Wednesday, February 02, 2005


I just got around to reading Jay Nordlinger's account of Davos. It is, as usual, depressing. That, combined with my reading of Jean-Francois Revel's Anti-Americanism, and I'm ready to rip apart (verbally) the next European I come across. I won't rehash all the stories he tells; go read for yourself, if you can stand to hear about Europeans and American journalists putting the blame for just about everything on America's shoulders. BUT, I did want to to share this:

The luncheon topic is AIDS, and when Sharon — we're on a first-name basis — rises to speak, she gets a serious, actress-about-to-address-something-grave look on her face. She gathers herself. Then she makes the most charming prefatory remarks you've ever heard: "It's good to be here with all you smarty-pants. I don't have your education, and probably not your world experience, although I have a certain experience. But . . ." A masterly downplaying of expectations. Right out of the Speaker's Handbook, page 1.

The gist of her remarks is that AIDS is readily solvable, but that "greed and arrogance stop us." We — we richies — simply don't want to spend enough, simply don't care enough. We are stingy and callous. (No mention is made of the Bush administration's remarkable efforts in Africa — efforts that the most knowledgeable and fair-minded can't help hailing.) Finishing up, the actress says, "If we just stopped arrogantly killing people all over the world, and channeled the money into AIDS, we would have a solution."

Nordlinger does a great job ripping her apart, but I just wanna ask, what the heck are actors and musicians (Bono, and Lionel Richie) doing at an economic forum? And, why are they being taken seriously? Please, someone save me from the lecturing actors. "We richies" (I guess she's talking about herself, because I'm a SAHM mom of five - she can excluded ME from that "we") don't want to spend enough? I believe "we've" made great strides in AIDS research. But, solving the health problems in third world countries is just not that simple. Especially when you have corrupt, and often dangerous, leaders running things (and, no, I'm not referring to Bushhilter here). Nordlinger writes of listening to Bill Clinton (who performed very European while in Davos):

Back, once more, to Clinton: He says that anyone who complains about corruption in African governments — anyone who expresses caution about handing over money to these governments — "should be put in a closet, so no one has to listen to them."

WHAT??? We shouldn't care if we are handing money to a despot who is lining his toilet in gold? Of course, this type of talk was loved by the audience. After all, the Europeans don't care if American money actually helps anyone, as long as it is being redistributed around the world. Really, this is shameful. Why can't Nordlinger just stay home next year?