Day 369: Frank Capra – Just F**k Off

In line with the Christmas spirit, the time of the year when we promise to be good -one day out of 365- we are served the Christmas spirit par excellence and that would be the whole Frank Capra’s filmography.

Every year we say ‘they don’t make movies like those anymore’, yeap, they don’t, maybe there is hope for humanity after all if we can’t bear to tell such ‘so out there’ tales, in which we represent everything that is not working within our society, bless it and make it palatable, to teach children that ‘this is the way things have always been’- and look everyone is just happy where they are, Isn’t Life Wonderful?

Take this ‘Pocketful of Miracles’, ashamed to say one of my favourite movies for years, where a woman beggar holds a gangster in her grip by selling him ‘magic lucky apples’, that she tells him are inhabited by elves who have his fate a heart -not hers obviously as she lives as a derelict surrounded by her ‘happy’ beggar friends, that support her ‘out of wedlock’ daughter that she sent to Spain to be raised in a private luxurious college, to ensure she would have a better life than the one she lived-.

The woman beggar then receives the unexpected news of the upcoming visit of her daughter and, since she had always lied to her pretending to be a very rich aristocratic lady, she is helped out by the gangster to play the part and is groomed from head to toe, because in this world we are taught to do judge the book by its cover, so she is re-clothed, made up, gets her mani & pedi and jewellery on loan and is housed at one of the most expensive hotels in New York, waiting for her daughter’s visit.

When I re-watched this movie I wondered how it could have ever moved me to tears, what was moving in such a movie? The generosity of the gangster who wanted to make sure he would have forever access to the luck provided by the loving elves living in the apples, or the attachment of the beggar woman to her far away daughter for which she collected a kickback from other derelicts such as she was, or the effort she went through to hide her shameful life to her daughter, even though when she was dressed like a queen she made it clear she couldn’t wait to return to the comfort of the streets (?), or the gangster fiance’, who had to strip half-naked to pay her fathers debts after he passed away, or the loving gesture of the police chief who accepted to play the part of the woman beggar friend to con the Spanish aristocrats that came in tow with her daughter to collect news about her, to make sure she was worthy to get married into wealth.

One wouldn’t know, it would be hard to pick today for me what was that made that movie a favourite if not the ‘feel good’ factor of the make over, because in itself the story is squalid and sad and there is nothing Christmassy about it as in ‘good’, no, it is in fact the perfect picture of our world, a world of suffering, injustice, deception and criminals, all made to look good so that the world we live in is not questioned, so that we may believe that a beggar can raise enough kickbacks to maintain a daughter for life in an expensive European educational facility, insisting that All choices are available to all if one has enough beggar friends and that misery is not so bad after all, look, some loooved it to death and would have never traded it for a 5 star life of good food, warm housing and nice clothing.

I was really asleep for a long time, if we were awake we would have told the Frank Capras of the world to piss off instead of glorifying their feel good movies in the face of this world, but we didn’t.

They no longer make movies like that, what a loss, now we have movies that are dangerously closer to our reality, where there is violence, fear, abuse, misery, maybe we had enough feel good movies to last a lifetime and we are becoming ready to face reality, which is that This World Ain’t Working and that We Have to Redesign One That Does Work for All.

Guaranteeing a Life of Dignity to All would be a good start, check out the Living Income Guaranteed, THAT would be something to celebrate, a plan to give a Life to All, and then when someone will show us a movie like Frank Capra’s we’ll say ‘imagine that, so lucky to no longer live in those times’, because there is no excuse for a world of abuse not even when we make it endearing and funny to pretend that ‘all is well after all’.

Don’t get duped. Get a Life for yourself and for All.

 

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Day 366: Less than 1 Euro a Day to save a Child

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Christmas is coming.

They say ‘Tis the season to be jolly and the season to be good.
This is why Charities capitalize on this time of the year, they ‘prey’ on those that are getting close to the day when everyone wows to be good, they know we are looking for good things to do to build up our Good Christmas Character.

Yesterday in my mail box there was the letter from my neighbouring church, it was a melancholic letter outlining how much we have lost the spirit of Christmas, how much we forgot about the man who came to remind us what it was all about – it’s about Giving, they reminded us.

It was meant to move us to do just that, Giving, the 2 enclosed envelopes told us to whom, that framed the letter into its real meaning, it was a reminder that we must give to them, in the specific, to those who vow to be the intermediaries between us and God, the trade union between the Earth and the infinite Goodness of the Creator.

The Church in Italy is a Corporation, it would be important to never forget this because then we would reward them based on performance and as far as having brought a solution to this world they just plainly sucked, so there should be no Bonus given in any form at the end of the year, especially not under the guise of giving to help others. Who are those ‘others’ that we are manipulated to believe would be at the receiving end of our charity?  And why those who are in direct contact with God are not asking the Almighty to send some cash, but wait, they are, everyone prays for Money the whole year around, we turn to each other only when the promise of a Divine reward fails us, which lately seems to be just about every-time we ask, ask and it is given apparently was never comprehensive of the money package, if it were we would never have reached this level of Inequality because most people -if not All, everyday, are asking for Money to one god or another.

Now, on our TVs for the past few weeks we had the ad of Action Aid going incessantly, they claim that with less than 1 euro a day we can save a child’s life, they say they have been involved in every developing country for over 20 years, not that we noticed because children are dying in the thousands still every single day, instead what we can see now, with all this freedom of information is that the CEOs of those Charities are taking home in the range of 100.000/year in remuneration, this is from their website

‘ActionAid’s Richard Miller – who earned just under £88,900 last year – was featured in recent media coverage on executive pay because we are a member of the DEC.

We believe it’s important that senior staff are not paid more than is necessary to recruit and retain high quality people and – as many supporters who have met Richard know – his role is demanding and complex. His job is to lead and manage a £60 million-a-year operation to deliver the best possible outcomes for the world’s poorest and most marginalised women, men and children.’

So, if we are to treat Charities for the Corporations they are, why are their CEOs paid close to 10.000 US per month, what is the target they are achieving to be entitled to such wages in a profit driven system?

Their target is NOT to find a solution to the problems of Poverty, if THAT was their target and less than 1 euro a day could save a child, with the money they raise at Action Aid they could save 2 million children a year – for 1 year – and we would have heard about them all year around and not just at Christmas. This of course ONLY if the operation costs of a charity of that size were NIL, which is obviously not the case, because even Charity people must eat and live and that costs Money.

Here is a link to a site called Charity Watch, where they explain the mechanics of what is involved cost wise to run a fund raising operation, the details of each charity are on sale, because we must buy our right to make a wise decision about where to send our charitable money, information in this time and age = money, or we could use our own brain to work out that Corporations that have an operating and marketing costs above 50% of what they raise, are in the Charity Business, if it didn’t make money you would not have so many Charities, so no matter what the claim is, they are selling us a product, they are selling us the immunity for our guilt at having had it easier, better and way above others for no specific reason but just because we got lucky at this Casino Capitalistic System.

If it takes less than 1 euro a day to save a child, why are we not giving it for all the children of the world, why are we not giving to all those that need a Life the chance to get one, why do we trust Corporations to do it on our behalf, is it because they make a good website and line up some feel good words about how useful it would be for the world if we gave some of what we don’t REALLY need to level the field with those that have nothing?

Then, if we consider Charity as a solution, why are we not considering The Solution to Charity instead?

Charity exists because we accept Inequality and abject Injustice in the first place, if we didn’t, everyone would be provided with a Living Income Guaranteed to make sure that they have enough to sustain themselves and their families.

The Equal Life Foundation has drafted such a solution, it’s called a ‘Living Income Guaranteed’, it’s all laid out, it’s a charitable programme because someone has done all the work for free so that you just have to join it, spread the word about it, you just have to consider stopping entertaining fantasies about solving the world problems by giving 30 euros a month, the equivalent to less than 10 lattes at Starbuck, to a good cause, to ensure that some get a chance to live.

This world will change through our direct participation, there will be no remote solutions, no ‘adopting a child at a distance’ that can save the life of 30000 children that die every day of preventable diseases, only a change in the economic structure of the system can do so, and that is the only Charitable choice we can make for Christmas, to grant to all what we claim to have a right for, A Life and that will have to be as close and personal as we can get, one by one standing for an irreversible Change, until it’s done.

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