Friday, October 14, 2005

dollar day

the pakistan earthquake… and not a murmur in the office all week. i don’t know what i was expecting: a lunchtime discussion about reconstruction, a motivational letter from the higher-ups on how we can help. but nothing. just "how are you"s and "nice tie"s in passing. this is the corporate life, i guess, and those construction documents aren’t getting stamped by themselves.

fucking horrific news all around this year: the tsunami. katrina. rita. the mudslide in guatemala… all this gives me blues. nina simone all night, and all.

of course, the least we can do is to donate.

but who else donates out there, i wonder.

as my homie cuetip points out in a sf chronicle poll: not all the bay area kids, as some are “taking a pass this time” and are too tired from all this “relief fatigue.”

but tristero over at hullabaloo drops deep thoughts on who might be a big donor in pakistan (osama bin laden, who has much much to gain from “philanthropy”) and who might be shortchanging (our “sensible” American government.) some jaded words:

But the US doesn't have the cash to spare for large-scale humanitarian efforts anymore. Why? Well, there's Katrina for one, Rita for another, and let's not forget all the money given to the tsunami victims. There's also been another huge money pit for the US recently, can't exactly remember what it could be...No, not the taxcuts for the rich, something else. Something sucking $200 billion out of our economy. Help me out here, folks: where are we spending all that money again? And exactly why, again?


And so it goes. And it is so pathetic. A great nation, the greatest ever in so many ways, unable to do something as relatively straightforward as earn the goodwill of an abject, demoralized people. A great nation whose leaders can't even understand why, in a battle for hearts and minds (which is precisely the kind of war bin Laden actually is waging) it is necessary to obtain that goodwill, the price of which is dirt cheap compared to the death of a single soldier or the rage caused by the death of a loved one due to American force.

our leaders got no spirit, no backbone, and no love for anything except their own skin. they blame the tsunami on the un-Christian victims, the hurricane on the non-white victims, promote war and greed in the name of military contractors and extraction, and dedicate themselves to the debt relief of the most impoverished nations in the world but skip out on the bill.

ok, enough whining. i know, we broke...

but as mos def sings, it's dollar day for... (you finish in the rest.)