Posts for 2008
It has been a while since I blogged. Is it because of writers block or simply to much whizzing inside my head.
Over the last few weeks the press have really ‘gone to town’, pardon the pun (!) over how the retail sector is suffering, especially with pre-Christmas sales attempting to get consumers to spend their money.
I was at the BBC today to record a short 5 part series called Pause for Thought – Sorry name drop! I couldn’t help myself so I dropped into both the Nike Store and Top Shop just around the corner from BBC Western house on Oxford street.
As an excuse to test my new portable HD camera I took a bit of footage of the crowds.
At the best of times it difficult to walk down Oxford Street. Today was no exception, it was packed! Are these people looking for a bargin, tourists or buying on credit?
Top shop was packed and the new running section in Nike Town on the first floor were selling Nike Elite Pro +4′s at £85 each!
I wonder if the credit crunch makes people work harder to take advantage of sales or is this all just another marketing ploy to get ‘footfall’?
Economists are telling us that 2009 is going to be difficult. The doom and gloom pundits are talking down the stock market, real estate (some reports suggest a 30% drop in current house prices by the end of 2009) and job prospects. There seems to be very little in the way of positive suggestions, for example: working on projects where communities local and international who are on the poverty line can be assisted through regeneration initiatives. It also seems to me that the worlds money and international markets are locked into trade agreements that exclude selective countries and the flow of goods.
When I played back some of these videos a few times you could see that people were on the hunt for their best deals. Although we make decisions on the high street in reality the import of products, their hyped profits, the middle men that often exploit developing countries and poor government policies all contribute to the apathy of the situation.
Maybe if we spoke more about working towards deals for the greater good, the wider community and those who we cannot see but deep down know that they need our help, we could ask our employers and governments to spend our money more wisely…
Will Obama help us see the light and offer something new?
2009 could be an interesting year but it is up to us to drive forward change rather than hear about it and feel good about the words!
I read http://candidculture.com/2008/11/28/the-highs-and-lows/ it raise some key issues, re: potential segmentation and the need for alignment to appropriate media channels.
Terrorism in my view is not born out of frustration. It is vile and a portrayal of cowardliness. Many issues for India and Pakistan are a result of a mis-managed and some historians have suggested deliberate ‘divide-and-rule’ policy/legacy. I often feel that independence day in India is both a celebration of freedom but also recognition of British Raj’s oppression. The people of the lands that remain divided cannot move on. They will and should not forget their divided families. I still believe in the power to convince people of their wrong doings by first reasoning and asking them to look into their hearts for a solution.
Having also read a recent piece from another / completely separate blogger on Obama’s attempt to ‘reach’ both sides, India and Pakistan to work towards solutions, the article was quick to point out personality issues with the Obama’s appointees.
Any attempt at dialogue has to be a positive step. However, there appears to be not enough momentum from either the UN or independent teams on both ends to work towards peace. I’m certainly not suggesting that both sides do not want a solution as that would be cynical, honest! Too much is based on the past mistakes.
No doubt security will continue to be even tighter around the world as we all suffer the ripple effects.
We need a positive channel for news. A channel that can communicate what the world would be like if we all got along.
We also need new political models that encourage communities to take charge of their regions. This means collaborative communities / empowered with more autonomy in terms of local controls, for example in farming and what is paid to a centralised system.
We have to remember that the minority spoil it for the majority but the power is still with the majority to contain radicals.
The death toll continues to rise in Mumbai as the attempt by terrorists to use a many-to-many attack strategy has lead to a longer and harder campaign to control them. The risks to innocent people is higher and the ripple effect that it will leave behind in Mumbai will be greater.
This is a video that I picked up via a FB message.
Lives maybe lost but the demand for justice is not…
In November 1984 thousands of innocent Sikhs lost their lives.
To date there has been no justice. The perpetrators are still free.
The first video features Bhai Rubin Paul Singh highlighting human rights issues in a creative way/poetic way at at conference entitled: Lahir 2008.
The second video is a trailer to the movie Amu. It found away to make people aware that this issue still needs to be addressed.
The short intro summary to the film reads…
Her trip back home turned into the journey of a lifetime…
Amu is the story of Kaju, a twenty-one-year-old Indian American woman who returns to India to visit her family. The film takes a dark turn as Kaju stumbles against secrets and lies from her past. A horrifying genocide that took place twenty years ago turns out to hold the key to her mysterious origins.
How were Kaju’s family involved in the killings? What happened and why? Who were the culprits? Who benefited? Will Kaju have the courage to pursue the truth no matter the cost? Will it destroy her relationship with her mother? Will it affect her burgeoning romance? Will it change everything she knows about herself and about India?
I remember running in on the streets of London in my T-shirt with the phrase ‘Sanctions Yes, Apartheid No‘.
It was my way of defying and declaring my disgust at how the Tory regime was too slow in asking for change.
In the last 2 years the momentum of the Obama campaign has been amazing.
OK, lots of money has been spent on the campaign but like Obama said in his winning speech last night…
And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
The victory is an achievement. Even if we put cynicism aside for what may not be achieved, the result speaks for itself…
Today we have a chance to embrace new ideas and work for closer world harmony both in terms of relationships but also in how we live.
Change will not be easy as it will need people with money and power, especially multi-national corporations to accept that they have a role to play to achieve profit in an ethical manner.
Change comes from within…
Those of us who want to know more about how the US election system works, the following is innovative view of the process!
I try not to watch kids TV in the morning but have to admit that Crazy Town is an awesome programme to inspire kids to exercise, get on with each other and eat nutritional food.
However, I was appalled by a 10min film on this morning’s Milkshake programme entitled ‘PLAY’, broadcast on Channel 5 (UK) at 6:45am. It went something like this…
Imagine a grey concreted street in India. The sun shines yet kids roam the streets watching their mothers use large steel bowls to wash their or others clothes.
The camera focuses on hose pipes ejecting clean water then slowly moves into a wide angle shot to reveal the inside of peoples homes… concrete shells.
The voice-over narrative then starts with a gentle female voice talking about how a child has just had a wash. The mother wraps the child in a thin grey towel hugging her to keep her warm.
The next scene shows a naked child, possibly no older the 2 years old walking towards another mother. The child blinks slightly and then points to her mother. This mother is crouching down pulling out cloths and then beating them to the ground to rinse out germs.
The voice over narrative resumes suggesting that the child is now joining her mother to wash clothes and how fun it is.
The video continues to communicate what the children depicted must be thinking, adding further tones of fun on what looks like a desperate situation…
At the end the context is left unclear.
- Why are they washing their streets in public in such a way?
- Is this acceptable for people who live in these countries?
- Should we as society show these images as reality with a subtext of apathy?
- Are the women aware that they are being filmed?
- What kind of message is this video communicating to a child – That poverty is a matter of fact and that nothing can be done to help change?
- The programme is called, ‘PLAY!’ – Sadly, I was left in shock thinking about the 75% of people in that country that are still trying to eat.
- Yes, we know nothing of the circumstances of the people featured but they clearly do not have what some of the other people have who live in India, i.e: Washing machines…
The following is what I sent to OFCOM today as a note of concern/complaint:
As humanity we need to strive to make poverty history. However, narrating to a child through 10mins of people washing their cloths on the streets of India has the potential to condition children to accept poverty. For youngsters this kind of portrayal is damaging and does not help in motivating change.
I also suggested…
I think the producers of this programme need to question their motives in potentially promoting poverty in such an apathetic way.