Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So the news is that we are all alike! It is easy to mock the young--so earnest, so keen to make a difference, so terribly naive but I like photographer Adrian Fisk recent project to understand in more depth the lives of young Indian and Chinese people. Adrian "traveled 2,700 kilometers across China and India to discover that most young people are, in essence, exactly the same. Adrian  who is 41 and lives in London, "wanted to find out what these young people thought," "If I found out what was in these people's minds, I figured I would get an idea of where our world is headed at this pivotal time."
Fisk wanted his project to be a voice for these young people that the rest of the world knew little about.

Click here to see the photos >

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Visiting Occupy DC

It was a kind of dreary overcast morning when quite by accident I found the Occupy DC camp--just a stone's throw (or molotov cocktail) from the Ronald Reagan building and about a half mile from the Capitol. It seemed like a sleepy place. A few people were moving around getting things to eat and drink and trying to look like this was all very normal-- but the vast majority were asleep it seemed inside their bright cocoons--waiting butterfly like to arise into a new dawn. Dare I say that the tents seemed to be very internally occupied--one tent was moving visibly over to another one which prompted a tourist to wisecrack so this is how they multiply themselves-- her companion rejoined, "a puppy tent." It seemed like this was a serious group of folk, with peace as their mantra. Everything seemed well thought out--a media tent, a food and drink tent and it would seem a strong personal improvement and education arm to the proceedings as well --if a set of assignments still posted alongside one of the tents seems anything to judge by:

You have to like the White House Phone number posted at the bottom right corner of the message board--like in case of an emergency-- phone home. There were at most only about 50 tents but everything clean and orderly with no sense that they will be leaving anytime soon. Stay posted.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Speaks With One Voice.

I recently came across the petition seems to be the first articulation of the mass anger that is driving the Occupy Wall Street Movement and is  likely to be ignored by the media. It is worth reading in full as  powerful statement that seeks to identify the corporate greed as the main enemy now "run" our government.   "They" is used multiple times indicating that the forces maybe faceless but they act in concert as some kind of anti-human force. It is a disturbing wake up call for our politicians to heed and should promote the dialogue that will probably be again missing from the mainstream media.  The latest reports as suggest the movement is spreading and becoming more self confident. It is self consciously a global movement as stated in the preamble;

"As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

In today's New York Times Joe Nocera notes that this economy is likely to stay the same for a while or get worse. It will not improve anytime soon as the well respected writers of the report Nocera refers to suggests. Sooner or later we will need the real debate we have been delaying for the last five years or longer about what kind of future we want--one full of empty promises, war and false bubbles or one about how we got to this place and the lessons learned to move us into the future.

Hopefully the Occupy Wall Street groups will play a major role in helping the media as well as our politicians to frame the right issues and involve less of the talking head pundits and more of the voices that are now out on the streets.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Great Confessions Series: US Leaders Woefully Ignorant of the World

The latest comment by General McChrystal should come as no surprise to most of us that as the Guardian reports the US had a

 'frighteningly simplistic' view of Afghanistan,

General who led Obama's 'surge' strategy says even now the military does not have the local knowledge to end the conflict--
    "The US and Nato are only "50% of the way" towards achieving their goals in Afghanistan, he told the Council on Foreign Relations..."We didn't know enough and we still don't know enough. Most of us, me included, had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years." McChrystal led the Obama administration's "surge" strategy that started in 2009 and sent US troop levels in Afghanistan to more than 100,000. Widely acknowledged as a gifted military commander, he was forced to resign last year amid controversy over remarks he made to Rolling Stone magazine." No comment--thousands of lost lives later he tells us and guess who is not listening..the US media but out in the streets as the Washington Post reports--the growing protest movement that started in Wall Street is gathering momentum One wonders whether this is all made up by the Onion newspaper or is it for real? How can we have been so casual and so ignorant? How can our leaders continue to be so? The protest against ignorance gathers apace.