Friday, March 21, 2008

A little different than, “Let them eat cake.”

I have been meaning to write this story for a while and it seems a good follow up to my recent consumerism posts (see here and here).

About a month ago, there was a story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about Haitians resorting to eating dirt cookies, made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, because they have nothing else. The situation in Haiti is arguably complicated. I remember watching a film as an undergraduate on the environmental disaster in Haiti. Haitians cut down trees to make charcoal, both to burn for fuel and to sell for money. Topsoil then washed away into the island’s harbors and coastal waters, destroying the available fishing industry, which in turn led to further food shortages. Add political upheaval to the humanitarian crisis and you’ve got a whole population of people resorting to eating dirt to survive.

The reason I relate this to my consumerism posts is because you’ve got a whole segment of the American people who feel that their life isn’t complete if they are not living in a 5,000 square foot house. Pardon me for expressing my disdain for those Americans, but people who think that their biggest problem in life is that their car is a few years old need to learn how to read at an eighth grade level so they can read the paper on occasion and get some perspective. As much as I bitch and moan about law school, I am well aware that I’m blessed to have the problems I do.

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