[cliché]As the year draws to a close[/cliché], I’d like to thank the global network of PooterGeek operatives who make this site the nerve centre of international happenings that it is, both the core team of:
- Special Agent Berlinski: Paris operative and roving European reporter;
- Special Agent Levy: “the Mossad Mother”, our Middle East observer;
- Special Agent Savant: based in Manila with an eye on activities in Asia;
- Miller Of The Congo: ex of the PooterGeek Africa office*; and
- Special Agent Leasey: representative of the Young People and proofreader
and our deep cover personnel: The Anonymous Economist; The Cryptic Celt; Our Man In Washington; PixieGirl; and others too numerous to be listed or too embarrassed to be linked with me.
Plenty of prominent and discriminating Lefties have, however, linked here (Chris the Stoat, Eric, Hak, Harry’s collective, Norm, The ‘Bloggers Known As SIAW), but I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank and link back to a politically diverse collection of boutiques who also had the good taste to forward business to PooterGeek in 2004: Anti-Climacus, Attempting Escape, bytehead, Bill’s Comment Page, The Cabarfeidh Pages, Councillor Andrew Brown, Chiasm, A Cloud In Trousers, DM-Andy, Dr. Frank’s What’s-it, Doctor Vee, Elan Ecu, Gwydion The Magician, A General Theory Of Rubbish, James Hamilton, Lewis Collard, Let’s Be Sensible, Mo Morgan, Mugged By Reality, Non-trivial Solutions, The Non-Bloggish Blog, Pearsall’s Books, Quacky, Shuggy’s Blogspot, The Sock Thief, Sound And Fury, Stumbling and Mumbling, The Uncertainty Principle, WhatsThatSmell?, What You Can Get Away With, and Who Knew?. Pick a site from the list at random and visit it back.
If you haven’t donated to the tsunami relief effort already, give generously.
Have a splendiferous 2005. There’s a job to be done and that much less time to do it in. To quote Leasey: run, don’t jog!
[*Since my Auntie Clarina isn’t exactly plugged into the InterWeb thingie I am on the look out for volunteers for the position of Dark Continent Observer. All you need is Net access and to be resident somewhere within these 11 million square miles.]
As I seem to have been delegated the responsibility of representing a continent, I am going to do what many of the nations in this region are often forced to do: beg.
We are indeed exotic, mysterious, steeped in culture and lovely places to visit. In terms of biodiversity, Indonesia is second only to the Tropical Andes in South America, and the Philippines is third (home to 488 of 500 coral species). Maldives is the jewel of the Indian ocean. India, Sri Lanka and Thailand can proudly point to their rich heritage and their people’s marketable skills in high technology industries.
We are also some of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. We owe you and your governments money. We do not like being the debtors of the planet. Our people do not want to be refugees in your countries. We flee poverty, civil disorder, terrorism, and the very fury of nature. Many of our economies are propped up by people around you: we are your nurses, your maids, your chauffers, your nannies, your engineers and programmers. If we could feed our families by jobs available in our own countries, we would stay there. Indeed, the lucky ones are telemarketers, medical and legal transcriptors, tech support staff. We don’t want to steal jobs from you, no matter what Lou Dobbs may say. Cheap labor and sweat shops from your perspective mean dignity and a small fortune to us.
When you talk about the new world order and globalization, when you talk about class… we worry that we are destined to be the labor force with you as management. For centuries we have provided you with raw materials that you have turned into breakthroughs and sold back to us: the Pacific Yew tree from India (source of Taxol), Ylang-ylang (native to SE Asia), Erythromycin (antibiotic from Philippine soil bacteria). In the last few decades we have sent our most precious resources: our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters. It is these people’s families who are killed when natural disasters befall us.
In the most cold-blooded, calculating of terms… if you don’t see us as people, at least protect your investment. If blight decimated your wheat fields, you would replant and nurture your crop back to life. Do the same for us.
One of the most telling comments I’ve heard about the tsunamis is this: “Thank God there were tourists there, the help will get to those countries faster.”
We are the invisible majority. And we know that millions of us can suffer and die, but if your countrymen are killed, a greater amount of international aid will be forthcoming.
Don’t let your countrymen down, don’t let them have suffered in vain.
Don’t let us down. Because if you do, you condemn us to the unending cycle of misery, shame and desperation. Terrorism gorges on these feelings, breeding them into hate, incarnating them in murder.
If you won’t help us for our sake, then help us for yours.
Let it not reach the point where you must send your mothers and fathers, your brothers and sisters, your sons and daughters to kill ours.
In that conflict no one can really claim victory.