ContrastsYes and noGive and take
Rich and poorMine and yoursBlack and whiteRight and wrongJakartans are recommended to visit the exhibition of paintings and lithographs of Ken Pattern, a Canadian artist resident in Jakarta for almost as long as Jakartass.His Annual Charity Exhibition is at the Gran Melia Hotel in Jl. Rasuna Said, from 11am to 8pm daily until May 25th.I've posted the above illustration without his permission, such are the resources of the internet. That said, his concern for social issues, particularly through the current rape of the environment, offer us a mirror.
What are we doing?You can protest the use of Malaysian tax dollars, along with subsidies from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, to colonize Earth's largest rainforest, the Amazonian, on the other side of the world.FELDA is a Malaysian government agency that is accountable to the Prime Minister's Department. Recently Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Felda Global Ventures Brazil Sdn Bhd would invest some RM25mil (US$7.12mil) for a 70% stake in the project near the Amazon River in Brazil, planting between 3,000 ha and 5,000 ha every year. It is estimated that 2.3 million square kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon are suitable for growing oil palm. FELDA also has some 105,000 ha of oil palm plantation ventures at the expense of primary rainforests in Papua New Guinea and at least 45,000 ha in Indonesia.We are seeing wildlife being rapidly depleted; here the very existence of orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos is at risk through the plundering of forests for immediate greed. Our health is put at risk through the notion that we need more consumerables, especially private transport. Homes are destroyed as deforested mountains collapse and folk, poor in terms of material possessions, are displaced, often violently.In my last post, about Indonesia's Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, I suggested that she has presidential potential. However, I stated that I'm not an advocate of market forces.By this, without questioning her probity, I mean that Sri as an economist is what is known as a neo-liberal.Margaret Thatcher, who was a (the?) prime mover of global neo-liberalism, once said in a speech, "It is our job to glory in inequality and see that talents and abilities are given vent and expression for the benefit of us all."
In other words, don't worry about those who might be left behind in the competitive struggle. People are unequal by nature, but this is good because the contributions of the well-born, the best-educated, the toughest, will eventually benefit everyone. Nothing in particular is owed to the weak, the poorly educated, what happens to them is their own fault, never the fault of society. Apart perhaps from North Korea, which goes it's own weird way, Thatcherism has permeated the entire planet with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funding mega-capital projects without considering local conditions.On Tuesday, the ADB ended its 42nd annual meeting in Bali by agreeing to triple its capital from US$165 billion, mainly to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis which, of course, it was partly responsible for creating..NGOs say it was "a cynical attempt by the ADB to use the current crisis to re-promote discredited large-scale infrastructure-biased development."Joanna Levitt of the International Accountability Project said, "Throwing money indiscriminately will solve neither the financial nor climate crises. What the region needs are enduring solutions in which the poor and ecosystems are at the centre." Madame Mulyani, who was formerly the IMF's executive director for East Asia and Pacific, is an executive director of the ADB.There's good and bad in all of us.
.....................................XTC - The Smartest Monkeys
The evidence is all aroundOur brains are biggerThis we've foundThe smartest monkeysWell, man discovered the park bench can make a transitionAnd the rubbish tip makes a valid form of nutrition.With discoveries like theseCivilisation agreesTo give itself a pat on the backWe're the smartest monkeysThe evolution's plain to seeWe're the dominant of the species