Josh, I know you said you expected me to give each subject I wanted to blog about previously a fair and seperate post, but I already have a LIST of new blogs going and I'm dreaming about those so these will not be shortened...but just one long post instead of 3 separate ones.
Okay, #1: Anthony Bourdain. This guy is bringing culture back. He's an award winning chef who grew up in New Jersey, studied and lived most of his career in New York City, and now works for the Travel Channel going to countries abroad sampling their trademark cuisine, living among the people, and seeing the land up close and personal. On a recent episode of No Reservations (the show Bourdain hosts), he was in Laos. "Laos was dragged into the Vietnam War, and the eastern parts of the country were invaded and occupied by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), which used Laotian territory as a staging ground and supply route for its war against the South. In response, the United States initiated a bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese, supported regular and irregular anticommunist forces in Laos and supported a South Vietnamese invasion of Laos."(wikipedia) So, in the episode, Bourdain sits down with a farmer and his family and they share a traditional Laotian meal. This man lost his leg and arm to a mine that went off in his field. There are over 3.5 million of these mines (active bombs) that are still in Laos from the Vietnam war. 400,000 have been recovered since the Vietnam war which is remarkable since their technology is so limited and primitive that it takes forever for these mines to be discovered. There was footage of what looked like a man-made metal detector in the shape of a rectangle that has to be carried by 6 men. If metal is detected, then another crew follows up with another type of detector, then if they go to the next step, another crew comes in to carefully dig up the bombs and then transport them to be set off in a safe location. The Vietnam war ended in 1975, so in 33 years, the Laotian people have been left to find these deadly weapons on their own that have been killing and injuring their people and been given no help or support to find these mines! Is that not an injustice?! My favorite quote was Bourdain saying, "Every American should see the effects of war first hand." I loved this because he was in a country still suffering the effects, over 30 years later, several wars later, and America marches on, in first place, dominating.
Okay, #2 Shannon wrote a blog about the G8 summit and the irony of those in attendance being served 6 & 8 course meals while talking about world hunger and poverty. Wouldn't this be like world leaders getting together to talk about the energy crisis and being shuttled around in Hummer limos? I mean, wouldn't we laugh at them and disregard their proposed solutions? I know I would. Now, I don't know what I expected from the leaders at the G8 summit...maybe fasting is too extreme...but is a meal really necessary? If world leaders did meet to discuss the energy crisis, where would they meet? Outside in a tent? Haha...
What's left...Oh yea, 30 Days. Okay, this week on the show "30 Days", they spent duh, 30 days on a Navaho Indian reservation. There are a lot of sterotypes surrounding the Native American people. First of all, don't get me started on the whole Trail of Tears thing and them being removed from their native land and forced to assimilate by the Europeans...as recent as the 1970's, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is still trying to pursue a policy of assimilation into the broader US culture and off the reservation. On the show, the reservation was in New Mexico. Indian reservations typically have a high amount of poverty, alcoholism, and unemployment. They get little assistance from the government even though through treaties, laws and agreements they were promised to have the basic necessities of food, water, and education for their people so their culture and traditions would be protected. It was very sad to see these indigenous people who were run out of their native land continue to suffer a century later and be struggling to survive under a government who promised them they'd be taken care of. And again, those giving a voice to these overlooked people aren't being heard.
Ugh. I hope you read all of this. More posts to come.