Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The G8 Dine and Dash

In 2005, at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, world leaders promised to increase global aid by £25billion a year by 2010 and raise aid to Africa, the world's poorest continent, by £12.5billion. But the bloc of rich nations is only 14 per cent of the way towards hitting its target. This year, in Hokkaido, Japan, they're dining on a variety of delicacies such as caviar, milkfed lamb, sea urchin and tuna, with champagne and wines flown in from Europe and the U.S., while they discuss the international food crisis, and try to forge out an agreement about climate change.

Conversation snippets:

George Bush: All y'all, I think this here crab bisket soup is a li'l bit hairy.

Gordon Brown: George, really, it's Hairy Crab Bisque, a real treat.

George Bush: An I thought it was a crisis in crabs. Hell, yes.

The menu is a tour-de-farce. Dominic Nutt, of the charity Save the Children, called the conference deeply hypocritical. I think that is an understatement at best, and typical of that British Reserve thing.

It is more than hypocritical to injest such a meal while wheat prices soar, and floods savage crops. It is more than hypocritical for a leader of a nation to call for "prudence and thrift in our kitchens", as Gordon Brown told the citizens of the United Kingdom, and then sit down to an 18-course banquet.

And while George Bush was hobnobing in Japan, Vice President Dick Cheney's office sought to prevent a federal official from publicly discussing the health consequences of global warming. I don't get it. I really, truly, cannot comprehend how people can be so callous, so deceitful. We all write about this, we all point out the abuses of power over and over and over again, and yet some part of me cannot comprehend how we can allow this to happen. I am overwhelmed by it all.

I admit that a lot of my clients are highly affluent people and I send them on lavish and elaborate trips. I am mindful of where they go, and my goal, my aim, is to expose them to other cultures so that their hearts are touched. But when I encounter the blatant, wanton excesses like this G8 conference, and the comments of Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the citizens of the UK, I am absolutely rendered dumbstruck. To say that I am enraged would not do the feelings I have justice. Someone, somewhere, help me to understand just how we allowed this to happen. Because I can't get it at all.


betmo said...

we are rowing in the same boat here. the higher ups have always wanted a white western male elite ruling class- my guess is that they feel entitled. how the rest of us in the western world- alleged democracies in europe and north america- allowed this to happen- well, that's where i am lost. we aspired to the affluence and adopted what we thought were the 'airs' of royalty. we truly believe that we are still in charge of anything- and we aren't. so, my best guess is that we were so busy playing lord of the manor- that the lords of the manor took over.

robin andrea said...

We are living in the second Gilded Age. Quite frankly, the powerful rich don't care a whit about the rest of us. If not for our labor, they'd hunt us like buffalo. As it is, they put us in uniforms and get us to kill each other for them. Partly to maintain their fortunes, partly for their own amusement. It can not be understood. To understand would mean you'd have to yield your compassion and integrity.

Randal Graves said...

Out of sight, out of mind. We've made an art form out of being numbed. But this is what empires do, always have, always will.

Mary Ellen said...

The United States has become pros at blocking out reality. We don't see our own poor, let alone those across the sea. You would never know that we are at war in Iraq or Afghanistan, because it's barely mentioned in the news, the only time we hear about it is in a speech by whatever politician is looking for a good soundbyte.

It doesn't matter if Obama or John McCain become our president, they will do nothing but attend the G8 meetings, eat like kings, and straighten their ties for the photo-op after dinner.

okjimm said...

Nice post. Thinking about it, though, just hurts my head. I gave up news to save my sanity (there wasn't much left) I rely on you folks to fill me in.

'Grilled bighand thornyhead fish with pepper sauce'

Wowsers. Hurts my stomach. Gimmee a cheeseburger and fries. Hold the mustard.

Dusty said...

The blatant excesses of this world just fucking slay me.

The irony of the bullshit that is the G8 conference isn't lost on me m'dear.

DivaJood said...

Betmo, we may be rowing in the same boat, but I fear it's sinking fast.

Robin, it comes back to the same question - how can the uberrich care so little? And it's always been this way.

Randal, the thing is maybe this sleeping giant will wake up ugly - as did the peasants in France.

Mary Ellen, we're at war in Afghanistan? What? When did THAT happen? I thought the Kowboy Koward of Krawfordsville had hunted down Bin Laden and kilt him daid arredy.

okjimm, I thought that Cheese on a Stick had put you off cheese. And what, pray tell, is wrong with bighand thornyhead fish, anyways? Other than the fact that I didn't know that fish had hands.

DivaJood said...

Dusty, I forgot to put it at Sirens. Again. Color me blond. And forgetful.

Dusty said...

No problemo Diva. :)It's my job! ;)

an average patriot said...

It isn't funny but years ago I said we better turn this boat called America around Because Bush has it on the Rocks. It is time to bail her out rowing will no longer help.
As for the Summit it was just one more case of the hypocrisy today when starvation was the centerpiece at an 8 course meal. What the hell?

DivaJood said...

Jim, you know how it goes - let them eat cake. ARGH.

an average patriot said...

Yeah yellow cake from Nigeria!

Randal Graves said...

That was France. They love the revolutions. We love reality teevee. ;-)

Liberality said...

It is sickening the level of hypocisy they will display without even realising it. I don't think they even give it a thought.

D.K. Raed said...

(gulp) ... after reading that menu, I think the best moment we did NOT see would've been W doing a barf-spew (in immitation of his father at some other famous meal in japan) ... only because he is less genteel than the old man, he wouldn't have discreetly errggged under the table, he would've let it fly all OVER the table ... which would have, in turn, caused all the other G8ers to barf ... turning the whole formal travesty into a barf-o-rama! Think THAT would've made the news?

DivaJood said...

Randal, perhaps we should televise the Revolution on Survivor?

Liberality, no, I'm sure they didn't bother their "beautiful minds" with thoughts of starving (black) people in Africa, let alone those affected by flooding in the USA, or the fires in the USA.

DK, now that would have been a scene worthy of Big Brother!

Stella said...

It was bad enough when Daddy Bush barfed: the mere thought of the spoiled brat doing the same makes ME hurl.

These hypocrites enrage me. You really put it out there, divajood. "Abuse of power?" Dead fucking on!

Fran said...

Hey Diva-- if you ever get the answer to that question, please let me know.

Steve Bates said...

"caviar, milkfed lamb, sea urchin and tuna, ..."

Well, Diva, that's what happens when eight wealthy world leaders give in to their basest urchins...

<grin_duck_run />

DivaJood said...

Stella - Daddy Bush barfed for all the world to see and make fun of. Baby Bush doesn't barf and the entire world wishes we could.

Fran - don't hold your breath, because I don't think I can get that answer for ya.

Steve - Ow. Ow ow ow. Groan.