the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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Facebook rant

I went all commie on Facebook earlier today, and I figured I would share my little rant here as well for those who don't follow me there.

Somebody shared this on here earlier today, but I am posting it fresh rather than sharing it to distance myself from the original chain.

I don't understand this picture. I mean, I agree that we are falling short in helping our seniors and mentally ill, and I guess we could give better stuff to our troops so that they can kill people more efficiently. But I just don't get the rest of this. Let me give you an analogy to explain why I don't quite understand the thinking behind it.

Let's say you buy yourself a large Tim Hortons coffee on your way to a meeting. It is a fairly big meeting, with 84 other attendees. When you get there, you discover that none of the other attendees could afford to grab coffee on their way in, and feeling generous, you decide to share your coffee with them. So here is what you do; you pull out an eyedropper, fill it about 1/3 of the way and then hand it to the rest of the room and tell them to share it among themselves.

Now instead of a meeting room, pretend that it is actually the world, and that the other attendees are the population of humans who are living in poverty, and that the coffee represents our annual wealth as a nation. For every one of us, there are about 84 people living elsewhere who live in poor to appalling conditions. Some of them live in conditions that are wretched and miserable beyond our ability to imagine. About 20 of the people in the meeting room would gladly trade places with our poorest seniors if it meant that they had a chance at a glass of drinkable water.

Have you ever heard of Kevin Carter? It's a shame if you haven't - he took some really stunning pictures, and even won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. There is one in particular that I will link here that is especially sobering.
If the image does not work for you, it is an emaciated child who is too weak to stand from thirst, hunger and disease. In the background is a buzzard, patiently waiting for her to die so that it can get a good meal.

The conditions that Carter encountered when he was taking his pictures were so horrific that he ended up killing himself at the age of 34, mostly because he was haunted by the things he had seen.

And this is where it gets to the part of this picture that I don't understand. We give about 3/10ths of a percent of our annual wealth every year to help try and improve the conditions of men, women and children who were born on the wrong part of our planet. What differentiates the poor here from the poor there, other than pretend lines we have drawn on the ground? I don't know if you have noticed, or seen pictures from space, but we are all sharing the same living space. Walk any direction long enough and you will eventually see horrors of human misery you can never unsee again before ending up right back where you started.

But according to this image, not all human misery is created equal. According to this image, the equivalent of ~20 drops of coffee out of a large cup of Tim's is too much if it means that we have to press "1" to talk to somebody in English. And this is what I don't understand: how could the person who created this picture be so ignorant and callous?
Tags: ignorant, stupid
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