Capitalism: A Ghost Story by Arundhati Roy
The word on the street (and in the New York Times) is, or at least was, that after all that effort and gardening, the Ambanis don’t live in Antilla. No one knows for sure. People still whisper about ghosts and bad luck, Vaastu and Feng Shui. Maybe it’s all Karl Marx’s fault. (All that cussing.) Capitalism, he said, “has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, that it is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells”.
In India, the 300 million of us who belong to the new, post-IMF “reforms” middle class—the market—live side by side with spirits of the nether world, the poltergeists of dead rivers, dry wells, bald mountains and denuded forests; the ghosts of 2,50,000 debt-ridden farmers who have killed themselves, and of the 800 million who have been impoverished and dispossessed to make way for us. And who survive on less than twenty rupees a day.
White Women Give African Women Their Used Underwear as part of a Anti-Sexual Violence Strategy. Ugh.
I was introduced to Father Charles Rensburg, a Catholic priest working in the Bulawayo area, and asked how I could help. He said that something as simple as underwear could change
the lives of Zimbabwean women and girls.
In Zimbabwe, underwear is very expensive and few can afford it, but those who do wear undergarments are thought to have a good job and are considered to be independent, confident and assertive, and are therefore less vulnerable to abuse. Obviously underwear
does not physically protect
a woman from abuse, but
in this context it provides a kind of social barrier.
I couldn’t believe that something so simple could make a difference. I returned home to Australia where a colleague and I asked women in our community to donate bras for me to take on my next visit. Donations flooded in, and when I flew back six months I had thousands
of bras to hand out to the
Strange and Creepy. Image of slain UNC student body president on advertising in India.
Along the roads of southern India, the billboards are plenty – promoting movies, mobile phones, fine silks, Chinese restaurants and Communist Party politicians seeking re-election.
There, along National Highway 49, not far from the mountain town of Munnar, are at least two billboards with an image that would be chilling to most North Carolinians: the smiling visage of Eve Carson, the UNC-Chapel Hill student body president who was killed in 2008.
Some Bad News on Occupy Wall Street.
Sex-starved fruit flies turn to drink
Male fruit flies that have been rejected by females drink significantly more alcohol than those that have mated freely, scientists say.
Bill Maher has a nicely done piece on the political climate in the US over at the New York Times.
This week, President Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, described Mitt Romney’s constant advertising barrage in Illinois as a “Mittzkrieg,” and instantly the Republican Jewish Coalition was outraged and called out Mr. Axelrod’s “Holocaust and Nazi imagery” as “disturbing.” Because the message of “Mittzkrieg” was clear: Kill all the Jews. Then the coalition demanded not only that Mr. Axelrod apologize immediately but also that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz “publicly rebuke” him. For a pun! For punning against humanity!