I'm really cranky now

I've been sent an email "meme" from Abisomeone:

 

In a new blog post, list and write about the top 1 or 2 causes that simply make your palms sweat, your heart bleed, and send tears rolling down your cheeks. Make sure you tell everyone why this cause is so important to you as an individual.

 

Human suffering makes me cranky… especially suffering that is avoidable, and that is a result of selfishness or malice.

 

I cannot bear to think about mothers holding their children who are hungry or malnourished or ill… without any means to do anything about it.

 

I am cranky about policies of rich and powerful nations that enrich themselves at the expense of the poor.

 

I am cranky about Western economic "experts" who go to developing countries and advise: "You really need to increase your exports… how about increasing the production of sugar and cocoa and coffee and cotton"? So subsistence farmers are driven off their land, and agricultural products are exported by larger companies or the state. And the income is used for yachts and mansions for dictators, or weaponry to keep the populace in check.  I am cranky about countries where half the food grown is exported, and half the children are hungry. I am cranky about multinational companies behaving badly in the developing world. I am cranky about massive agricultural subsidies of rich nations that discourages agricultural development in poor countries. I am cranky about a world community that tolerates this.

 

I was reading "the Age" online yesterday, and now I am cranky on a new front. Rather than subsidizing the production of electric cars to reduce oil dependency, the US has decided to subsidize ethanol production from corn to reduce oil dependency. This is driving up the price of corn and other agricultural staples globally with terrible consequences for the world's poor. Some quotes:

 

Tortillas are the staple of poor Mexican families, providing 40 per cent of their protein. Although they are usually made with white corn, rather than the yellow corn preferred for ethanol, the price of white corn is tied to yellow corn and tracks it closely. According to some reports, the poor families are already substituting cheap instant noodles, which have far less nutritional value, as they grapple with the surge in their food bills.

 

In many of the poorer regions of Africa — and a number of countries in Asia, including Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Sri Lanka — food prices are rising, adding to the cost of living and potentially driving up inflation. This hits hardest those who are poorest because they spend most of their income on food.

 

http://www.theage.com.au/news/in-depth/ethanols-cornfed-famine/2007/11/02/1193619137918.html

 

Yes, I'm cranky… even more so because the obvious solutions (electric cars, public transport) are neglected for political expediency (lobbyists for and political donations from agricultural organizations and oil companies.) Is there any chance that the masses will start an "online lobbying" strategy, and spread public opinion about this economic madness until politicians take notice? Or will the big business stranglehold on politicians and the mass media dull our senses to the blindingly obvious?

 

Phew… that's a long rant…

 

Now who to tag next?

 

Alan Hirsch http://www.theforgottenways.org/blog

 

Craig Brown http://www.craigsrant.com

 

Mark Riesson http://markriessen.blogspot.com

Comments

AbiSomeone said…
Whew, Janet...I hope you feel a bit better and the entire exercise didn't just raise your blood pressure :^(

It is good to have your say, though, so thanks for sharing!
Janet Woodlock said…
There are worse things than getting your blood pressure up... like not having enough food!

A short post like this of course doesn't do justice to the complexity of these issues.

As a complete aside, I'm watching out my window three currawongs (crow-like birds) that appear to be hassling a ringtail possum. Noteworthy because I don't think I've ever seen a ringtail so active in the daytime.

As a next aside, this reminds me of the ENFP's prayer:

"Lord, help me to focus on one... look, a bird!... thing at a time."

I'm not sure I have much hope of changing the world when I have such a short attention span!
Anonymous said…
Janet,
I was somewhat blown away by your profile. You are of the coc persuasion?

Penney
Janet Woodlock said…
Church of Christ, yes... which means (practically by definition) I'm quite an ecumenical creature!

Thank you, I'm complimented that my profile is "blow away-able"... I think!
Janet Woodlock said…
I should add I don't quite have my head wrapped around the Stone-Campbell heritage churches in the U.S.... I think I remember hearing the Australian Churches of Christ are probably closer to the Disciples of Christ than the Churches of Christ or the acapella churches in the U.S.(but I might even be wrong about that!)
Anonymous said…
Janet,
You are right in what you heard about the Churches of Christ vs. Disciples of Christ. I've studied the history but I didn't realize Australia was so different.

I was baptized in a coc in the spring of 2000. It completely opened up the scriptues and I had some awesome spiritual guides.

I was really surprised on your profile because normally women have a certain place in the coc. There are actually some churches where it is not permissable for a woman to say "AMEN" during the sermon. Only the men can do that.

The coc I attended is much more liberal, but it still created a problem when I crossed the tracks and went to a Lutheran church.

I soooooooooooo miss worshipping in my former church and I sooooo
love acapella music.

I just think it is totally cool the opportunity you have.

Penney
Janet Woodlock said…
I love acapella singing too... I used to do a bit of this in my old school choir. I don't think there are any acapella churches in Australia though... British Churches of Christ were more significant in the early development of C of C's here (the British "millenial harbinger" were circulated here). Visiting American evangelists did have quite an impact in the early part of the 20th century though.

It saddens me to hear of places where the spiritual gifts of women can't be freely utilized... what a waste! It impoverishes the church, and fails to reflect the radical nature of the gospel...

Ah well, CofC's loss is the Lutheran's gain. The founders of Churches of Christ hoped for the dissolving of denominational boundaries, and the modern ecumenical spirit has gone a long way to achieving this. It's not about building denominational empires... it's about growing the invisible kingdom and enriching the church universal!
AbiSomeone said…
Hey, Penney and Janet!

Coming from the US Stone/Campbell group, I understand your perspectives! Yes, Janet, the Australian CoC would be closer to the US Disciples of Christ. The Disciples and the Independents split (how sad) after the accapella brethren had already split. So much for the desire for unity :^(

When they were all together, there was no problem with the sisters using their gifts. It is truly sad to see the Church impoverished in this manner.

I have ranted in various settings about my ridiculous experiences with the coc. Something like straining at gnats and swallowing camels comes to mind...there is so much invested in gender roles, I just could not stay.
Janet Woodlock said…
Again, what a waste for them... but a gift you are for the church universal Peggy, with all of your energy and wisdom and ideas! And I don't think Barton Stone or the Campbells would be troubled one whit with your enriching the "church universal" while stepping outside of a sectarian boundary.

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