Sunday, August 01, 2004


This morning, Chris and myself found ourselves furiously scribbling cheques for the Sudan famine relief campaign...the recent pictures of desperation and horror have taken their toll on us both. TV may have made the world a smaller place but, paradoxically, it's also widened the emotional gulf between viewer and victim. Famine and human tragedy has been recontexturalised by televison; forced to compete for our attention in some inane/insane ratings-war against Pseudo-Reality Shows like Big Bother 5 or the Ten Worst Police Chases Ever. Becoming parents has re-sensitised us, made us so aware of the pain suffered by other people's children that it's become un-fucking-bearable to even watch the News. Part of our brains had been shut down by Charity Fatigue and CSI: Miami, but now the volume's back on full and it's almost too much to take.
I know chucking money at this isn't a long-term solution but, for pityssake, let's just get some food and medicine to these people NOW, and let the politians sort the other shit out later. If you want to help, then please go here and give what you can. Yes, that's right: HERE. That couple of Grime twelves you had your eye on can wait a week, and so can resubscribing to The Wire.
These blogs of ours are growing like a neural net...crosslinking and cross-referencing each other, recognising patterns, developing thoughts and that it resembles an external nervous-system...a dialectical life-form. Our hopes and dreams have left our bodies and have taken on a life of their own in this strange, shapeless, shared electronic-space we inhabit. They are directed by discourse, pushed out of shape by the pressure of other people's ideas. It's a Neo-Darwinian system: opinions evolve and mutate until they either wither or flourish and become a consensus. Now, perhaps, we also need something resembling a conscience.
Sure, we try and do our bit: we shop at the Co-op and buy Fair Trade; we recycle..but, someone please help me out here, after I've put the chequebook away and my crappy white liberal guilt has been salved for a few days: what can I...what can we all do that might make some sort of fucking difference?
I mean, political will aside, there's actually enough food to go round. There's enough for everyone. Look, I know I'm being politically naive, but I'm angry now and I'm doubly angry because I know that my anger isn't enough to change anything: In this day and age, this...THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING. KIDS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DIE IN FILTH AND MISERY LIKE THIS.
I read somewhere that John Kerry's wife is worth $600 million...she's basically underwriting his political campaign. $600million would make a heckuva big difference in the Sudan right now...I know it's a cliche, but: is it right that one person should have so much when so many have so little? Kerry's sister went pale on Newsnight when her family were described as "Boston liberals"; she said: "Uh, we don't like to use that term any more, because it''s, uh, restricting and unhelpful...John doesn't like to be put in a box, y'know..."
And what about Gates and MacCartney and Steve much are these guys worth...? It's kind of obscene...just suppose n% of every song downloaded on i-Tunes, or every copy of Internet Explorer sold, went towards Clean Water Projects, training local doctors, supplying drugs, treating AIDs victims, literacy programs...long-term projects, not just short-term rescue missions. Sure, I know Gates does a lot of charitable work with his foundation (and gets tax breaks for it), but at times like this, the Baby-Boomers and the Corporate Hippies should be leading the charge, not us. Any one got any ideas? URLs? I'll be happy to hear 'em.

But, in the meantime: SEND THEM SOME MONEY. Please.

Okay, soapbox away; high-horse dismantled 'til the next time.

Everything will be televised. Everything except the Revolution.



Alt.Pop God and much-missed friend.