Wednesday, May 20, 2009

American's outraged by reality

I was reading the soundbite news this morning (my mobile feed that brings me only the superficial news stories) and read that the shanty home of the little girl who acted in the movie Slumdog Millionaire was torn down by authorities yesterday.

The story centers around Rubina Ali and her family and includes information that the producers of Slumdog Millionaire have established a trust for her and the other child actors from the film.

As 'entertainment news' goes this is a pretty sad story. Here's a little girl who lives in a makeshift home with blue tarp ceiling and blanket walls who played a little girl who had no home and lived in the streets. There are a million girls and boys and moms and dads who live in makeshift homes with dirt floors and blanket walls... it seems to me that the reason this is a international news story is because this particular little girl was in a movie that was popular in the west. Are we surprised that the mere act of being in one hugely popular movie didn't translate to instant riches and security for the actors? We aren't really interested in these people and their lives.

Is it news because someone who walked the red carpet at the Oscars lives in a shitty little box and not because family after family live in poverty and in shitty little boxes?

I find it sad that we (including myself) as a society are quick to ignore large pockets of poverty. The charitable angel on my shoulder (who looks oddly like Oprah Winfrey) says that charity starts small and grows. Is that true or is it a way to make my contributions to my church and to Goodwill enough to let me off the hook?

I was looking at the real estate listings for Tipton Indiana yesterday and there were quite a few decent homes for sale under $50k. How hard would it be to buy one and donate it to a local church or aid agency for them to use as temporary shelter for local people? It wouldn't be hard...but will I do it? Probably not.

I disappoint myself.


Anonymous said...

Please don't make that little girl have to choose between living in a shanty built on a garbage dump in Mumbai, and living in Tipton, Indiana.

PNB Dave said...

You're going to be a hunchback pretty damned quick if Oprah is perched on your shoulder.