The illogicality of poverty and the illogicality of wealth

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The coco cola octopusLET ME WRITE SOMETHING BEFORE ANYBODY CAN READ THIS. I AM not WRITING THIS OUT OF GUILT BUT ON THE CONTRARY: OUT OF THE LACK OF GUILT. THAT LACK OF GUILT IS THE STRANGE THING THAT HAS CAUSED ALL THIS ROTTEN FEELING IN ME AND OF THIS WORLD. How do we manage to live like this and yet I can and with great ease and comfort. This feeling is making me feel sick with myself, my brothers and all those rotten sad poor people around the world that are literally starving while I am eating my way to freedom on toast and vegemite. Although I don't smoke any more, I used to pay $16.50 for a packet and that could keep for some bugger in food for his kids and wives for a month!!!

I went to bed at 10.45 last night, 3 valiums and a B1 and woke up at 3 am full of thoughts. I wrote 'till 5 .45 and had the fun of cork and pushed a fucking button and everything was gone! Gone forever.

Clemens did everything he could but gone was gone!!! The computer had swallowed it up and hid it some where we'll never know.

 

To start with in my last blog 'Last Painting' I was convinced I was dying. Not in a very dramatic way but read it so I wont have to repeat myself again. In fact I thought it was funny and dramatic.

 

What was it about now? And I mean the thoughts I had tonight and the writing that followed.

 

It was about our world. My world and the world of the rest of this planet.

This funny round planet shared with billions of identical ones. Some more advanced then others or are we the only ones? Cannot believe that!

I burned yesterday a canvas in the garden as an 'artistic' whatever and the thought struck me that the money I spent on all that canvas and wood etc I could have fed some starving family in Uganda or Somalia or where ever they are starving or living with out the Internet and colour TV's!!!!

 

I thought of Julia Gillard and Hillary Clinton crying their eyes out publicly be cause Australia had lost 5 soldiers in Afghanistan! They were highly paid professional soldiers carrying weapons that could blow an entire village off the map but poor fellows. They died like saints, not like gun carrying soldiers, well paid and looked after! What about the poor Afghanistan families? Who cried for them?

 

Of course I feel for these boys, these good looking healthy soldiers, but I don't understand the shit we as a super rich country can build around something as predictable as death and war. And why Afghanistan? It is stinking rich under that dry dusty soil! We don't want the Chinese to get their dirty yellow hand on it either.

Here I am living in Australia, one of the richest countries on Earth and burn canvasses up in the back garden yet could not do that and feed all these starving people.

 

I saw on the TV a mother and child dying because they didn't have the food and yet a crew of TV people were there filming it so we can watch it on the TV at night. Comfortably snuggled up with a warm cup of coffee, a lovely cold beer or tea and a biscuit with our well fed dogs totally safe at our feet.

 

A programme with one of my favourite tv presenters Steven Fry showing some flightless parrot called a Kakapoo on one of the most southern islands of New Zealand. Apparently only 40 or so are left alive and this programme cost a million odd dollars to make. Imagine if that money went to more than 40 starving people around the world!!!!! I cannot understand the logic NOR do I want to because I loved watching the programme But my funny twisted conscience got the better of me for a few minutes! Not much longer as the toaster was burning and the beer or coffee cooling up or down.

But will all this change ME? No! Nothing.. I'll go on living with the image of the starving child and the image of the Kakapoo in New Zealand.And yet my conscience is niggling at me, damn it!!!!

 

How strange and how does our conscience work it out. Is is good versus evil or reality against

unreality? Good against evil or just tv against a warm bed? Google against the latest news?

God versus the Devil and who is the God and who is the Devil? Fucked if I know! I had my warm potatoes and hard boiled eggs at the same time...

Unless I suddenly become a born again something and burn my bras and what have you. From the beginning of time our world, the rich world, had had some very clever dealings, buying slaves from the Arabs who sold them again to the Dutch, Portuguese and Spaniards who sold them again to the America's.. The Blacks in America are very happy they were sold so many generations ago and do NOT live in Iberia or Uganda or wherever. And, thank God, they even have a voice now. Not 35 or 45 years ago in America. In those days the blacks in Africa had more rights of a kind than the Yanks!!!

 

From the very beginning of time when some bugger grew four instead if three green things he realised he could swap one green thing for a yellow one and started to grow five and could swap 4 instead and before you knew it we had commerce. Without that collective, call it greed, we wouldn't have had the Taj Mahal or the Pyramids. Throughout time some people were smarter than others and others were more stupid and had ten mouths to fill and had in consequence to toil the land of the smarter ones .And the smarter ones and thus better fed married or procreated with their own kind and before you knew it we had the “Ruling Classes”. The Aristocracy, the intellectuals and the ones who could read, write and add up complicated sums. And wash their hands.

 

And I must say: Thank God.

I was brought up in a relative protected and somewhat wealthy family. My parents, like my oldest friend Clemens dad, a pilot, , worked for Shell Oil Company and as little kids we flew from our boarding schools or 'en-familia's' 1st Class to wherever and always had servants running around doing all the things one does and our parents came home after a hard day's work or playing golf and sat with the other Americans, Brits, Dutch or Iranians sipping their cocktails and nibbling their whatevers. It was 'normal' that for the first time in my life at around 18 years old, , in Holland, I met a labourer and couldn't believe how nice this old bloke was. He was probably early 40-ish but the classes, even in democratic Holland didn't mix!

The Queen of Holland, Queen Wilhelmina, visited the south of the Netherlands for the very first time before the second world war because it was Catholic! And they, the Royals, were Protestants. Now all that has changed a lot in the western world but has it? People are still starving in this world because of a lack of FOOD. India, admittedly a slightly over populated country, has 100.000 HIV people dying and yet it has the largest number of Billionaires on Earth. Again, I am playing with numbers but to be truthfully shockingly hard: India is well off with its 100.0000 dying HIV people.100.000 less people to worry about.

 

Am writing this rather serious article because my last blog: Last Painting, was tongue in cheek. But truly think about it. Those Aussie soldiers in Afghanistan died because we, the Americans on top, are petrified the unbelievable wealth in the soill of that country could fall in the hands of, for instance, the Chinese. Probably the next Super Power Rich country on Earth. But like the Europeans they are as divided in class, accents and languages and of course, like the Europeans, the Aristocracy that until today has enormous power, not so much politically but simply the respect and heritage they carried with them with or without Mao-ze Dong!!! But we Westerners will still have enough to fill our tummies and the rest of Africa and some other unmentionable countries will have to beg from us or work for a pittance..Walking with our puppies I collect, don't ask me why, bottle top of Coca-Cola ans Sprite, the blue one. I must have around a 1000 now. Every top has been made by a very clever machine, the plastic mixed by a chemical engineer and the colour, be it Coca-Cola red or Sprite blue by another clever factory and all put together by hard working men and woman. What an organisation and collectivism yet they cannot feed a few bloody starving people in this world!!!!

 

And I will NOT change. I will still buy my McDonalds and McDonalds will they still make vegetarian McDonalds for India!!! How sick is this, for Heavens sake????

 

For sure, I would adopt that poor starving child and mother and send the kid to school. Clean up and feed the mother and she'd be cleaning my house and we all would be so grateful as can be. The kid will grow up, get a good Australian job, marry and look at the TV and see these poor starving people and think: Shit, thank God I don't live there!!!!

 

At this very moment Clemenst is cleaning up the mess I made with the burning of my Last Painting, sitting with his son and their mate Mick laughing their heads of and the two dogs are keeping them company fully aware that at 6.30 they get their huge hunk of meat for dinner. Meat enough to feed an entire small village in Somalia or wherever mixed with some green stuff or Red Cross vitamin tablets.

 

Communism didn't work, thank God the WESTERNERS say and the Presdent of the USSR is the now richest man on Earth, Mr.Putkin.... can yo believe the corruption born in nearly all men, especially the men with a little power.

 

I have seen a fair bit of this world. Went a few times through the Sues Channel, once via Panama because the Egyptians were fighting with the Israelis, around the Cape and visited Capetown and Durban as a 18 year old and couldn't believe the kindness of the Whites and the hatred they had at the same time when they looked at the Blacks. Walked through Bombay and didn't know how quick I needed to get back on my boat because the horrific poverty and stench was too much for my delicate nose. Lived for nearly 2 decades in Portugal where I had a house maid who cooked, terribly, for me but was as nice as pie. Her house was built against my huge house built in 1640-ish and her son was in a wheel chair because he fell of his moped and it was normal for me to share some of my wealth with them. Buying the boy a transistor radio so he could sit outside and listen to the football matches or whatever.

 

So the world is still round, the world is still crazy with greed and corruption and I still live here in the richest part of it all.

Cannot imagine living in the USA, been there and found it surprisingly like Australia, not ALL Brad Pitts and Marilyn Monroe.. But the hatred for the races was there albeit better organised. A bit like here in Australia. We cannot forget our past. Nor should we but don't believe we learn much from all that shit. Better communal manners maybe.

I still live like a rich man and I know I still live in a poor world but that cannot be changed by me. Anyway, that is my excuse!!!

 

Monica Scheepers just wrote me something and it is so terribly right; How could I forget. Art as music, of all cultures, make us or them happy and loose for some time the shocking or not so shocking reality!!!!!

Maybe I forgot, I am NOT a writer, as I am a painter myself and never a day goes by without me doing something or thinking something. Thank you Monica for reminding me.


World poverty map 2008

Comments

Hallo Paul, hoe gaat het met jou, Clemens en je mooie werken. Naast het feit dat je een mooi kunstenaar, painter bent, ben je natuurlijk veel meer. Je oprechtheid is je schoonheid. En ik kan je verhalen endless lezen. Gewoon omdat het zo heerlijk puur is. Hoop gauw weer wat van je te zien en te horen. Een warme groet uit het hart , liefs monica