Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Sunami, Blogs, and The Philanthropic Class

Towards a Poor Theatre


These seem like end-times. The eschaton. Amerigeddon. There are locusts in Egypt, trihurricanes, megaquakes, floods, brothers killing brothers, death on a mass scale.
Howard Zinn and others have suggested that America become a "humanitarian superpower", and what better time than the present? The big natural event that could unite all people...has occurred. Are we mobilizing? Are we going above and beyond the proverbial call of duty? Or are we giving lip-service, and tossing out a few painless dollars?

And what are "painless dollars"?


In order to support my life of heady leisure, I sometimes do work for a well-to-do family here in town. Some of it is painless, but some of it is quite painful. It is impossible that my pay causes any pain whatsoever to the payer, and the other day, I was ruminating on how it would be if people exchanged pain for pain. Pay 'til it hurts. In equal degree. Wouldn't that be nice! So 10k for a day's work makes you cringe? Well carry these barbells to the attack, and then let's talk.

My New Year's wish is that people start considering such matters, and, at least occasionally, act on it.


Speaking of pain...I have noticed that, in America, the truly philanthropic class, as strange as it sounds, are the poor. The poor will give their entire fortune that another may live, and then trust that they will somehow get along without it. Who, in the upper stratophere even gives 'til it hurts? No one, that's who!

I am reminded of the story of Indra and the Ants. The ants will be king, and the king will be an ant. What is full empties, and what is empty gets filled.

But who lives like this...other than the poor?


It is good to give. Brings good karma. And many poor folks would like to be able to help when others suffer much greater tragedies, such as in the case of the sunami. And yet, there may not be an easy way for them to participate in global relief. This is where microphilanthropies come to the rescue. Who knows? The totals may well exceed that given by those with means. Recall Dean and MoveOn, and how they were able to generate massive funds for good causes...a dollar here and a dollar there.


BlogAid. As I said after the election loss: Just because we lost, doesn't mean we cannot still do things. Well, here's something to do...and fashion it after a flashmob, or Ed Cone's instaconference. Time is of the essence.

An enterprising blogger can create a portal for bloggers and non-Bs to... give 'til it hurts. Maybe even have a quick tutorial on Paypal, or some other useful e-payment system. Networks, such as the Street can tie in with ProgBlogs and other groups and networks.

If ever there were a place where bloggers are needed...it is in the heart of the inundation. Cannot a flashmob of sorts convene at ground zero and offer their blog up for bulletins?

Will someone create an aggregator for ground zero blogs?


We need one.