Friday, April 01, 2005

Death Watch & Landmines

I am wasting Saturday morning by watching the CNN Pope Death Watch. I realize that he is the spiritual leader for millions if not a billion people and I know that many people will be sad at his passing. On Larry King Live, some guy sang "Amazing Grace". People are being interviewed about his life and now, his death. Many of the Pope's beliefs differ from mine. There are many common things we believe and I wish I could have met him.

While watching this unending tribute, the satellite TV system that we use here in Thailand, aired a PSA from the UN against landmines. (The Prime Minister here has outlawed foreign commericials because they don't pay airtime tax into his, I mean, the kingdom's accounts. So, UBC has decided to air some of the most rediculous PSA's I have EVER seen in my life. UNICEF announcements preaching the "rights" of children, eg, to express their own opinion, to be free from abuse, to be protected from this and that. It is not that I disagree with these statements; it is that they are a horrible waste of resources and really poorly made. Well, in the past couple of days, they have switched from these horrible animated shorts to live action portrayals against landmines. One of them is some poor farmer talking about not being able to plant crops because of landmines in his fields. It is well done and a welcomed relief from the cartoons. Today, there is a second one that really caught my attention. It was of an American 6th grade girl's soccer game. It shows the parents being so proud of their daughter as she makes a goal and all the fun that goes with kids' games. Then, as the young girl celebrates the goal she just made, she steps on a landmine in the soccer pitch. The scene is really traumatic as she is killed and many others are injured. The mother is overwhelmed with grief and the father runs to his daughter, and holds her lifeless body. The scenes fade and these words are brought up on the screen: "If there were landmines here, would you stand for them anywhere?" I was really taken back by the violence and impact that it had. It actually gave me chill bumps!

You can go to the landmine website here and download the video.

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