Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stuff on my mind

Last night, I watched a documentary on Darfur, Sudan: The Devil Came on Horseback, about a young ex-marine who went to "monitor" and photograph the as-yet-unofficial genocide. I think this film contained probably the most brutal images of human suffering and the depravity of man that I've ever seen. Certainly on TV.

For those of you who have seen films like Hotel Rwanda and Shooting Dogs, the staged images in those films were quite horrible, as I'm sure you remember. But seeing genuine photos of similar crimes is really quite shocking. It's even more shocking, of course, that these photos were taken years after the Rwanda crisis. And now, while Darfur continues to suffer, it's all kicking off in Kenya, too: neighbours and friends macheteing each other to death because of different tribal lines.

I'm gonna come out and say it. Africa is a fucking hellhole. That's not to say I don't feel for the victims of these crimes. Of course I do. What's happening or has happened in the territories named above (among others) is shocking and appalling. But clearly there is something wrong in Africa. Every few years the most minor of supposed political disagreements causes people to grab the nearest axe and start smashing babies' skulls in. Give me a fucking break.

I don't know what we need there. Some would say wipe out the whole fucking continent. Some would suggest we need a dictator; maybe some countries just do need a dictator to keep the scum in order. Some would say let them sort out their own shitstorm. But they are incapable of doing so, as we have seen time and again.

The problem is pan-African. That's the incredible thing. We're not talking the odd country here and there. Even Kenya, now -- long seen as the most stable of African nations -- is a fucking disaster area. And South Africa, the great Rainbow Nation success story: a woman is raped there every 27 seconds. Is this normal? Is this acceptable?

But what the fuck can we do...?


In other news, it's great to see that George Bush, in his State of the Union speech, has said that when it comes to climate change (aka global warming) every country should do their bit to cut the emission of greenhouse gases and that no country should have a free ride. Um, isn't that what everyone was telling you, Mr Bush, regarding the Kyoto Agreement.

That man is such a cunt, it's astonishing! And now, what? Everyone is supposed to think he's the great forward-thinking world leader? This man has denied the existence of climate change for the past seven years, and now suddenly he's saying no country should get a free ride? The balls on this guy!


And finally, who was my 40,000th visitor? Well, technically, 40,001st, since number 40,000 was a hit via a lyric search on Google. It was Candy Minx, and then she headed off to my movie reviews page via the little logo on the sidebar. Big Brother is watching, right?

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Blogger Karen said...

While there's certainly centuries of tribal warfare behind a lot of it, I think that we're certainly to blame at least in part. Whether's it's years of imperialism/colonization, modern interference, or our inherent lack of understanding of their cultures we're not innocent bystanders.

30 January, 2008 11:57  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Karen: I can't agree that we are to blame. Maybe a century ago we did some bad shit like slavery and all, but you think that happened without the help of Africans? No, it didn't.

And these recent genocides can hardly be attributed to us, at least not in any way that I can buy into. These are racist crimes along tribal lines that have nothing to do with The White Man.

We can't be held to account simply for not understanding their frankly prehistoric ways.

Yes, we have had a part to play in African history. And some of what we did may not have worked out quite as well as intended, but we have helped and we continue to help. We feed them, we teach them to irrigate their land, we fund their farms, we try to eliminate their debt. Where is their own government in all this? Spending money on weaponry, that's where.

I'm not saying it's acceptable over there. I'm not saying that the UN shouldn't have more power to go in and rid the continent of despotic leaders.

But I think we all put too much on our own shoulders by accepting blame and not allowing these nations to shoulder some of the responsibility themselves.

They are the ones who, at the slightest dissatisfaction with their president, go out and kill their neighbours. Where do you go from there? Even when you finally get the leader you want, you think your neighbour is going to just let it lie that you slaughtered their entire family? Um, nope.

And so the cycle continues...

30 January, 2008 12:42  
Blogger furiousBall said...

Hotel Rwanda is one of those films that I watch myself when I get down on myself. My life is shit (or shite) with my divorce and my children being so far away, but they are alive. Most people in areas like you described would give everything to trade problems with me for just one day.

30 January, 2008 14:10  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i love your comment here, asterisk. it's so true. it's devastating... absolutely devastating... what's happened and continues to happen in africa. and i do think we can continue to do what can to help... that we should do more, if possible. but we can't fix the problem... and we're certainly not to blame.

30 January, 2008 16:41  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Well, there is actually "an answer" to why Africa is the way it is...but no one wants to believe it...

This is what the world looks like after thousands of years of totalitarian agriculture.

Did you know that female circumcision is only practiced in societies that have been introduced to Christianity?

The more food we grow...the more populationgrows. You can see this in fish tanks you can see this in mice colonies...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice...

And what do other countries do to help Africa? "teach them to grow food" I am dead against NGO programs which offer rice and farming lessons. How do we think the world got this way...we've taught "bas science" about the "agricultural revolution" as being a step of progress for so long...everyone believes it must be true.

You know say what you will, and people do laugh at her...but three four years ago...Oprah sent a reporter to DRC with a small militia and film crew. The most depressing situation I've ever seen... women raped and beaten every day, sons forced to rape their mothers in front of fathers...then the rules of the society meant the father had to reject his wife...basically creating a broken family. The womens eyes were dead event hough their bodies moved.

I believe we need to send these various groups of women so much money...that they can build a business and hire their own militia to protect them selves...all throughout Africa...give them as much money to the women to be safe.

Let them work it our from there.

The last thing that poor country needs is another fucking farm.

Where we all began...in Asia or Africa depending what you believe was land that had free food and vast resources...agriculture tiurned the "fertile crescent" of Middle East and Africa into deserts...

Protect the women, let them support themselves and make a living...they are able to figureit out if they weren't being raped everyday....

We need to look at the last surving hunter and gatherers around us and learn how to live again...this is all trickle down related to how we treat food...we need to see through the idea that we can only live "one way"...stop making up these stupid programs

30 January, 2008 17:11  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Oh and I'm glad to be 40,001 fantastic! I am hitting 40,000 right now and coming up on post 1000...was gonna write something about it this week sometime...

30 January, 2008 17:12  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

You know Asterisk, I volunteer with this guy that has Aids and he does a run over in Kenya. Its to raise money for them and I have see video's of over there and its terrible. He gets money going for the children to start up orphanages. They got one built over the last five years if I remember right. Its so sad. But I have been finding pen pals for the kids in the orphanages. I have a list of kids and people that find Richard Browdski's web site they e-mail me if they want a pen pal. Interesting work really. But like i said its only volunteering.

30 January, 2008 17:16  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 January, 2008 18:17  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i just wanted to point out, in response to the one little blip in candy's comment... female castration has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. that's a ridiculous assertion, and even after searching, i can't find anything that backs up what you say. i can't even find anywhere published where female castration and Christianity are linked. it's a cultural practice (albeit a hideous one) that some (mostly muslim) groups do try to justify religiously. it'd be ridiculous to even attempt to blame Christians for this... is there ANYTHING you guys don't try to blame us for? there is an entire book in the Bible devoted to the pleasure of sex in relationships... for BOTH parties... not just the males.

sorry... struck a cord.

30 January, 2008 18:19  
Blogger Karen said...

Just for the record I didn't say we were completely to blame but I think we certainly have some responsibility.

30 January, 2008 19:59  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

karen - no we don't babe.

It's incorrect pc to say it but their culture is nowt to do with us.

Rhodesia / Zimbabwe had apartheid as did South Africa. That was wrong by any standard.

Zimbabwe got Mugabe and South Africa is going down the pan.

Black African leaders are, in general, even more corrupt than ours and the reaction of the 'people' tells it all.

Look at the stories of hitting babies with machetes. Look at the scenes of mad 'muslims' beating their chests due to some slight - imagined or otherwise.

Execute a teacher for calling a teddy bear 'mohammed'. WTF????

They are a different world and we should leave them to it.

Baby's shouldn't die like that, Machete or starvation, but we can't control them.

Their culture and outlook is alien to us.

That isn't racist it's a fact. The evidence is a fact.

We're on collision course for Armageddon.

We have to step back and let them do what they do. Ultimately they will destroy themselves.

That will be a tragedy but preferable to them destroying us as well.

No more 'Live Aid'. Their country their problem. If they can't behave in 'our version' of a civilised manner they should be left to sort it / rot.

Life's a bitch and then you die.

Jeez. I don't normally rant in comments. Soz *

30 January, 2008 21:55  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

Africa is out of control. Not sure what the answer is.

And Kyoto is a scam and fixes nothing. How many countries that signed it have actually lived up to it? Plus it gives a free pass big polluters (China/India) because they are "developing" Along with other problems... I hope we never sign it. Something that holds all countries to the same standards sounds better.

30 January, 2008 22:46  
Blogger d34FpUpPy said...

andy is so rite on tha kyoto dealie as for africa i hava friend who lives in south africa and it si goin down the tubes fast
mabe we needa let nature take its course...let everybody with aids die r the bugs will mutate n become harmless liek it has in the big cats in africa mabe drs shouldnt do alla that fertility stuff mabe people cant reproduce for a reason. mabe we all need 2 b extinct

31 January, 2008 02:55  

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