Saturday, January 27, 2007

723 days, 23 hours, 24 minutes, 42 seconds

It's takes awhile, sometimes, for the news to hit home. But on January 23rd, the same day as Bush's State of the Union address, beggar children in Nairobi invade a five-star hotel's food tent and grab what they can. Food is selling for $7 a plate. Most people there, the ones who work, are lucky to earn $2 a day. This is at the World Social Forum where leaders from around the world are gathered. Bush is busy writing his speech. Half a world away, in Switzerland, other leaders attend the World Economic Forum, discussing the problem of poverty. Bush is cooped up in his oval office, reading over his speech again, practicing reading out loud, hoping not to flub too many words this time. And, lest he be called a man who only cares about the rich, he decides to introduce basketball player Dikembe Mutombo, from somewhere in Africa he thinks, who recently had a hospital built, again somewhere in Africa. Underlining this, so he can double-check the town, he breaks the tip of yet another pencil.