Political discourse – of course!

Archive for September, 2009

Outside the box.

Steve_kleur(2) September 29th, 2009

You really do have to wonder sometimes…

I’ve been away from my blog for a while. Actually, I have been ignorant of politics and world affairs for about 6 weeks now. So I decided to try to get caught up on what’s been going on in this old world of ours.

At the time I stopped writing the following things were happening around the world and in my neighborhood; Israel and Afghanistan were  about to have elections. Toronto city council was in a protracted fight with its municipal employees, (this resulted in a strike which disrupted services for 5 weeks but I’ll get to that in a moment). There was a bizarre dustup in the U.S over whether its President was an actual American citizen. Some British M.Ps were caught with their hands in the public till. Tamil Tigers were surrounded by government forces. Iraq was a mess – as was Iran, the West bank – oh hell, the whole middle east actually. There were the usual assortment of wars, famine, disease, poverty and, (if the powers that be are to be believed), the worst economic meltdown the world has ever seen. Depressing.

So, now six weeks later…

The Toronto strike is over with the following results;  The kids didn’t get to swim for 5 weeks. Parents had to scramble to find daycare resulting in missed work and wages to say nothing of the economic toll it took on the workers themselves. And in the end nothing changed except that the Mayor committed political suicide. Oh, and the city councillors got a raise.

Israel elected a hardliner that won’t even entertain the idea of suspending settlement building in Palestine. Election monitors in Afghanistan have decried the election as rigged in favor of the government. Iran has been busy building secret nuclear facilities while its President has been going around the world denying the holocaust. The U.S found billions to give to Wall Street with no oversight or clear guidelines on how to spend it but cannot seem to pass universal Health Care even though their current system is broken. And there is still the same assortment of wars, disease and poverty.

I should be depressed all over again. Except I’m not. Because an amazing thing happened the other night.

I went to see Liam Titcomb and his band play in a local bar. It turns out that this was his one hundredth gig in two months of touring.  He went coast to coast to raise money for War Child. He raised $50,000. He didn’t do it by introducing legislation to fight child poverty. He didn’t do it by marching in the streets. He didn’t do it by blogging. He simply did what he has been doing since I’ve known him as a child – he played music.  He, his parents and his drummer got into a R.V and, with the help of sponsors and strangers along the way, raised enough money to build two schools in a war ravaged third world country so that children there could learn to read. He’s 21 yrs. old.

Makes ya think. I mean, this musician raised more money in two months than the entire United States governmental apparatus could raise for its poor children( who don’t have healthcare )in the same time period. Yes, I know he didn’t do it alone. He is blessed with an amazing family and is the first to acknowledge the generous support of volunteers along the way. But having said that, how many 21 yr. olds do you know that even would have thought of this idea let alone have the courage to try it? And it inspired people.  It touched people and they stepped up.

So what is wrong with our institutions that we can’t get anything done? Why are we so bungling and fractured? Maybe we have to start thinking outside the box – like Liam did.