| Wednesday, February 22, 2006
| Kalashnikovs for fish, and oh, some sex too
|Recently, I received a forwarded e-mail with a joke about globalization. In the joke, the answer to the question "What is the truest definition of globalization?" is Princess Diana’s death. And the explanation goes like this:
An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend
crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with
a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on
Scottish whisky (check the bottle before you change
the spelling), followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,
on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American
doctor, using Brazilian medicines.
This is sent to you by an African, using Bill Gates's
(an American) technology, and you're probably reading
this on your computer, that uses Taiwanese chips, and a
Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a
Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers,
hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Pakistani men,
and trucked to you by Mexicans....and now being read
by a person sitting in SOUTH AFRICA who should be
working instead of wasting time like this!
That, my friend, is Globalization.
Hubert Sauper’s academy award nominated documentary, Darwin's Nightmare, shows the darker side of our interlinked-ness (this word doesn’t exist, but you know what I mean). Just like the above joke, the film shows who wins, who loses and who gets messed up due to greed, luck of ethics and powerlessness. It also spells out – like in the joke – exactly who’s responsible for what.
The film is not intended to be your typical jaw dropping and tear jerking account of poverty in Africa, which even Africans are tired of hearing. It is powerful stuff like well documented evidence presented in a court room against big criminals. The evidence (in the film) is against governments, international institutions and business. It’s about the seemingly unlikely relationship between the scientific meddling to see what would happen if a bunch of Nile Perch is dropped in the Victoria Lake in Africa, how that fish drove other types of fish to extinction, now as fate would have it, the Nile Perch is hotly pursued by people for its white fillet, the Russians paying for the fish in Kalashnikovs and $10 for a quickie with an African woman who sings for her clients (I'm not sure whether it's before, after or during sex - I heard the report on the radio) and what all this is doing to the poor in the heart of Africa. Some really twisted stuff.
Hopefully, somebody somewhere is going to follow up on that and really put all who are responsible on trial. Then may be, just may be, before any of those meaningless international conferences (the G8 summit, the world economic forum…) are ever held again, it would be mandatory to watch the movie. And, have an explanatory session for those who cannot follow complicated concepts (I’m not naming names).
Shouldn't the World Trade Organization be responsible for all this mess?
What Hubert is saying…
“This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world’s biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World Bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.”
"I could make the same kind of movie in Sierra Leone, only the fish would be diamonds,in Honduras, bananas, and in Libya, Nigeria or Angola, crude oil."
“It is, for example, incredible that wherever prime raw material is discovered, the locals die in misery, their sons become soldiers, and their daughters are turned into servants and whores.”
“In the Eastern Congo alone, the casualties of war on each single day equal the number of deaths of September 11th in New York.”
|posted by Fikirte @ 11:48 AM