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Wednesday May 21, 2008

Paris, Posh and Nature's Wrath

A newspaper headline hit my computer screen this week. Both Posh Spice and Paris Hilton would be vying for attention in London’s hot spots as Posh touted her new line of flared jeans at Harrods and Paris, her new fragrance at Selfridges. A pair of images appeared of both air headed and talent-less women sporting thick makeup, anorexic skeletal frames and ridiculous clothing. Normally I would have laughed, enjoyed the bathos but somehow I lost my sense of humour. You see, I’d just read that a probable 60,000 people were dead in the aftermath of Burma’s Cyclone Nargis, with a similar death toll being recorded in Sichuan Province in China, following the enormous earthquake. The majority of those killed in Sichuan Province were children and students, flattened under crumbling school buildings.

Thousands of people in Burma and China are in urgent need of food, clean water, medical aid and provisions and yet somehow their crisis and torment seems to have wafted by on a conveyor belt of stark photographic images and sound bites and then disappeared. Life moves on, I know. Bad things happen, I know, but how is it that we can forget so quickly the devastating, life changing hell that countless souls are going through on the other side of the world? Is it their remoteness that helps us to forget? Is it the sterling efforts of Paris and Posh who help us rocket down to earth, to focus on the things that really matter-high street fashion trends and the art of having lots of money yet parading as victims of starvation? If I had a magic wand, and sadly I’m fresh out of them, I’d like nothing better than to transport these two ghastly vacuous women and their kind off to either trouble spot for a few months. I wonder whether they’d come back changed, chastened or relish a proper meal and some carbs. Who knows, but if a magic carpet or genie presents itself to me, they’ll both be seeing a lot more of the world than a retailer’s welcoming red carpet.

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