Friday, June 24, 2005

With LIVE 8 coming round the corner...and people and television stations gearing up for the concerts to be telecast around the world from different cities...here are a couple of opinions about the event, the crisis and why the situation is the way it is...
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First a humbling lesson from the Ethiopian famine of the 80's, and how Live Aid might have fueled as many deaths as it saved lives...

"there is no necessary connection between raising money for a good cause and that money being well spent, just as there is no necessary connection between caring about the suffering of others and understanding the nature or cause of that suffering."
From Cruel To Be Kind David Rieff

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Here is a reponse to Rieff kindly passed on to me by Owen Barder
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Another article is from DR Tajudeen and it talks about the shift of focus from Africa as a charity case, to putting pressure on governments to take action...
"Live 8 differs from its predecessor in that it seeks to facilitate action – encouraging demonstrations against poverty in Africa and in favor of free trade, debt write-off and more aid – not simply raise awareness. While this commentary lauds the change of tactic, the author still emphasizes the need for an alternative to the image of Africa as "humanitarian disaster," wherein Africans are not responsible for their own actions, and Western influence will keep them from starving. He stresses a global view of the problem, acknowledging important bridges between African poverty and the wealth of the West. Finally, he criticizes Live 8 for its lack of African performers, concluding, "We cannot be spectators in our own affairs." Marching in Europe Will Not End African Poverty

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Want to know the why and how and what the hell?

  • The Causes of Poverty
  • Third World Debt
  • Fair Trade
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    On a more cheerful note, a fourth poem by the Greek poet Sappho has been discovered...2,600 years after it was written...isn't that something? To have your poem resurrected and also appreciated after so long..... It has been bublished in the Times Literary Supplement...
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    On hearing one of Sappho's poems sung, the sixth century BC Greek ruler Solon, a contemporary of hers, asked for someone to teach him the song "because I want to learn it and die"John Ezard (Guardian)
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    Who wouldn't want something like that said about their work or effort or creation?...That such beauty exists and that there are people who have the heart and the senses to experience it is something to smile about don't you think? Humans be hopeful..

    4 comments:

    sarah said...

    Ok, one of these days I need to read the links following "Want to know the why and how and what the hell?" Because Yes I Do. We're living in this amazingly technologically advanced age, and yet we think that sending cans of food (at incredible costs) to Africa (or wherever is hungry at the moment) is a better idea than coming up with good technology that would allow Africa (or wherever) to become independent. Another thing that pisses me off is that a charity that uses only 90% of donated money for its cause (10% for itself) is a "good" charity. Again, in this age of the almighty Internet, there should be a way of getting money to the people who need it, without losing 10% or more of it along the way.

    Ok, this is turning into a rant. . .

    Another thing that pisses me off is how charities often have agendas. The US government will help your poor country out, as long as you become "democratic" and believe in the American Way (whatever that is). Christian organizations (again from America) will help your country out, as long as you read their pamphlets, hear their lectures, get baptized, whatever they want. I'm especially critisizing American charity, because that's the type that I'm most familiar with. I'm sure other societies have similar faults, but I can't make generalized accusations :)

    We should totally start our own charity. . . "we'll give you food as long as you promise to enjoy your life and value your culture and family and friends"

    Changing the subject. . I really liked that story about the poem. That's really cool!

    kwtia said...

    Hi Sarah, Thanks for the rant..they're healthy things to have... :)
    I know, I wish things were more fair...and that agendas did not impose themselves on helping people...
    here's to brighter days to come..

    Owen Barder said...

    Except that Rieff is talking rubbish. Take a look at this blog entry.

    kwtia said...

    Hi Owen, thanks for stopping by..and thanks very much for the link..I have been wanting a counter argument to pop up at some point..I hope you don't mind I am going to add it to the main post..Thanks again..take care.