock horror it's everybody else's fault. Nick (nothing to do with me) Clegg saying we need to step back and look at the whole picture, need to find reasons etc. Well Nick there are a few good people on this very thread who could tell you what has gone wrong. It is the fact that a Tory Government in the 1980's gave up on Britain being an Industrialised nation and decided we would be better as a 'Service Industry', traditional jobs that had served generations for years went by the wayside for ever.
However before we point fingers let me return to a topic dealt with previously. I feel that nowadays no one wants to PAY for anything, the arrival of the internet was a major step forward in progress but also I feel led to some of the problems we have today. How many times do we hear "don't buy that here, you will get it cheaper o the net", "don't buy it off that site search elsewhere. you'll get it cheaper". Now we have no Record stores,(I need a stylus for my turntable, nearest store 30 miles away!). Can't find a decent bookstore, sometimes you just want to browse and maybe stumble across something new.
The point of this ramble? No stores, No jobs, no service industry and as we don't have heavy industry what the F..are people supposed to do for a living?
I was lucky enough to get to take early retirement three years ago but it breaks my heart when I travel around town and see kids 17,18,19,20 and above wandering around with nothing to do and no prospect of anything to do.
I could of course went down the road of telling that I lived for many years in a deprived area with no Community Centres, no Youth Clubs, and we spent every night walking miles around the surrounding countryside listening to the radio with no intention of causing a disturbance, but that was then this is now at least I had a job and was lucky enough to continually work for 41 years without being unemployed, which of todays youngsters will be able to say that? Answers on a post card.......
Sorry folks just back and ranting already.
P.S I know there were lots of the people in the riots just using it as an excuse to loot and rob, but that has been covered most eloquently covered previously by jonapi.
Energized and happy in my professional life than 1995-2005 with Ray Anderson as the CEO and Chairman of the company I worked for. A truly inspired and inspiring business leader, he passed away early this week. He was a self-confessed "plunderer of the earth" who experienced a green epiphany in 1994 and led us all down a very interesting and fulfilling path. Truly a man who believed in walking the talk, he will be missed.
I guess in celebration of Grateful Dead Night at AT&T Park last night, ESPN.com is celebrating with five streams from Rhino's "Europe" package. Apparently Greatest Story Ever Told” (Paris) and “Playing In The Band” (London) are previously unreleased.
Here's that link: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/thelife/music/news/story?id=6843348
Let me know ///
and hey riggsjr, check in and let us know you're OK.
excellent post jonapi!
I am not young enough to know everything.
Seemed much quieter here in London last night; not so for other cities in the UK though. Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Manchester...
Really nice to see locals getting together with brooms and cleaning up the streets themselves; gives me great heart.
Police increased by 10,000 but worryingly permission has been given to use plastic bullets should the need arise. Not a good idea. You are dealing with young people who truly do not care about what they're doing. Rounding them up is one thing but using firearms? That way madness lies.
Further to some points i was making yesterday, there are other important factors that need to be addressed. Certainly, the closing of youth related projects and centres does not help. In Clapham, where some of the rioting took place yesterday, a youth worker said that 4 youth centres had been closed in that area alone. Clapham is not even very big. The old saying, "the devil makes work for idle hands" is very very true. It is school/college/university holidays here and without parental guidance, somewhere to use that energy and adrenalin in a productive fashion; mix in resentment, frustration, poverty and alienation and what we've seen these last few days is bound to happen.
And parental guidance is very important. People are having children at younger and younger ages; they themselves are not capable of looking after their own lives, so how on earth are they to care for someone else's? They do not have the life skills, the values and moral strength instilled in them to pass it on. This isn't meant to be patronising; i couldn't have taken on such responsibility at 18, 19 or even 20 years old. Some do of course, this does not apply to everyone. There are some remarkable young people doing an incredible job, whether the child was planned or unplanned. Let's not paint everyone with the same brush.
But what outlook do you think some of these kids should have? Some are born into a flat on the 23rd floor of a grim high rise in dirty concrete surroundings. Just down their road is smart cafés, restaurants and bars; London, like a lot of cities all over the world is incredibly schizophrenic in design and social standing.
I used to work in Angel, Islington; plenty of trendy bars and eateries in the high street outside the tube station. Go around the corner and there's a pleasant (and probably expensive) school for juniors; next road is a row of very expensive houses and a secure garden in the square, always well maintained. A few short steps and there is a block of council flats, dirty, rubbish on the floor, pokey shops and 12-14 year olds in school uniform smoking spliffs before another day wasted in the classroom. The Parcelforce guy wouldn't deliver to the front doors in the flats because even if the van was locked, it would get broken into. He now buzzes the intercom and waits downstairs until the recipient collects.
All this is one street away from rich houses (including many television/celebrity owners); these kids have to walk past these to get to school (if they choose to go of course).
Now, that isn't to say it's rich people's fault necessarily; some have studied damn hard and gone to Medical School and are doing positive things for others; they can't help being born into a more privileged background anymore than poorer kids being born into low-income grime. (Beliefs in reincarnation not withstanding).
But when the cost of living is rising and wages, if you have any, are stalling; when you are treated differently (and people, don't fool yourselves that they don't recognise a condescending look in their direction; we may think we hide it well, we're just looking, but these kids know what most are thinking - black hooded waster, criminal, drug taker). A childhood of that together with absent parents; role model desertion and no money; bleak surroundings and police harassment; raging hormones and zero prospects. Well, let's face it everyone, we have an ammunition factory ready to blow.
Something has to be done. Fairer conditions for all; genuine investment in certain areas; investment in youth projects is massively important. Why don't these corporations donate computers to youth centres in poorer areas? Musical instrument manufacturers donating or loaning equipment to projects; set up a community centre that has things that kids simply can't afford. Musicians and artists should regularly give talks and demonstrations in schools. Fashion designers, hairdressers, top stylists, writers, actors; would it be so hard to take some time away from what you do and spend a week showing some of these extremely bright kids just what is possible? A lot of these kids don't even know that you can make a living doing this; that you don't necessarily need to go to a University to be creative or have access to technology and ideas.
Scientists, physicists and computer programmers should also regularly attend schools and design projects that would blow a kid's mind. In most cases i bet, these kids simply aren't aware that these things exist. When your daily routine is smoke, school, no parents, getting aggressively shouted at for the slightest misdemeanor (the amount of times i've witnessed a mother literally scream in a 2 year old's face for having the temerity to gently and smilingly reach out at a shiny candy bar in a supermarket and then usually getting a slap is for it's trouble is criminal; abuse pure and simple); when the parent's have no idea how to cook and all meals, if they get one, is chips, fried chicken or microwaved slop; if the parent is out at their third job so they can make ends meet and intimidation and argumentative aggression is an everyday occurence then they will not have the time or the simple chance to be exposed to some of the most incredible things human beings can achieve.
Work-placements should be mandatory for large companies; computer graphics and radio, film and art and music and literature and sport and science and medical and spiritual practices and organisations should all be a large presence in schools from a young age.
Blow their little minds and show them what can be achieved, rich or poor. Give them something they won't forget. Treat them like little adults and listen to what they have to say and how they express their emotions. Give them examples of the more out-there approach you can take to life and still be responsible and kind to others around you.
If you're busy being creative or are filled to the brim and bursting with enthusiasm you have no time to even consider rioting or fighting or drinking or robbing or killing. Time would be too precious.
Until we go in that direction, as Frank says, "there's no way to delay, that trouble comin' every day".
Well, that's what i think, for what it's worth.
And lastly, to end this rather over-long ramble, i'm reminded of something Stephen Fry once said; and to condense and paraphrase really quite wildly here, he basically remarked that if you look out if the window, Nature itself is unconditionally beautiful - the arctic, the deserts, the oceans; the only ugly things you will ever see out the window are things made by Man. And if, from your earliest age, looking at the world, you see yourself as a member of a species that can only uglyfy and spoil the world, it gives you a deep sense of guilt; guilt being the major cause of aggression and that why you get violence, because you feel guilty and worthless; ou feel worthless if you don't believe you are part of a species that is actually capable of producing beautiful things, which we are; in terms of architecture, in terms of painting, in terms of music and all kinds of things. Beauty is possible and is good.
right now I'm having a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream and reminissing.
Got in the car that morning and Grateful Dead music was playing. This was not a good sign.