Oh, so many unrelated items today…
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, and happy birthday to my own mother, whose anniversary conveniently coincides with Mother’s Day every year. Interestingly, there’s another progressive Guyanese blogger whose mother shares this birthday: Australia’s Phil Gomes, a regular reader of this site and a firebrand political commentator of fearless focus. I had the great pleasure of meeting Phil and his partner in Toronto this weekend. It was rather surreal, really, to meet someone from the other side of the world whose connection to you is solely an intellectual one, brought about by the reading of blogs.
My horoscope for Sunday read, “You could spend time with a large group of people…You might chat with cousins, siblings, or other extended family. It’s good for you to connect with other members of your tribe. Share news with your cousins and in-laws. Spend some time playing with your nieces and nephews.” Ironically, Sunday was also when I took part in the annual Toronto Walk for Autism, because my cousin’s kid Joshua is autistic. So I got to spend some excellent time, just as the stars predicted, with my cousins and erstwhile “nieces and nephews”. It was a singular joy to converse for a whole hour with my 6-year old “niece” Ashley, who was quite adept at offering all sorts of needed advice. Now, I’ve always known that Ashley and her siblings are part Sri Lankan (and part Guyanese), but I only now discovered that their Sri Lankan origin is from the same area that my earlier tsunami relief efforts had focused on! So, by some strange kismet, while trying to help complete strangers, I was in fact helping my own family. Funny how that happens.
Speaking of autism, have you heard this outrageous story about US army recruiters signing up an autistic boy? Yes, the authorities are investigating. But I suspect they’re investigating how they got caught rather than how such chicanery happened in the first place. I ask you, Dear Readers, what do you think the chances are of a draft happening the US within the next 2 years?
And speaking of our relief project in Sri Lanka, one lesson learned that quite surprised me was that one of the items most in demand int he tsunami affected regions wasn’t antibiotics or food or medical supplies. It was feminine hygiene products. Yep, tampons and maxipads are items we rarely think about as emergency supplies, but they are actually quite important. It seems in Zimbabwe there is a dire shortage of these items, giving rise to a heroic and sad sort of activism. Now, some British celebrities are taking up the cause, trying to raise money for these items in Africa. Yes, we can call it, “blood money.”
Speaking of things to watch, another incredibly racist site set off my alarm bells today. This one is called NewNation.org, and it appears to argue for reduced immigration to the USA, but really just lists instances of non-white people commiting crimes against white people, regardless of whether they are immigrants or not. I am loathe to give such sites publicity, but I think it’s important that we all be aware that they exist, and that such sentiments are possibly more prevalent than we think. I’d rather have them out in the open.
Here’s a story about the BBC mistaking a black French cab driver for a white English computer expert. You can see the actual video footage here. My friend the comedian and techie Andrew Currie thought this link was more funny.
In other news, a super model mistakes a bus exit door for …God knows what. Hilarity and injury ensue.
I leave you with this interesting story about a tribe of hunter gatherers in Colombia walking out of the jungle to join “modern” civilization. That is their right, of course, and I am heartened to see the Colombians making an effort to ease the tribe’s transition. But it highlights a trend, that of the depletion of traditional peoples, wisdoms and ways of life. With such total, global gentrification comes a decrease in creativity. There, for example, goes one fewer living example of a market-free economy.