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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Be Very Entertained

posted by on August 28 at 15:03 PM

If you are in the West, the fear you have of the bird flu is nothing more than a thrill, a form of entertainment, something to make your life exciting. If you are in the Rest, in the poor countries of Asia and Africa, your fear is real. It is you, and you alone, who will suffer and die in untold numbers when this sickness hits the air.

Even if there is no human pandemic, bird flu threatens to have a devastating affect on the livelihoods of millions of people in Asia and Africa who depend heavily on poultry both for income and food.

Deaths and mass culls have already badly hit rural communities in southeast Asia. In many countries the government says it cannot afford to fully compensate people for destroyed birds.

Aid agencies say inadequate compensation will not only tip millions into extreme poverty but will help spread avian flu by discouraging people from reporting the disease.

“People fear reporting sick birds because their flocks will be destroyed and they may not be compensated for their losses. So instead, they hide the sick birds or sell them and that, in turn, contributes to the transmission of avian flu to new areas.” said Sanjay Sinho, CARE International’s health programme director.

The bird flu will not strike down any ole person, in any ole place but directly those who barely survive at the bottom of the global economy.

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I realize you're not a real Journalist but would it be too much to ask to include a link to your source for the pull quote?

Posted by Justy | August 28, 2007 3:17 PM

I also believe you linked to the Slog's administrator login screen via Moveable Type.

Posted by frederick r | August 28, 2007 3:31 PM

Good thing you're safe, huh Charles?

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 28, 2007 3:31 PM

Interesting disjunct between the putative intent (suggesting that Erica Barnett, by advocating fear of bird flu, also advocates exploitation of those who already suffer from it) and the pull quote.

Or was this post meant as associative poetry? If so, your scansion sucks, dude.

Posted by Emma Leigh | August 28, 2007 3:35 PM

The bird flu will have a devastating *E*ffect.

Or, the bird flu will affect many, in a devastating type way.

Posted by Matthew | August 28, 2007 3:40 PM

@4 Wow!

Posted by Bill | August 28, 2007 3:44 PM

great angle. sometimes you nail it chuck. most people, as always refuse to think of global impacts, it is always the lowest subjects of empire and the captives of the market who suffer.

markets have turned the developing world into slave states.

Posted by SeMe | August 28, 2007 3:49 PM

It's not the risk of bird flu today.

It's the genetic mixture of avian bird flue with more typical human flu in a resistance-compromised population, which is then transmitted worldwide, killing ...


Yes, that was the correct word.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 28, 2007 3:52 PM

Bingo, SeMe. Slavery's just needed it's structures to be reconfigured.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | August 28, 2007 4:26 PM
most people, as always refuse to think of global impacts

Okay, I'm thinking of the global impacts right now. I'm picturing hundreds of thousands of dead African, Indians, Latinos and Asians heaped in villages and slums all over the world, their rotting corpses surrounded by clouds of flies and carrion birds who don't realize they're killing themselves as they tear gobbets of lymph-spattered flesh from the bloated corpses of the Third World.

Thinking of it... thinking of it... thinking of it... and still, weirdly enough, not one fucking iota less likely to happen. What would be required to stop it? The mobilization of tens of billions of dollars in grant money and a sea change in the structure of global capitalism. What are the other projects waiting in line for that kind of shift? Remedies for climate change, AIDS, global labor reform, water treatment, land use reform and so on.

And none of those projects, some of which impact the developed world pretty directly, have enough traction to create such a sea change. But here you are, chiming in with Charles in his endless pissing and moaning about how his perspective on the plight of the third world is special and magical because he used to live there, and how relentlessly ignorant the rest of us are because we never did. Yadda yadda yadda, everybody come running because Charles smells smoke and smoke means fire and that's trouble with a capitol T which rhymes with P and that spells ePidemic!

...all of which is to say, basically, that you're a cunt. And so's Charles.

Posted by Judah | August 28, 2007 4:53 PM

Death rules.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | August 28, 2007 5:08 PM

Third worlders are suffering from bird flu first, from the destruction of their food sources and livelihoods. However, when or if a pandemic strikes, we'll all be at risk. The only real difference will be whether you die in a hospital in the West or in a hovel in Africa, Asia, or Latin America.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 28, 2007 5:12 PM

It is drought, not influenza, that will be (is) a far more serious catastrophe in Asia and Africa than in North America and Europe.

As @12 points out, an influenza pandemic, like raw sewage, will be the great social equalizer.

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 28, 2007 9:38 PM

@ # 10. Seriously? You think that Charles's extended family (in sub-Saharan Africa) hasn't been directly affected by the AIDS epidemic? That he's somehow overlooked that. Hmm... I think what he's addressing is global wealth disparity. The poor die firstÖas always. OKÖ random tie in.... Global warming is certainly on everyone's radar. For god's sake aren't we all watching the weather? To be entirely coarse, isn't a massive reduction in human population beneficial to our overall ecological wellbeing worldwide? Water, well now that itís being privitized, only the poor need worry about water quality. Labor? Whatís that? Just another quantifiable capital output to be minimized. I think seme said it best when he said that the third world was being relegated to slave labor. Um Land use... Since when has the developing world implemented any enforceable land use regulations? Only ecotourism creates demand. (only the rich get to see the elephants and monkeys) Kenya and Costa Rica are the sole (national) exceptions. Iím not sure what your point is, other than to portend to know something more than Charles about global issues, but Iím pretty sure youíre off mark.

Posted by M | August 29, 2007 12:57 AM

In case its not obvious. Global warming will affect the third world / poor most as well. Katrina is a fine example of what we can expect going forward.

Posted by M | August 29, 2007 1:01 AM

*All* infectious diseases have a vastly more profound effect on the poor than the rich, and many of them are more deadly than avian flu (think Malaria, Tuberculosis, AIDS). Yuppies worried about avian flu need to take a realistic look at the facts. Read "Infections and Inequalities" by Dr. Paul Farmer.

Posted by Zeke | August 29, 2007 2:49 AM

@16 - oh, come on. if that were true one of my friends would be over in Zambia setting up Tuberculosis field clinics right now ...

oh, wait, she is.

never mind.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 29, 2007 10:00 AM

@7, @14, @15, @16, and especially Charles, WTF?

OBVIOUSLY epidemics, droughts, hurricanes, and catastrophes of every kind are hardest on those who have least to lose.

Please explain how this makes it mere entertainment for those who are better off to be concerned for themselves.

Posted by Emma Leigh | August 29, 2007 1:50 PM

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