There's a linguistic bad habit loose in the nation. The gaudy dolts of the mainstream media take delight in calling things by the wrong names. Take this notion of "developing" nations, for example. When, exactly, are they going to begin developing? Many reports I have read tell me that all those countries in Africa are not only NOT developing, they're reverting back to the jungle. As soon as the European colonizers left, they all started falling apart — their infrastructure is left to rot, savagery takes place routinely, with tribes murdering other tribes, and have you ever tried sending a fax to Zaire? Their one fax machine doesn't work — I tried for days once to send a fax there with absolutely no luck.
Upshot is that these so-called "developing" nations would be far more aptly named beggar nations. All we ever hear out of most African countries is how we should do more for them. Send them money, drugs for AIDS, condoms, etc. and etc. Hands out, they continually ask for aid. And we've continually given it — and still they're not developing.
Here's a prime example of what I mean by beggar nations:
LONDON (Reuters) — The West's failure to invest all the money it promised into world population programmes has resulted in a deadly shortage of condoms in the developing world, the United Nations (news - web sites) said on Wednesday.
In a sharp rebuke for the world's biggest economies, the retiring head of the UN Population Fund said her biggest regret about the job was the crippling lack of resources.
"These are large countries which should be doing a lot more," said Dr Nafis Sadik, executive director of the UNFPA.
"The resources are just not there and especially for the products that require foreign exchange," she told reporters. "Condom supplies are getting disrupted" at a time when demand is soaring.
See what I mean? That sub-Saharan Africa can't keep its collective dingdong in its collective pants is all our fault. And out comes the hands, begging for condoms. I like that "especially for the products that require foreign exchange" — how awful that we might ask something in return for all the shipments of condoms.
And there you have that "developing" world nonsense again. Unfortunately, all these countries do is beg through their UN spokesmen. Too bad they can't see fit to put some of that begging energy into making their own lives a bit better. But, ah, that requires work, hard work.
So get to developing, all you "developing" nations. I might be a bit more willing to help you then. As it is, I'm sick of hearing about all your sad troubles.
September 26, 2000
Patricia Sharon Neill is managing editor of a scholarly journal on the life and work of William Blake, the 18th-century artist and poet.
© 2000 by Patricia Sharon Neill