Saturday, May 24, 2008

the conference

So I just got back from this conference in California.
It was pretty cool.  I think I am changed, but I don't how.

First of all, there is no Mile High Comics in LA.
How lame is that? The land of the Wondercon, and no mhc.
I found a comic shop, but it was dinky and unimpressive.
They did carry some cool stuff that my own shop didn't have.
The ultra graphic Hercules (not the Marvel one), Rasl by Kevin Smith, David Lapham's comic Young Liars, Glamourpus, and Vertigo's House of Mystery.  So that was pretty cool, especially since I already read through all of my Secret Invasion crossover comics on the way to CA.
Also, cable in California... not very exciting.  It's pretty much the same crap that we have out east.  I did watch the Alaska Experiment that was cool.  I also saw the old narrated version of Bladerunner, lame.
Other sad news, I discovered that Jack in the Box no longer serves the bruschetta chicken ciabatta. 

So, this thing was about the P.E.A.C.E. plan.
The basic idea is that there are many bad things that affect millions of people, but only a few that affect billions.  If someone wants to help make a difference they might be overwhelmed by all the needs in the world, this helps consolidate and focus things.  This is an initiative to try to take on the top 5 giants that are bringing down the human race.  It is not hard to guess what they would be, pandemic disease (AIDS and stuff), starvation, education, corruption in leadership, all that kind of stuff.  Mostly it had to do with Africa, it sounds bad for me to say it like that, but whatever, judge me later.

The methodology is about mobilizing regular people, stop outsourcing aid to 'professionals' (ngo's and gov) and put it in the hands of the people (there is some training involved so that people don't make situations worse, the first principle is 'do no harm') instead of throwing western money at the problem. Two billion people can do more than two billion dollars.  Too many times donated goods end up in the black-market and funds are seized by warlords and corrupt politicians. Any aid that does reach the intended recipient ends up creating dependancy and a worse situation. 

It was amazing to hear about the type of people that were getting involved.  Big CEO's (who I would normally hate) were getting on planes and going to Africa to meet chicken farmers and helping people grow their businesses, Dairy farmers were going into foreign cultures and showing people how to raise cattle, 

I would like to take this moment to give a big middle finger to all the anthropologists that care more about introducing cows to a cowless culture than they care about the millions of people with babies that are starving to death.

substance abuse addicts and people with sexual disorders were focusing on others to help them save their babies from getting malaria.  Yes, it is controversial, yes, there is risk involved, and yes, these people were succeeding in changing the world for the better.  Spiritual leaders are meeting with generals and politicians and learning about conflict resolution and reconciliation. Rick Warren mediated the conflict in Kenya and helped to resolve the violence that was killing thousands.  All I have to say is sick balls man... sick balls.  This is something that I think I can really get into.

The last important things, there is a barbecue joint in the OC called Lucille's.  The best brisket and ribs I've ever had in my life.  Also, this fat kid playing the acoustic cover of the Outkast song 'Hey Ya' is my new theme.  It's kinda hippie so most of you won't like it.  Deal with it. 

btw, when I listed education as a thing that is 'bringing down the human race' what I meant was that education is a bad thing and we need less of it.  The stupider people are the happier they well be.  Sure they may get malaria from drinking infected water and spread AIDS by having sex with virgins to cure their AIDS... okay, that's not funny at all.  Education is good.