Have you seen the U.S. Debt Clock? It is terrifying. The numbers that we are dealing in are so astronomical that when it comes time to really clamp down on government borrowing/spending, Greece’s austerity deal will look like a skip through the park compared to what we will have to do to satisfy our debtors foreign and domestic.
The site also allows you to assess individual state and other countries debt near the upper left side of the page. There are countries that are way worse off. Fortunately for them they are small compared to us. After all who can afford to bail out America when the sh*t hits the fan?
With hard data in front of me I dread what kind of country my government is leaving for our kids – the future. It is a disgrace. What’s even scarier is that some economists claim that our debt is actually much larger than what is being reported. Is that even possible?!
So what’s the solution? Run for the hills? I wish I could win the lottery. If I did I would cash in a big chunk of my U.S. dollars for foreign currencies and move to a more economically stable country. Then again if all of these debtor nations fall, even to a single knee, the entire globe will suffer.
I stumbled upon a thread at the Absolute Write forum that was about a cake. Not a normal Happy Birthday cake. A cake that was done in the shape of an African woman. It was to be eaten from the pubic area on up to depict the horrors of female genital mutilation. At the top of the cake was the real head of the artist, Makode aj Linde, a male light-skinned black performance artist in black face, who would scream every time someone took a slice from down below.
Personally I found the video to be powerful. It makes a huge statement in many ways. It expresses the sick nature of female genital mutilation in a way that is… well the video made me cringe. The vid also does something else. There is a racial aspect. Web news sites and blogs are blowing up right now not because of the topic per-say but because every person surrounding the “cake” is white; white women. The event took place in Sweden. Even the Swedish Minister of ‘Culture’ took a piece.
On one hand you have a brutal depiction of female genital mutilation and on the other you have white women eating it up… literally. I suppose if those who participated had declined then they may have been branded racists for not wanting to bring light to such a horrible reality for women of a warmer hue. Since the white folks did participate they will be branded with racial epithets. It seems to be a losing situation all the way around.
As you watch the video the term “tasteless” may arise. It may be “tasteless”. Still it has people all over the world talking about more than one issue – female genital mutilation, racism, feminism, art as a political medium, oppression, etc.. There really is too much going on to get a good grasp upon it all yet there it all is in one scene. The spark is there. The rhetoric will fly. There may even be a job loss or two over this. But one thing that I’ve come to expect while alive on this planet is that there will always be controversy, conflict, and tasteless folks who will seek attention for themselves or their cause by any means necessary.
WARNING! The following video is not for the squeamish.
The Swedish Minister of Culture feeding the female genital mutilation cake “victim” a piece of itself.
On a similar note my books include situations that include sex traffickers, drug dealers, drug users, racial confrontation, psychological and physical abuse, wanton murder, and many other topics of a darker shade that some find uncomfortable. I haven’t been told that my writing is distasteful but I am willing to bet that there are some readers who would find my work unpalatable. That’s life. Without condoning or promoting what the performance artist did sometimes it takes a revolutionary (or a decoupling from evolution) to get an issue out there.
Watching that video made me aghast at the practice of female genital mutilation even though the focus has hit upon racial issues.
Any culture that practices FGM needs to stop. As far as the issues of racism and oppression go… I have no simple answer for that because it isn’t a simplistic problem. Parts of the world function using those very issues as tools for manipulation (especially the media as an industry). Individuals also go through life with racist views and oppressive desires. It seems to be the nature of the beast. The beast being us.
If an individual is attacked by someone of another color that victim may adapt by using old instincts of identifying all people of that same color as dangerous and racist beliefs will rise within even though we as human beings have the intelligence to know that one incident does not mean that an entire race is dangerous. A conflict between extreme, ancient survival techniques and intelligent, logical thinking can occur. That’s just one aspect. There are also others that are just looking to pick on a group no matter what. Can they even be reasoned with? Time will tell.
Once again we can thank the mainstream media and politicians for stirring this pot by how race is represented and played. They make money off of it. They divide us up with it. Many of us buy into it and fall for it.
I live in a city that has an equal amount of black and white. We have plenty of thugs here too (black and white thugs and those that just dress like them) – murder, shootings, car theft, muggings, and other wonderful crimes can occur on a daily basis here. I dread reading the local paper. The news is negative and drives paranoia into the mind. We also have plenty of good folks who are very kind and helpful as well. There is no shortage of good people. Unfortunately the other day a man was yelling the “N” word – nigger. I couldn’t roll up the passenger side window quick enough so that my young son couldn’t hear that word. It didn’t come from a white man. A black man was yelling it. These inciteful words are bandied about like they mean nothing when in fact they hold an incredible amount of meaning. In my mind I was like, “What the fuck?!”
Someday my sons will ask me about racial topics. They’ve already noticed that my skin is lighter than mommy’s (she’s from the Philippines and I’m mostly Caucasian even though my mother is half Irish and half Apache Indian… I still appear as white bread). The kids noticing is no big deal. It’s physical. Kids will notice. They have eyes. But the “N” word will need explaining among other things. It’s hard in the world. And there are those who want to take advantage of that difficulty. I just hope that in the end we can all use our heads before some folks of whatever color utilize media perpetuated reasons to kill people of different races off… oh wait that has been happening across the world forever.
Are we just screwed then? You decide by how you choose to behave.
Well… the editing for Origin has been going horribly. In fact it hasn’t been getting done. My editor has been sick and out of commission for 2 weeks now! I am still editing The Wastewater Plant and will then hand that off to my “editor” for a fresh look. If it isn’t one thing it’s another. I wish there was a machine that I could slip my manuscript into and have it all edited down perfectly, the way I like it. Can you invent that?