Monday, December 6, 2010

A Friendly Political Conversation

Hanging out with some friends can be a great way to forget about some of the tough times you’re going through. Even though I know I have responsibilities (with 5 classes and a job it’s hard to have any social life.. I’ve essentially ignored it this semester while I try to catch up in school) I felt that since tonight I don’t have anything to hand in urgently I could use a drink. It had been a while that I’ve spent some time with the people I call my “University Group” and I felt I owed them the night.. more for my sanity then theirs.

Anyway, after I got a good buzz going on only two beers and having some people of the group leave to get some work done (Hi Sarah and John!), I was left with Jean Marc and Eunice. One is a white “Pure Laine” Quebecer, a genuinely kind person and one of the most level headed individuals I’ve ever met while the other is a beautiful Haitian girl (to Eunice: grrrowl, to Jean Marc: Don’t read this. Hahah.) with a  great sense of humour and a bright future. While I’ve gone through some tough times lately they were always there for me. We had a video project to do and to be completely honest they did more work then I did. They felt (at least the way I think) that I was overwhelmed with work (which I clearly was) and they’d try to help as much as they could, and the work they completed without my help was incredibly important and while I haven’t thanked them personally for their help and encouragement, I’d like to do so now.

Anyway, we began talking about politics, and more specifically bout decolonization. I told them about how I’ve found the whole concept amazing. Why did decolonization begin right after World War 2?  Did it start with the problems of the English monarchy right before the war or did the ‘colonies ‘ of the world simply say they’d had enough? We had a long discussion about what the oppressed people of the world were, what it meant and where we thought the world was headed. We came to the conclusion that while China is powerful in the sense that it’s producing most products for the entire world, the United States is still on top but really needs to cut back on expenses if it wants to remain a superpower and a stable government. The world economy is falling into debt upholding the baby boomer generation, and that’s going to cause our generation to have to tighten our belts because they didn’t tighten theirs. As for Africa, their time in the sun will come after many more years of hardship, when China’s working people have enough of their oppression and exploitation and decide to fight for a fair wage ( at least in comparison to north American or European standards.) With the destabilizing of the Chinese economy, Africa may have a chance if it should have the opportunities available for cheap labor. The bottom line is at this point, that while we come from oppressed places, we’ve become the haves, rather then the have-nots… and it’s better to be us then them.

The point is, even if our theories aren’t based on concrete fact (3 art history students with no political science experience should hardly be considered professionals) we’re definitely not the only people who think this way. Many people just choose to keep the status quo, claiming ignorance at the solution. We pointed at the people and countries that poor millions into infrastructure and industrial projects in developing nations, only to see scarce improvement in their condition. We looked at this situation, finding that the people being helped were weary of European help and ‘western influence and information.’ Do we instead wash our hands and leave them? Right now pouring money into Africa and the poor regions of the world seems to be the only solution, and maybe one day, we might find that the situation improves… even if it seems that the money isn’t going anywhere. What I’m trying to say is that doing something, anything, is better then just leaving them. They are human beings and while they may seem inferior,  they should be considered our equals, and we need to find a way to improve their condition… their world view and their knowledge will improve ours as much as ours will help theirs.

Now on a completely unrelated note, today was the first real, thick, bountiful snow!! As much as I love summer, it was great to walk in snow again... :)


  1. I must agree, this conversation was very interesting. By the way I have a past, and in that past I had political science class. However this past didnt help me in last night's conversation! I am not a fan of politics, but last night's conversation was amazing, and made me think that although we are art students, we shouldn`t only be talking about art. Politics is a far away subject, which made the conversation even more interesting. I'm really hoping good things will happen in Haiti, although the political situation is absolutely unstable and the people are "décimée" (meaning everyone is slowly dying). This conversation made me feel fortunate about the way I live, but it also made me want to fight for the poor countries, help them as much as I can. However I don't know how. Parrainer un enfant et envoyer de l'argent n'est pas la solution d'apres moi, mais je crois qu'il faut rester au courant, ne pas les ignorer, s'informer etc.
    p.s: thank you for saying I was beautiful
    p.p.s: I never felt like you didnt do anything for the video project! and I had fun watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show with you. We should go back to your house, not to do homeworks but to play video games or (finally) watch Metropolis!!