What a Wonderful World!

They say you should wake up and smell the coffee. Stop fooling yourself. Stop looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses. Get real! Yeah, right.

I would love to believe in Santa Claus. I would love to believe that good people are rewarded and bad people are punished, not just in heaven, but right here on Earth. I would love to believe that one day everybody will live in peace. There will be enough food and shelter for all mankind because we will not have to spend fortunes on military equipment and armies.

There will be no illnesses and everybody will be born with perfectly healthy bodies that don’t hurt.

Hey! Didn’t John Lennon write a song about all that stuff? Or did I imagine he did? And look what happened to him.

The truth is that the world will continue the way it always has done. There will be wars and famine and natural disasters. Well-meaning idealists will come and go. Experts will pronounce solutions to the world’s problems and there will be lots of discussion.

We seem to be good at discussing. There’s no shortage of conferences on this and that, but they rarely amount to anything. Peace talks, concerts for famine, and all sorts of ceremonies make us feel that we are doing something. And surely, doing something is better than doing nothing, isn’t it?

I’m not so sure about that. I always get embarrassed when Bob Geldoff raves on about poverty and those concerts of his seem so hypocritical to me. It’s what you do when you really don’t want to do anything serious. Go to a concert, have a ball and kid yourself that you’ve done something for others.

Is there anyone on the planet who is not aware that poverty exists? But let’s say there is. So how will rocking at some concert teach you to be caring? How will a couple of hours of spaced-out screeching and gyrating benefit the starving millions?

Most of the money that is supposedly generated by such social events hardly reaches the mouths of starving children. Anyway, charity is not the solution when the starvation is caused by political unrest. Provisions are hoarded by militias who never pass them on to the population. Look at Darfur.

Of course, there is one person who has benefited from those concerts and it’s Sir Bob Geldoff himself. A one-hit wonder who, regrettably, has never been introduced to soap. Funny how even when I see him on TV I hold my breath the way one does in public toilets.

Today is the first day of 2008 and it would be great if it were better than 2007, but here we are, once again listening to news of assassinations, riots in the streets of Pakistan, North Korea threatening to be naughty again, hostages in Columbia not being released because somebody ‘misplaced’ them apparently, brotherly love in Iraq and Afghanistan, more rantings from “Osama” and the longest and most tedious presidential election campaign in American history.

Where are those rose-coloured glasses when you most need them?

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