What’s this? Oranckay reports that North Korea has pledged US $150,000 to the tsunami relief fund.

Thanks to a link provided by the Marmot, to an article at North Korea Zone, I just watched a video from North Korea, which is online at the Joongang Daily you can see it here, a direct link that should open it in Windows Media Player—if not, paste the link into WMP or whatever you like to use). You can also see some interesting NK photography here.

Why doesn’t North Korea use that money for a North Korea relief fund? Look at those kids. And for all those kids’ obvious misery, the misery of innumerable adults is no less pitiful, I think. Kids get more, “Awwww,” and we feel bad for children in poverty, but come on, human suffering is human suffering, even when it’s a grimy old guy, or a boring young man, or some unattractive old ajumma who looks nothing like Lee Hyori.

Via onefreekorea, the news claims that the year will be a decisive one for North Korea, but it looks to me like the NK government is not going to be any less ridiculous than it has been… starving people? Time for a haircut, everyone! Dress nicely! Oh, wait, I guess there are such idiots in the South, too, telling others what (not) to wear.

Yes, it’s something that perhaps seems unfair to point out right now: the shock and the danger lying ahead in terms of the wake of the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean is important. Disease outbreaks will be a massive problem, and we’ve got to take care of that to prevent more deaths and a global pandemic.

But you know, Africa loses routinely loses as many people several times a month to diseases like malaria and AIDS. It’s sad that human charity focuses not on the biggest problem, nor even proportionately on different problems, but that it’s a question of fashion. Everyone’s talking and thinking Tsunami now; when it’s over, we’ll have expiated our leisured-class guilt, and then we can go back to making money and letting the people stuck in endemic hells rot as they have been for years.

Which is not to say don’t help the Tsunami victims in any way you can/ It’s just saying that’s not all the work there is to do in the world. Which shouldn’t discourage people from helping anyone. I just hope the giving doesn’t stop after this current crisis.

2 thoughts on “Whaaaaaaaaaaaa?

  1. Your comment on disease-related death in Africa (and other parts of the developing world) really rang true for me, not least because I’m from South Africa, where about 600 people die of AIDS-related causes each day. A comment in the IHT on Friday described the recent tsunami as being more ‘sexy’ media-wise, than ongoing crises, which really saddens me. I notice Darfur hasn’t been in the news much recently… Great writing, by the way – I come by here often.

  2. Yes, Clare, Darfur has completely dropped off the radar screen. So has anything that isn’t Tsunami news. For now.

    You come by a lot? Thanks very much both for reading and for your kind words—and your comment! How did you find the site?

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