01 May 2009

When pigs fly

Between worrying about washing our hands a million times till they begin to resemble a butcher's hands and trying to procure the latest vaccine against the H1N1 virus (swine flu to you philistines) we have once again succeeded in absolving our collective conscience about the world's real problems. I don't mean to disparage the latest news of the day. If the WHO says it's going to be a pandemic, let us immediately stop worrying about anything but clean handkerchiefs. However, what about the real pandemics? Injustice, the Taliban's gun-toting versions of the law, the world gone mad in Sri Lanka, the children in the soup kitchens in the richest country in the world and daily rape and massacre in several nations in Africa? Surely that's equally important and should have gone up to a level 6 way before a few people and a few pigs started to die?

Even more hilarious, there are websites and news channels warning Europe, particularly the UK, that this summer could see more deaths, when temperatures climb into the unbearable range of 32 degrees Centigrade. Are we for real? Do we all exist on the same planet or has the EU decided that it's going to blindly follow Mr. Berlusconi's philosophy of I-don't-give-a-rat's-ass about anything?

And then there's poor Obama. Trying to balance his speeches between the economy, money to a rogue 'India-obsessed' Pakistan and the swine flu. While Joe Biden tells everyone that he wouldn't let his family get on a plane. (Nice job, Joe. Whenever you start talking, we either fall asleep or gag.) In the meanwhile, every major news network is sending out journalists and interns and sons of the Vice-President of the network to hunt down anybody that either has a cold, shakes hands with someone who has a cold, looks like a pig, eats a pig, kills a pig or does things with a pig that are illegal in most countries. Because of course that takes precedence over the nine-year old child that's been beheaded in the Congo for trying to rescue his mother from being gangraped.

Not to mention a half-hour telecast of Britain's withdrawal from Iraq. No disrespect to the boys in the forces, they've been nothing but great for the most part- but where was Tony Blair? Did he not want to supervise the last of his handiwork? Or was he chuckling in some backroom of some mansion with his buddy George, while trying to shoot pheasants down with microwave popcorn? How about the other side of that telecast? Where Iraqis lay dying? With no idea of how to run their lives and their country now? With the question uppermost in their minds; you made this giant mess and now you're leaving us with the pieces? Is this going to be Britain's legacy to Iraq? Like the mess they made with the mandate in Palestine all those years ago? Well done, indeed. Oh sorry, no time to probe into that because we're back with the lovely honeymooners who've returned with duty free Taliskers and the swine flu.

Even the elections in India, technically the most populous democracy in the world, were overshadowed in part by the swine flu. Because of course, that's what is killing India. Not the ineffectual politicians, apathy and communalism.

At least now we know- Pigs can fly.

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