Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sad times

It's become pretty clear that we as a nation have become so detached from reality during the past couple of decades. We're fat. We have bad road rage. Millions voted for George W. Bush - twice. During the past few weeks, I've been watching news coverage of the famine that's currently under way in Niger. These stories seem to roll around once every few years and life goes on.

I'm a huge fan of Sports Illustrated's NFL writer Peter King. If you're not familiar with Peter, he writes a weekly column on I look forward to it every morning. It's full of insight. It's written well and has a great personal tone to it.

So, what do these two things have in common? Well, in this past Monday's column, King threw in something that should be glaringly obvious to everyone. Here's what he said: "ESPN has to take that eating contest off TV. With starvation in Africa on the news every week, it's a disgrace to show a bunch of idiots gorging themselves to nearly puking proportions."

What King is referring to is Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest held in New York every 4th of July weekend. In case you haven't seen it, a bunch of people from a professional eater's club (seriously), wolf down as many hot dogs as they can in something like ten minutes. The current champion this year ate 49 hot dogs (bun and all). Last year he ate 53. It's disgusting and awe-inspiring at the same time.

But with all that's going on half a world away, I'm wondering just how desensitized we've become as a nation. How is it, the richest nation on earth, with the world's richest corporations (including ExxonMobil, which earned, oh, $7 BILLION last quarter alone by raping us on gas prices) can basically ignore something like a famine. It's 2005, not 1805. We have fat shits eating themselves out of their clothes daily hitting up McDonalds, 7Eleven or BK, gulping down 1,000 calorie+ Big Gulps and Big Macs. Yet people who so happen to have been born in a godforsaken desert are lucky if they can get a handful of rice in a day. We have no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars invading a Middle Eastern country rich with oil, sending 2,000 of our brave troops to their death and countless others into lifelong despair (a study was released this week showing 30% of Iraq war vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional maladies). Yet, we do nothing to make sure a few thousands people get a decent meal because they have, what I'm sure our elected criminals see as, nothing to offer us.

That, my friends, is how low we've sunk. Click here, if you want to do your part.


At 12:41 AM , Blogger Glenn said...

Oh boy. You should post this on the INTP board, I'm sure you'll get a huge response.

Anyway, my $.02. Poverty must exist. A world where no child goes hungry and everyone has the money for life's necessities is utopian at best and communist at worst.

The United States has no real OBLIGATION, other than guilt, to help any nation that cannot feed its people. Africa is full of totalitarian regimes that suck the lifeblood of the peasants for the enrichment of the empowered few. Why don't they share the wealth? Why should we have to share what we have.

I have a much more Dog-eat-dog philosophy on life. I believe in taking care of your own before you have half a world away to feed some other countries kids. Why don't you link to a domestic charity that works to feed hungry American children? Why don't we see poor Americans on the TV everyday like we do the starving Africans?

At 2:46 PM , Blogger DevRock said...

Good points, Glenn. I'm not sure what got me worked up to post what I did. But it just happened. Anyway, the same crap goes on here. We have decrepit schools, children going hungry, etc. yet we spend billions on a space shuttle and give tax breaks to oil companies making billions in profit each quarter. Of course we have no obligation to anyone else. I guess there is some utopian hope somewhere inside me that countries and multinational corps will start doing some good in this world.

At 11:49 AM , Blogger mom49 said...

Bravo, DevRock, for the donation site. Now, that's making a positive difference in the world.
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