the outside world

I get to thinking from time to time about the inconceivable injustice and misery that goes on in the world around me, and I feel moved to do something to sway the world in a positive direction. The rub however, is your definition of positive. You could say that the world would be a better place if we supported alternative energy and fuel development, if we gave more funding to the fine arts or if we did more to save the forests. People talk about the bigger picture, but they're only interested in the picture as far as it concerns themselves.

Hooray for hybrid cars and bio-diesel, hooray for bringing broadway musicals to town, hooray for fireworks and national anthems and hoorah and hoorah. There are forty odd million people sitting in the heat in greater Africa who haven't eaten in a couple of days, and even then a couple of dry weet-bix would look like a feast. There are millions dying of AIDS under the same sun, with no chance of stopping the spread of infection. And you think that sticking the change from your low-fat soy latte in the tip jar is doing a good deed.

All this miserable shit goes on around us, and we don't even see it most of the time, let alone care. We only get bothered about the Middle-East because it makes it more expensive to run our tanky climate-controlled ten-speaker-stereo automobiles. But am I any better than everyone else?

I don't lose any sleep.

I'll still spend sunny afternoons thinking about shiny motorcycles and new Hollywood films, opting for the medium sized combo so I can save a couple of bucks to put towards my next tropical holiday. I will toddle willingly along in my fruitless little existence, putting all the pain and horror away somewhere in my mind where it doesn't touch me so I can go about my silly little business.

Oh, what manner of beast is man.

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