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Odd thoughts - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Odd thoughts
Nothing special going on. I'm putting off heading to the gym, but I really must do it. Because honestly, (cue TPM!Anakin!Voice) "It's working!" I dislike admitting that, but the fact that I can slide my jeans on without unbuttoning them after only two weeks is probably a good sign.

So, just odd thoughts:

Population explosion
Okay, so in the past two weeks or so, while I've been industriously running around on a treadmill, three relatives (well, two relatives and a relative's relative... my cousins' cousin) and a friend's sister have lost much size in a happier way--babies. All over the place. All little girls, too. I never thought I'd be sending new baby congrats cards in bulk! :D

I am still working on "The Hidden Face," so never fear, those of you waiting on the the continuation, hanging by your fingernails... er... okay, so no one has actually asked about this. ;) Still, I'm working on it. Sat down with a spiral notebook and planned out a few chapters, discovered a new character, and am trying to work things out logistically.

Also, I got a kick out of a Shifts review that pointed out that Joe Levinson has two grandchildren, either one of whom could turn out to be Muggle-born magical. I got a kick out of it specifically because I've been thinking about that quite a lot. That would be an awkward situation to explain if Remus and Dora see the Levinsons again!

I got totally distracted from my Faith-Remus crossover fic and never did write it. I've missed the deadline now, I think. I may write it anyway.

EDIT: For no particular reason, I find myself tempted to get one of the starwars.com blogs. Not for fic, because I have a feeling that would be frowned upon. But... I dunno. I don't even talk SW that much. Yet there's this irresistable lure... The official site is doing a Jedi mind trick on me, that's all.

Live 8
No, I'm not watching Live 8, unless it's on at the gym when I go later. I remember Band-Aid and USA For Africa, when I also gave in to the Mawkish Side of the Force. And I remember food rotting on the docks. This caused my first foray into total cynicism. The artists get what they want out of it--lots of publicity and a reputation for being great humanitarians--but as for the "cause"? Poverty in Africa is not going to be in any different state tomorrow or next week than it is today. Getting sentimental with Paul McCartney isn't going to change it. I don't know what would work--I'm not in Africa and don't know enough about what happens there to hazard a guess, though I'm relatively certain that it's a big continent with a lot of different countries that have a lot of different problems with a lot of different solutions--but I have a sense that it requires more commitment than tuning in for a concert and feeling all warm and fuzzy.
17 comments or Leave a comment
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: July 2nd, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm in total agreement concerning Live 8. Sure, the intentions are good but a rock concert isn't going to solve those problems. There needs to be fundamental change in those socieities (i.e. democratic government, a free market economy, a better educated popluation, etc.) and my donating twenty bucks isn't going to make that happen. Yeah, I remember the food rotting on the docks too.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 2nd, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's odd how much that shaped me. I didn't really think about it much at the time, but I think it was the last time I had any trust whatsoever in this sort of thing.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: July 2nd, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think people today (rightfully) hold these fundraisers with greater responsibility to see that their aid goes through, because of what happened post-Live Aid and because, more recently, of what happened to donation money post-Sept. 1..
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: July 2nd, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, I meant Sept. 11.
lucie_p From: lucie_p Date: July 2nd, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Erm, sorry - but that *is* what the concerts are about.

They do not go for money. They explicitly say: "We don't want your money. We want your voice."

Seems like there has been too little promotion for this, after all.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 2nd, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's been plenty of promotion. It's just a silly and frivolous and pointless thing to do, especially with the goal of getting together anyone but the actual leaders and people of the countries that are supposedly going to be involved in it. This isn't something that can be fixed by outsiders.
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: July 2nd, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy for you about the gym!
lyras From: lyras Date: July 2nd, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on the gym results :).

I don't buy the warm fuzziness, either, but the coverage of this event is so huge (in the UK, at least), that I'm at least becoming a bit more hopeful about the G8 summit next week. Of course, everyone's hopes of finding any kind of economic solution will probably be dashed by the end of the week...

And everyone I know who's had babies in the past couple of years has had girls, too! What's happening to the male population?
erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: July 2nd, 2005 09:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
The rwsa aguy ona tv snippe a few weels ago who said exact ythat .he als osaid thed tey do get frm orgnaizatins they simly ake because they don'thae itemselves. the wa somethign else aou there beign mroe need for actual turoting/help adn different treatment and focusignon othe thigns instead. o hwell.
i'm tuning in to a discussi nabout it now onthe radio. a hwell.
From: inyron Date: July 2nd, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. Speaking of babies, have you read that article about the Red Sox baby boom?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 2nd, 2005 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Funny! Alas, I'm the only Sox fan in the family, as far as I know. No booming.
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: July 3rd, 2005 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm completely in agreement with you about Live 8, but I think that Live Aid is another matter. The current concert, in my opinion, serves very little purpose simply because so little money will be raised by it with free tickets. But I think that Live Aid did serve a purpose and that purpose was to make the world aware of what was going on in Africa. Based on my understanding of the world in 1985 (which, I admit, is limited because of my young age)), there wasn't as much awareness regarding the terrible situation in Africa as there is now. So, while I think that the current concert isn't that worthwhile, the original one certainly was. Yes, a music concert might not be the best way to raise awareness or to help people in need, the people involved were all musicians and it was the best they could do.

And, congratulations on the weight loss! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 3rd, 2005 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, there was awareness in the '80s, trust me--I was most definitely there, and at the mawkish age. You couldn't turn on the TV without hearing about the famines in Africa. (What wasn't widely known at the time was how much of it was engineered by the governments as a weapon in civil wars; we learned that after sending money.) Everything from big concerts to tasteless jokes, public service ads on TV, weepy Sally Struthers asking people to send money... the big concerts were of a piece with everything else that was going on. It was mostly focused on Ethiopia at the time. It was a staple of culture even before then--"Eat everything on your plate! Don't you know that there are children starving in Africa?" (What the two things had to do with one another, I'm not sure, but that was a standard maternal admonishment up until the early '70s; by the '80s, there was less concern with getting kids to clean their plates as there was for getting them to come to the table and eat with the family at all.) I recall the '70s and '80s as a time of being absolutely inundated with stories of horrible things happening elsewhere in the world, and we could just help if we'd make a little effort... It was actually a lot more prominent then than it is now.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: July 3rd, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is true, from the CARE and similar type t.v. ads I saw as a kid of poor children eating mush in huts as flies buzzed around them to Live Aid in the mid-80s.
laureate05 From: laureate05 Date: July 5th, 2005 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I mostly agree with you about Live 8. I think it's extra-dumb because they didn't raise any money. But hey. Do you realize how much Dave Matthews tickets are? Last time I wanted to see him it was $40 minimum in what amounted to his hometown. I clicked over for bands that I liked. My awareness is about the same, but I saved some money and effort.
bluemeanies4 From: bluemeanies4 Date: July 6th, 2005 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
What I've loved about Live 8 has been the coverage of the backlash.

Like the African musicians who complained about not being recognized in a concert for Africa.

Or the Senegalese film maker who complained that aid really doesn't help and that clothing donations have made his country look like a salvation army.

Or the World Bank economists who theorized that aid could actually hurt countries by 1) stimmying domestic clothing manufacturers by donating Salvation Army leftovers. 2) By distorting foreign exchange rates to make exports more expensive. 3) By bidding up skilled labor for aid projects making domestic companies unable to compete.

I tend to agree that these concerts are generally ill conceived. Throwing money blindly at Africa won't help, and encouraging more protests at things like the G-8 or WTO doesn't help anyone in my mind, especially for vague or ill-defined causes.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2005 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
especially for vague or ill-defined causes.

What... you don't think "End poverty in Africa" is a sharply defined goal with clearly marked guideposts and a plan of action? Whatever could you mean? Of course it's clear! We're... ENDING POVERTY!
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