Saturday, July 09, 2005

DDT Ignored At Live8

Now that the Live8 has eradicated hunger in Africa for all dictators, it is time to focus on the other pests. By that I mean fancy gift receiving publicity seeking celebrities. But if there is one thing these celebrities have me confused about, it is the numbers. You will see, as I discuss some of quotes from Live8:

Bill Gates co-founder of Microsoft said: "Thank you Bob for inviting me to be here today. You Richard Curtis and all the organisers deserve a lot of credit for pulling off this amazing event. I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.

That is great Bill. And just what were the solutions Bob showed us? Because we already know through years of experience that throwing money at the problem and singing songs doesn't work.

Actor Brad Pitt said: "By the time this concert ends this evening, 30,000 Africans will have died because of extreme poverty. By this time tomorrow evening, another 30,000. This does not make sense."

Sounds like the Chubacca defense. No really, does anyone believe statistics like this? Over one year (30,000 * 365), that comes to 10,950,000 people who die of poverty. Now, how does one die of poverty in Africa? Is being killed by a war lord a poverty related death? I don't think so, unless the argument is you couldn't afford a gun. Is dying of a heart attack a poverty related death? Malaria? You get my point. That is a large number and I'm skeptical, though I don't deny that the political leaders of Africa are to blame.

Brad Pitt continued: "Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have. Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life. Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold."

OK, now it is a child dead every 3 seconds. That comes to (60*60*24/3) 28,800 children per day who die because he does not have the drugs you and I have (do you think Pitt means good cocaine?). Is that supposed to be the same number as 30,000 people (not kids, but people) dead from poverty? I am confused. Are these number added together, or the same, because they are two different groups of people (though kids are a subset of people) and two different causes (though not having drugs might be a subset of poverty).

Footballer David Beckham said: "Amazing night, amazing day as I'm sure you are all agreed this is one of the most historical days I have ever personally been involved in."

I'm not sure what a "historical day" is, but I'm betting a soccer player (which is a lousy sport and I don't care what you say, and I do too understand it, just like I understand a colonoscapy but it sucks too) so I doubt you have had much opportunity to be involved in "historical days."

Bono, lead singer of U2, said: "This is our moment, this is our time, this is our chance to stand up for what is right. Three thousand Africans, mostly children, die every day of mosquito bites. We can fix that. Nine thousand people dying every die of a preventable, treatable disease like Aids. We have got the drugs. We can help them."

Now they are dying of mosquito bites. But only 3,000/day. Is that a part of the 30,000, the 28,800, or in addition to it? Oh, while you are thinking about that problem, I have three letters DDT.

Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby said: "I am here because, like you, I know it is an obscenity that 50,000 die every day unnecessarily as a consequence of poverty. I have seen, touched, heard and smelt the dying and the dead - often in very large numbers."

Now we have the number 50,000. These are people who die every die unnecessarily as a consequence of poverty. Why is this number so much bigger? Is he combining the 30,000 and 28,800 numbers? Or did he get a different memo? Or is he including people dying places other than Africa? I am so confused.

Well, there are more quotes in the article, but you get the point. A few things I do know. Africa needs (1) its dictators removed, (2) capitalism and the rule of law, and (3) DDT. Throwing money at this problem won't solve anythings without doing (1) and (2), and probably (3), first.

8 Comments:

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Pile OnĀ® said...

Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life.--Brad Pitt

Right to life??? A person could have some fun with that but I won't.

Why? Cause I think the children are our future....you see...you teach them well....and then you let them lead the way.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

Brad: "Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have....

Well for Pete's sake. I would say the answer to this is obvious:

1. Children should have easier access to mind-altering substances.

2. Dude... let's go get totally fried...

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger tee bee said...

I'm with Pile. Let's make sure that the National Right to Life group begins using Brad as a spokesmodel.

With regard to DDT, I found it ironic that I studied in Rachel Carson Hall at SSU, but never read any of her works in my Lib Arts courses. When I asked about it, none of the professors or the dean had an answer. Carson's swan song was to write Silent Spring before dying of leukemia, which was then used to flog the anti-DDT cause. It was sadly effective, and ironic that a dying woman caused the death of millions because she was worried about a decreased bird population. To be fair, she advocated smart use of poisons and was worried about people too; as with all saints, their message often gets muddled in the hands of the plebes who use it.

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Pooke said...

And when all these cause celebs crawled back into their chauffer-driven limos I'm sure they all felt better about themselves. Gave themselves a big ol' pat on the back and relieved them of the guilt they suffer from living in a mansion that could house the population of Mozambique. Because they made a difference.

If Geldoff were smart, told these people to stay home. Putting on a a Pink Floyd concert and donating the proceeds would have been much more effective.

 
At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what Bono was saying is that ABOUT 3,000 people die daily from mosquito illnesses such as malaria, and that there are 9,000 people (including the mosquito people) dying of preventable diseases that are treatable with drugs (like AIDs and TB)That's it.

 
At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what Bono was saying is that ABOUT 3,000 people die daily from mosquito illnesses such as malaria, and that there are 9,000 people (including the mosquito people) dying of preventable diseases that are treatable with drugs (like AIDs and TB)That's it.

 
At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I think that you guys are just being jackasses, because this is an emergency, and that whatever the numbers are or aren't there are a lot of people dying unnecessarily for lack of money and help while you guys sit around all day making fun of those who are trying to help them. Regardless of whether celebrities are doing it for publicity or for genuine reasons, they're bringing peoples' attention to the cause.

 
At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly! Dear Anonymus who wrote in at 1:55 am, wow, 2005! Im kinda late here but just saw the website,
They are jackasses! Just sitting on their lazy fat asses, doing absolutely nothing but complaining, making rude accusations. What are they doing about the problem? Nothing!
At least the celebraties are! Who cares why? Thats between them and the fence post or if you want to be blunt (GOD)....If I feed my neighbour and I get patted on the back and I feel good about it, at least my neightbour doesnt starve..& your going to complain and make fun of me while you watch? Your an idiot.

 

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