Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Ulterior Motives

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This. A thousand times this.

‘Course, I believe the missionaries should be brought to trial, convicted, lined up against a wall and shot, but then I have a long-standing vendetta against missionaries in general and especially their “ministrations” among people darker than them.

Oh really?

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Clark Hoyt, the Public Editor of the New York Times defended, today, the paper’s publishing of gory pictures from Haiti.

He acknowledges the criticism and makes the argument that the bereaved want the pictures taken of the dead. However, he doesn’t interview one. He interviews three photographers instead.

He says the scenes present the paper “with the challenge of telling the unsanitized truth without crossing into the offensive and truly exploitive” but doesn’t define what truly exploitive is.

Sir, if you believed in not crossing that line – that you had your finger on what news was Fit to Print – you would have fired David Brooks a long time ago. The argument can be made that what stops you from publishing similar pictures from disasters in California or New Orleans is the threat of lawsuits, which you don’t fear from Haiti.

This goes hand in hand

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with the supposed “looting” going on in Haiti. Ten thousand US troops are in Haiti. Ammunition is in abundance. Food, not so much. There are still only four distribution points in all of Port-Au-Prince – a city of two million – and food and supplies languish behind military checkpoints. To wit:

“An airdrop [of food] is simply going to lead to riots,”

said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, four days before they decided to airdrop the food they let pile up behind fences.

“Everything‚Äôs just 100 metres away. We can look at the supplies sitting there.”

said Alphonse Edwards, coordinator of the Port-Au-Prince General Hospital, unable to actually use said supplies.

The hold-up is supposedly because of security: They’re worried, like in New Orleans, at what Black people would do when desperate; hence the hang-up with “looting.” Or, to quote David Brooks of the New York Times, the problem in Haiti is

“…a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized.”

So let us beat civilization into these lazy, stupid primitives. Let us teach them that this tragedy is the fault of their own doing, and let us withhold supplies until they get the message. After all, America abhors giving free handouts: It’s capitalism for the poor all the way!

To speak of the vagaries of capitalism, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines have returned to stopping at Haiti’s ports of call so that their revelers can partake in its “pristine beaches,” defended by armed guards, while its people starve. Ahh, the new Gilded Age.

But honestly now – since Voodoo was mentioned – if we’re gonna be totally prejudiced and bigoted, why don’t we look at the Protestantism and charity: You know, the part where a “good person” is one who succeeds with money, begging is abhorred and charity is done by giving to “charitable organizations” instead of directly to those in need? Like how we’re right now doing everything in our power but directly help people – just as Royal Caribbean Cruises donated a million dollars to ease their corporate conscience while they continue to exploit those same people?

Would I go so far as to say that David Brooks is proposing that these people drag themselves up from grinding poverty, worldwide disdain, rampant racism and a huge natural disaster by their bootstraps because of the intolerance of his religion? NO! He’s just a fucking jerkoff!

Another for the

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post-racial world.

Augusta may be one of twelve cities chosen to host an all-white no-foreigner basketball league. To wit,

[All-American Basketball Alliance Commissioner Don] Lewis said he wants to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of “street-ball” played by “people of color.”

“Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?”

To that I respond, have you watched a game of hockey recently?

To prove the callousness and utter inhumanity of racists, a Facebook group has started, titled “fuck Haiti,” arguing, like Pat Robertson did, that they deserved it, and included such gems as,

Ariadne Polydoris: “I don’t give a shit. Millions of people die everyday, why should those fuckers be any different?”

Perhaps you’d like to be one of them.

It got hundreds of members. It’s since been taken down, but others have taken its place. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a faint glimmer of hope in the great Internet Hate Machine, but Keith Olbermann sums it up quite well: Fuck Haiti? Fuck you.


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Ahh, our post-racial world.

You’ll notice that photos as shocking as have been published on the Boston Globe and the New York Times concerning Haiti would not nor could have been published about Sept 11th, 2001. Showing open piles of corpses and people shot in the head by police on the major media as if it’s an anthropological study or a documentary – including watching a girl die on live TV – is sickening, and evidence that in a fundamental way the people of Haiti are viewed with a sense of disdain by the American press. Like they’re less than people.

It’s not unlike how Black victims were depicted during Hurricane Katrina. And it didn’t even take a day for the loonies to come out and be given plenty of air time to blame the victims – as they have for Katrina and 9/11 (sinful, lascivious Blacks and sinful, lascivious gays, respectively). Idiot opinions and gory videos have always been around – from Vietnam to Beirut to Tehran – but this isn’t a war and the visuals then were either first-hand or objective and respectful (with notable exceptions) as journalists could not pick sides.

There’s a difference between showing butchery in a conflict as to document the insanity of war or the moral bankruptcy of the aggressor and showing a morbid desire to see suffering without just cause. As if the blood itself is what makes it good journalism, reducing message to mere spectacle.

I wonder, at this point, how all the mainstream media gets their personnel down there to decide the narrative when we can’t even seem to ship more than eight thousand meals a day for two million victims.

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