Monday, January 18, 2010

Of Glen "Taco" Bell and Haiti's Heaven and Hell

My first Gastrointestinal Physician died over the weekend. The importance of his revolutionary research into the stool softening properties inherent when combining certain very cheap oils, spices, cheeses and ground meat cannot be over stated. Certainly not to those of us who had until that point suffered in silence. Remember, this was in the dark days before the advent of Activia. If there's any justice, they'll honor his wishes and bury him in an actual coffin-size Tortilla shell. Drop the Chalupa, my friend, for you're now in a better place (up in heaven, walking Gidget the Taco Bell Chihuahua and picking up her droppings in the clouds) ...

And speaking of diarrhea, thank God for the good folks at the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Sure, they're still docking ships near the heavily guarded Labadee resort of Haiti - less than 100 miles from the epicenter of the devastating earthquake - so that the passengers can come ashore, hang out at the swanky private resort, enjoy barbecues and snorkeling, and so forth ...

... and some might say that's a bit insensitive ...

... but not so, they say!

They're donating any extra Sun Loungers for use by the relief effort! You know, in case the wounded want to soak up some sun during the days-long "down time" waiting for medical attention.

And I'm sure they have promised to instruct the guards surrounding the resort to avoid unnecessarily killing any of the pleading mobs pounding on the gates outside, crying out for a scrap of food or a sip of water or perhaps some antibiotics. Here, have a Sun Lounger instead! Let them eat cake! If they can find some!

Now seriously, it's easy to get all holier-than-thou about business-as-usual anywhere on Haiti, with such unimaginable suffering taking place just down the road; however, as distasteful as it seems, it's only slightly more reprehensible than it was a month ago or a year ago. When the rest of Haiti was quietly living in squalor and oppression pre-earthquake. And perhaps there is some validity to Royal Caribbean's claims that they are providing logistics services to the relief efforts while in-port and that to go elsewhere and deny locals employed in such resorts a way to earn some money only adds to the suffering.

Would re-directing the Royal Caribbean cruise ships to Barbados make anything better? Perhaps it would ease the consciences of the passengers but fuck their consciences. I know a way to ease them, cruisers: end your vacation early and pressure Royal Caribbean to pony up a partial refund so that you can donate it to the relief efforts.  But it's every fuckhead's right to stick his or her head in the proverbial sand (just remember to apply sun block to the exposed parts).

All that said, doesn't make it any less reprehensible; however, self righteous indignation isn't all that helpful in lessening the horror that continues into its second week around Port-au-Prince.

My 2 cents.

And on that hilarious note, I'll bid adieu.