Thursday, February 20, 2014

Global Illumination Council

(Taken from the Global Illumination Council's Facebook page)

I am probably the last person who should be commenting on this, but given where I have been in the past, given where I am heading in the future, it burns me.  It runs pure fury through my veins, and I find it insulting in a sense.
First off, this group has quiet a few members, and since I am not above stepping on toes, spitting in someones face, I don't care if they are offended.  But this is something right out of a libertarians bag of spew.  Something I would find in the bottom of the formally used Double Duty toilet, after if had been used for three days, and everyone in the tent having the stomach flu.  So, lets break this down with my response statement by statement shall we?

If you keep your food in a refrigerator.  Standard fair for the majority of the industrialized world.  Almost every home has some type of refrigeration unit.  And in my opinion a poor reflection of how poor a person, family, group, community, state, or country is.  Given that in many places they can be picked up cheaply, with solar options becoming a more viable alternative than the plug into the wall types.  But alright, lets be fair here, first world countries tend to have more of them, but we also do not cure or treat foods like other countries do.  No more do we cure our food with salts or smoking.  We tend to keep refrigerated until used.  Outside of some novelty foods (see country ham), we do not cover our foods in salt, or smoke them unless we are camping.  We also tend to use canned goods in placed of pickled foods (outside of pickles), depending on your location.  We also do not dry our foods anymore either.  Sure there are raisins, and some other goods, but its not all that comment.  Lifestyles are also different, in some places it is easier to store food by the previously described means.  I mean if you are living in an area that is dry and hot, a refrigerator is kind of pointless.  You are better served to smoke/salt cure meats, dry out other foods, or pickle your food, rather than freeze it.  In other areas, its better to let it sit outside hung from a tree as the temperature is extremely cold, but in those areas, canning or pickling is worthless.  But for the majority of people, the best viable option is to refrigerate.  So to throw having a refrigerator into this mix does not make a whole lot of sense.  I mean this group would have been better off saying that if you own a car that is less than 20 years old, you are not that poor.

If you keep your cloths in a closet...  Alright, yeah, I cannot imagine many homes having closets in other countries, specifically poorer ones.  I mean I am not exactly a world traveler.  But as I understand it most places have closets of some kind, even they they are the kind that stand up against a wall.  Again it comes down to lifestyle.  In most places you have formal wear, and a few odds and ends clothing that you wear daily or too work.  It is also something of a cultural statement.  When I farmed I had a few pairs of pants, and shirts.  Even then most of what I had in the line of clothing would fold neatly into a few drawers.  Some people are like that, the problem comes in, the condition of the clothing.  I have some tidy-whities that I was wearing in high school, same with pants, and t-shirts.  At this point, they really need to go in the trash, they are stretched out, holey, dry rotted, or otherwise falling apart.  But in many countries the attire one wears is similar to what Americans would call minimalist.  Not really an indication of wealth by any stretch of the imagination.  In this instance, I would say that poverty would be determined by the last time you purchased or made the bulk of your clothing.  As you can guess, everything I have is approaching a decade in use.  But a closet is not an indication of wealth, it is an indication of what your culture and society deems important.  

If you have a bed to sleep in...  Really now, having a bed.  Unless you are a POW, I think you have some kind of bed to sleep on.  Sure it might suck, it might be an air mattress, it might be a pile of blankets, it might even be a couch, but by what standards are they talking about a bed in?  I mean by most accounts, a bed can be many things.  Are they talking about a bed with a frame and mattress, or are they talking about a pile of blankets or hay?  That is a vague notion right there, and really isn't fair.  Many inmates in the US have a thin pad that goes over a concrete bunk, that is a bed.  Living in a tent, I have several flat air mattresses (10 or so at last count) laid on the floor that I sleep on.  A bed can be made of anything, so that hardly counts as an indication of just how poor someone is.  At that rate, why not just say that if you bundle up a bunch of newspapers onto a park bench you aren't poor, even if you had to take them out of a few trashcans.  Alright, try to remain fair here.  Um, maybe if they had said "if you sleep on the floor wearing the cloths on your back, without any blankets you are really poor."

If you have a roof over your head... Really?  If you have a roof over your head, you are richer than x percent of people in the world.  I guess the guy living out of the twenty year old car really isn't that poor, is he?  What kind of roof are they talking about?  I mean I guess because I sleep in a tent, with a tarp over my head I'm not that poor.  Good to know, I will get right on it, by it I mean happy that someone was nice enough to give me a tent to live in.
 
I guess because I have heat, I am still richer than 75% of the population of the world?  Because I eat at least one meal a day, I am richer than 75% of the world?  Maybe because I have a dorm refrigerator I am richer than 75% of the world?  Hell, I guess because the campground I am in has internet, and I have a cell phone I am richer than 90% of the world.  You know, I dislike being poor.  I think the majority of my brothers and sisters sitting around my level are.  But you know what I dislike more?  When some group of people, who are talking out of their paper assholes tells me to be grateful for what I have.  If I hadn't had help into this situation from a crappy boss, a con artist screwing over my senile father, and me generally being a decent human being, I would be grateful.  As it is, I am grateful for any morsel of help I can get.  It doesn't matter if it is five dollars, or someone willing to let me eat on credit.  You know, rather than tell people to be grateful for what little they have, why not bring everyone to the same level.  Either come down here, or bring us all up.  We have the means and the ways to do it, without further trashing this planet, but people like the Global Illumination Council won't do it.  Do you know why they won't?  Because it is easier and cheaper on them to say be happy with what you got.  And that is hypocrisy.  Most of their members should have been grateful and happy with a BA, like many people are.  But they are all PH.D candidates.  They are all sitting in nice cushy jobs, that pay well, have benefits including a retirement.  Why not take a stand against poverty on a world wide scale.  Nah, they say be happy with what you have, while they sit in their nice homes with their over sized refrigerators filled to capacity with food, with closets holding their countless rows of clothing and shoes, comfortable beds, and a roof that does not leak when it rains, or collapses when it snows.