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posted 7/12/2007 2:01:54 AM |
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  sundance64

Here's the blog I was gonna post when I signed on...

Intense thoughts and emotions...

I just got finished watching a movie. Not too many movies get to me...I can probably count on one hand the number that have really caused me to stop and think about this world we live in, how very large it is and yet how small. Schindler's List, Hotel Rwuwanda, a few others...

The movie I watched tonight was "Blood Diamond". It's the kind of movie that I wanted to turn off at many points, but I literally was glued to my seat...my eyes on toothpicks so to speak. Intense is the only word that comes to mind.

What kind of world do we live in? I read the news stories about atrocities being commited in other countries but it doesn't really register. It might as well be on another planet, since it really doesn't affect me...right? I see on t.v. children carrying m16's and ak47's, smoking dope and throwing grenades at soldiers. I hear about whole villages being obliterated by rebels, guerillas, militia or even government soldiers, for a variety of reasons. But it goes over my head because it's not here. I don't see it. I don't hear the gunshots or the babies screaming. I don't see 10 year old boys getting shot up with heroin so they'll be dependant on the men who took them from their village and family so they can be point guards on other raids...the first to get shot. I can't smell the burning flesh and blood and hair or the rotting corpses in the streets that are left because there is no one to take them away.

Why do these things happen? I'm sitting here asking myself this tonight and I feel the need to put this down in case, like other times I've felt this way, it doesn't last...this feeling.

Why does it happen? Is it because these countries have something the rest of the world wants?...drugs, oil, gold, diamonds, ivory. Things that, allegedly, are in high demand but short supply. Things people want. But not things needed to live.

You don't hear about people in Asia getting killed because their rice fields were taken over by gangs wanting to sell it to a dealer overseas.

I'm getting off track here...it's late and I'm tired. But I'm still very disturbed by these thoughts and images going thru my head. And again, I ask myself...Why? But I also have to ask...what can I do?

I'm one small person on a very large planet. One tiny voice amongst billions.

This movie caught my often wandering attention. It's made me think. It's also brought the world a little closer. I realize how very lucky I am to be where I'm at today. In a country that's relatively safe. Yet I have to face the fact that it's this country...THIS one...that continues to turn a blind eye to the fact that it's wants are killing people. It's desires for status and power are tearing whole continents apart.

So once more I ask...what can I do? What can any one person do to make a difference? Really, if anyone has an answer, I'd like to hear it.

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Comments:

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sundance64

Jul 12 @ 2:15AM  
Wow...see how easy that was? Just delete...and block.
TattooedRawkStar

Jul 12 @ 2:17AM  
Haha I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and guess that Larry offered you some of his witty banter.
slohand_47

Jul 12 @ 2:17AM  
Wow....... didn't see that coming. The good old USA is to blame for ALL the troubles in the world. I'm amazed. I'm actually shocked with disbelief.

But that doesn't answer your question. What can one person do? Get a clue.....
sundance64

Jul 12 @ 2:27AM  
Slo...you missed the point, or maybe I just wasn't very clear. It is after all 2:30 in the morning and way past my bedtime...

I live in the USA, so my perceptions are based on what I see happening here. No...I'm not saying we're to blame for all the problems in the world. My point was that there are things we can do as americans to stem the violence...if we take the time to look at ourselves and the way we live and realize the price that is paid for our lifestyles. I use "I" and "we" in a general sense...not to point fingers at individuals.

Get a clue? How very profound...yet it says ablsolutely nothing and certainly doesn't answer the question...
slohand_47

Jul 12 @ 2:43AM  
No...I'm not saying we're to blame for all the problems in the world.
this country...THIS one...that continues to turn a blind eye to the fact that it's wants are killing people. It's desires for status and power are tearing whole continents apart.

Ok, you didn't say "all" but whole continents is pretty encompassing.
Get a clue? How very profound...yet it says ablsolutely nothing and certainly doesn't answer the question...
Since you spoke in general terms, I answered in general terms.

Lets get specific.
The manufacture of drugs is tearing countries apart. Are WE the only country that uses drugs??
After the Nazi's tried to exterminate the Jews in Europe, the remainder of them took over Palestine and made it their own country, Israel. Jews and Arabs have been fighing over that area ever since. What "wants" of ours started that, or continue it?
There seems to be peace (finally) in Northern Ireland.... but only a few years ago it was rocked by bombings & violence. What want of ours caused that? Irish Whiskey?
What did we have to do with Iraq invading Quait? Yeah, we stepped in and cleaned it up, but are you saying our wants was the reason for that invasion?
When religious factions try to kill each other off in Somolia, what wants of ours is the cause of that?
What about Blood Diamond? Are we the ONLY country in the world that buys diamonds? And, keep in mind this is a MOVIE, not a documentary.
Is this specific enough for now?
TattooedRawkStar

Jul 12 @ 2:49AM  
I have to give props to Sunny on this one; you do indeed identify a problem well, whether other countries are involved or not. African drivers don't own 8 mpg Hummers. Japanese drivers have never even HEARD of the Lincoln Navigator. Is it a coincidence that gas prices have tripled in this country during a decade in which 6 of the top ten selling automobiles are SUVs with shitty gas mileage? I'll even admit to it myself; I COULD drive a four-cylinder Toyota Camry, but I have a muscle car with a big ol' V8, and I'm stubborn enough that ain't no Jap car getting parked in MY effing garage.
Ewe_Wish

Jul 12 @ 2:50AM  
Sunny, its not just our country that has those wants there are ppl all over the world willing to sacrifice lives for things they want not need. What is the option, should we send in troops and clean those countries up. I'm sorry but I can't agree with that. Most of those countries have governments whether corrupt or not, its up to them to clean up thier own countries and to be honest I basically don't care. What i do care about is Our country always having to go in and clean up someone elses mess. Its young men and women, of our country that get killed over there, fixing one more thing that isnt any of our business. This probably sounds heartless to most, but my son being a sargeant in the US Army it is personal to me. I dont give a royal flying fuck how many other people in other countries kill themselves and or each other, I do give a shit its not our military getting killed over there.
slohand_47

Jul 12 @ 3:23AM  
There is no arguement that there is a LOT of bad stuff happening in the world. I was right with you every step of the way. UNTIL...... you lost me with 2 sentences.

Yet I have to face the fact that it's this country...THIS one...that continues to turn a blind eye to the fact that it's wants are killing people. It's desires for status and power are tearing whole continents apart.


Go back and read it as if someone else had wrote it. The only way it seems to make sense is.... the USA is the cause of all the troubles you listed above. IF that was not your intent, then you need to retract and write when your not so tired. IF, however, it was your intent to blame all that directly on the USA, you'd better back up your accusations. You can't just throw out blame and then skip past that and ask what one person can do. Even that is presumptions to think that you, all by yourself, can change the world. Your intentions were good....... but it still seems clueless.

For the record, I do have a 4wd pickup..... and it's not a toy. It's my work truck on the farm. I drove hondas for about 12 years (the accord is made in Ohio, folks) but now I have a Buick LaSabre with a V6 that gets 30 on the interstate and 24 around town.

Ok here is what one can do...... and I'm serious. Look for a store that sells Free Trade Coffee. They buy coffee directly from small farmers, and sell directly to outlets. Only one middleman and they pay the farmers a fair price. People in poor countries are working their way out of poverty by the Free Trade organization.
borty293

Jul 12 @ 3:23AM  
The question I ask myself is ....what can I do for my community to make things better....where can I volunteer to make things better for people not as fortunate as myself....food banks, homeless shelters , Hospice....what sacrifices am I willing to make to help my fellows....I can't change the world ...but I have the power to change myself for the better and maybe help effect small change in my community
casuallylooking

Jul 12 @ 8:08AM  
Sunny, kudos for this blog. It looks to me like you got some good answers. Various degrees but all good.

Yet I have to face the fact that it's this country...THIS one...that continues to turn a blind eye to the fact that it's wants are killing people. It's desires for status and power are tearing whole continents apart.
I agree with slo on this comment, but I also see more. I am reading it to say that you are happy to be where you feel pretty safe because we have power and are strong but at the same time you are blaming our country for all the things you listed above. Including trying to keep the status and power that make you feel safe.
Yes, I realize you were tired when you wrote this. And I feel it is an excellent viewpoint, for the mostpart. But am I reading this part correctly?

I feel the need to put this down in case, like other times I've felt this way, it doesn't last...this feeling
I do that also. Because as humans we see something that touches our heartstrings or bothers us and then most times we tend go on with our everyday life and let it go. Forgetting that feeling. It just becomes a passing memory.

Ashinatrix

Jul 12 @ 11:59AM  
Did this movie just now bring this real and horrible truth to your attention? This has been going on for many years....
So how many of you men, women, have jewelry with diamonds....
I have refused to purchase/recieve any jewelry with diamond for over ten years now...
Even my engagement and wedding ring were crafted with natural pearl and U.S.A. mined sapphires because I refused a diamond.....my husband thought I was crazy....
As for slo's comment...."What can one person do?"-----I completely agree...one person can't do shit...
Giggl_Sprite

Jul 12 @ 3:38PM  
As for slo's comment...."What can one person do?"-----I completely agree...one person can't do shit...

I disagree Ash...One person can inspire millions. For good or Evil.
ruredy150

Jul 12 @ 4:13PM  
We need a modern day Mahatma Gandhi....more John Lennons......more Bonos

I'm not one of them sad to say, are any of you?
sundance64

Jul 12 @ 4:41PM  
My point with that one sentence was that I live in this country...had I been living in France or England or Spain or Japan...I may have said the same thing in regards to whatever country I was living in. This is a worldwide problem, but I believe that the solution starts at home, no matter what country we live in. As I said, I wasn't blaming the US for all the problems of the world, but the can anyone deny my statement that alot of citizens do turn a blind eye when buying their diamonds, gold, drugs and oil? Yes, other countries do as well...but I don't live in those places, I live here. And with the freedoms we enjoy comes responsibility.
I agree with Dayna that the solution is not to go in with American troops and fight a losing battle. I believe, like alot of you, that at least part of the solution is to not buy products from these countries who use violence and terrorism to produce and import those products. There are so many alternatives. The only diamond I've ever owned was a small 1/4 carat engagement ring, I've never wanted one...let alone been able to afford one.

As far as the vehicles we drive, lets face it...a big expensive car or SUV is a status symbol. Some people need to drive the big trucks or whatever...it's part of their livelyhood. But others are simply impressed with the fact that these things show the rest of the population how much money they have to squander.

Slo's comment was a good one...buy free trade coffee. Buy fruits and veggies from local farmers, or grow your own if you're able. Buy locally manufactered gems, or even CZ's. I see farmers driving 20 or even 30 year old pick-up trucks, but using thier smaller 4 or 6 cylinder cars to go "into town".

One of the guys I work with saw this movie and we were all discussing it before I watched it. Even they agreed that alot of the so called wars were about producing and importing these things at the lowest possible cost and the highest profit. One made a comment that he never bought weed from a dealer...he always grew his own...lol

And Slo...I know it was just a movie, not a documentary. But it's based on real events. These things do happen. There are still over 200,000 child soldiers in those parts of Africa. Al-Quada still recruits young people, some as young as 8 or 9, for their training camps. There are people all over the world who live as slaves, in mines, clothing factories, and drug mills...putting out products that cost pennies to make, but sell for sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. By refusing to purchase these things, and by knowing exactly where the things we do purchase come from, we send a message: The people of this country will not tolerate the abuse and atrocities being commited in order to make a profit. It sends the same message to the businesses and the politicians who condone these things. Hit 'em where it hurts...in they're bank accounts.
yourbbbw

Jul 12 @ 6:53PM  
Sun

I think you're totally right to be gripped by this film... it was riveting... well done. AND it did tell of a plight that was/is ongoing IN THE REAL WORLD.

What can one person do? The things that I think (Ash??) said she had done... refuse to buy diamonds that are blood diamonds... (or sigh... diamonds at all if there is an uncertainty as to the origin). If there isn't a Demand for the Supply... there won't be this continual bloodshed. Will Ash's saying no to the diamonds solve the problem? No. Will Ash's and my saying no to the diamonds solve the problem? No. But... if you keep adding to us... and adding to us... One person at a time... it will make a difference.

Also in response to Slo's read of your original post, I have to say that I didn't take it as your pointing the finger at the USA as being the cause of the all of the world's ills, but that you were saying that American's needed to be more 'world aware'. We tend to be very 'self-focused'. I'm not saying we're selfish (before anyone thinks that's what i'm saying!!!). I'm saying that we tend to be UNAWARE of what the realities of life are in other countries. And as a country with so much sway and power and money... wow.... Use it for the good :)

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