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About Schmidt, and West Wing thoughts

So I saw this Jack Nicholson vehicle tonight. It was nice. Not great, not incredible, but nice. “I was pleased.” But I think this is, in part, the point of the film. And it made me think...

West Wing called the US “the only indispensible nation” - the country that promotes all these different good things around the world. But right now, the only thing I see is this damn class inequality, the difference between our quality of living and that in the rest of the world. I realized that the US needs to exist to create a set of people who can take the time to think about the problems of the rest of the world, and to create the solutions they need. That should be the main purpose of existence for the people of this country - the easing of the difficulties of the rest of the world.

It’s the only excuse for us to be grabbing the lion’s share of the world’s resources. The excuse for paying farmers to not grow corn... We need to make the fact that we live in such relative luxury mean something, make it pay the world somehow.

Tomorrow I start looking for ways to volunteer this free time of mine. I’m starting to realize that anything computer-based will make life better for very few people, and only then very marginally.

Because I feel that the rest of the world will not endure this difference forever, and if we squander this window of opportunity with purely selfish indulgence... then there is no good to the long term prosperity of the world.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
awfief
Feb. 14th, 2003 06:19 am (UTC)
try Food Not Bombs (pheromone also volunteers) and Bikes Not Bombs (they send bikes and bike parts to 3rd world countries to help farmers and the like improve their quality of life).
visage
Feb. 14th, 2003 08:01 am (UTC)
Peace Corps?
76trombones
Feb. 14th, 2003 09:23 am (UTC)
I can relate. I mean, not to the part about having free time, but about feeling like I should be doing significant useful stuff.
forgotten_aria
Feb. 14th, 2003 09:36 am (UTC)
Let me know what you find and I might volenteer with you. I've been wanting to, but I'm too damn lazy to go find something and having a friend at the same place, who has tested the waters and knows what's going one would probably take enough work out of finding a place I would enjoy volenteering at that Iw oudl actually do it.
hammercock
Feb. 15th, 2003 05:27 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, this one reason I like working at UUSC. Being part of a human rights organization feels good and relevant.

There are probably lots of places you could volunteer in the Boston area. The ones mentioned above are just a couple of many possibilities. I'm sure they'd be thrilled to have your help.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )