Daily Archives: August 2, 2011
The cool side of stupid ideas
In the theatre of war things can get very hot, today Baghdad topped out at 51*c and Kabul had a “cool” day for this time of year with just 35*c. For soldiers camped out in tents in the outer lying areas temperatures can be unbearable, add body armour and it becomes dangerous. So the United States defense department contracts out for air-conditioning. And what exactly does it cost to keep American’s cool in Afghanistan and Iraq? Try $20billion… a year!
Part of the reason the expense is so high is private companies are essentially ripping off the Defense department by inflating the cost of delivering the service. But what ever way you put it, $20billion is a heck of a lot of money. To put it into context that is the damage bill for the devastating floods in Queensland, some of Australia’s worst. It is enough money to buy up all the black market arms used in conflicts around the world 4 times over. It’s the entire GDP of Monaco, Iceland and Laos combined. And wait for it, enough money to send every hungry child on earth to school with a full tummy for the next 5 years!
Think about that again, the 66million children who wake up with nothing to eat could be fed for the next 5 years if we simply turned off the air con for the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. The World Food Programme have made the figures to feed the starving available for many years. But they have yet to experience a financial year where governments have met the required targets. It is politically more palatable to spend money on war than it is to feed to the world’s children.
It’s hard to keep cool when you hear about that kind of stupidity!
*US Defense spending figures confirmed by Brigadier General Steven Anderson of the United States Army*
When will YOU Rage Against the Machine?
Why are the young people of the Western world seemingly so apathetic to the issues of our world and why aren’t we marching in the streets? The answer my friend’s is not blowing in the wind, but it is in the music!
- 1963 “Blowin’ in the Wind” – Bob Dylan
- 1968 “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud” – James Brown
- 1969 “Give Peace a Chance” – John Lennon
- 1971 “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye
- 1973 “Get Up Stand Up” – Bob Marley
- 1977 “God Save the Queen” – Sex Pistols
- 1989 “Fight the Power” – Public Enemy
- 1992 “Killing in the Name” – Rage Against the Machine
As Generation X and Y we often look back at our baby boomer generation and scoff, if only they had of known what we know. “Oh mum, if only you knew what I know about the Afghanistan you would think very differently!” We whatever we think of our parents views, we cannot deny that in their day they fought for them much more than we do. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Gandhi, Mandela, Charles Perkins, Mother Teresa and Che. In the music of Dylan and James Brown, with John Lennon and Yoko in bed to the truth of Bob Marley and Sam Cook you simply could not escape the progressive movement in art and activism. And while it is not dead and there certainly are those working for change, you couldn’t get a million man march today unless you count people gathering on facebook or twitter as statistics.
Are we the post 9/11 generation, in fear of being unpatriotic even where we believe change is required?
Bill Maher – Kidiots’ Leave the children behind. At least until they learn something. A new study has shown that half of American high schools agree that newspapers should only be able to publish government-approved material. Almost one out of five said people should not be allowed to voice unpopular opinions..This is the first generation after September 11th, who discovered news during a ‘watch what you say’ administration…George W. Bush once asked, ‘is our children learning.’ No, they isn’t. A better question would be, ‘is our teacher’s teaching?
I’m not going to take the easy route and bag Justin Bieber, he is a product of an industry that is about making money not interested in the art. I’m not going to take a shot at aspiring song writers and performers who feel they have to shape themselves in this way to get success and be heard. But this is largely a result of music that offends nobody and inspires just as few. It doesn’t say anything about us other than we will except whatever is fed to us. The responsibility lies with the two groups that really drive this. The music industry and head honcho’s of music studios who have long since sold out and are more Wall Street than MoTown. And as consumers we have to take a great deal of responsibility too. Bad music might be shoved down our throat at every turn, hollow lyrics are on every radio station, but we consume them. We have made the decision, perhaps a subconcious one, to tune out of the truth and only take in the bubble gum pop.
Make no mistake, real artists are out there. They are writing and performing, recording and inspiring. But they wont get the air play they deserve until we demand it, until we buy it and until we begin to show an appetite for music with meaning over songs only played to sell stocks!