September 25, 2009

On Lords of Poverty...

Graham Hancock's books have always been excellent reads. See this earlier post of mine. Got my hands on another book of his today, will surely post a review once done but when you read this upfront:

" Lords of Poverty is dedicated to those senior staff at the World Bank who illegally acquired and read my original synopsis in the early days of this project. By attempting to limit my access to inside information they convinced me that the aid business does indeed have much to hide."

and when a dedication like that is followed by this poem:

The development set

Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet
I'm off to join the Development Set;
My bags are packed, and I've had all my shots
I have traveller's checks and pills for the trots!


The Development Set is bright and noble
Our thoughts are deep and our vision global;
Although we move with the better classes
Our thoughts are always with the masses.


In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations
We damn multi-national corporations;
injustice seems easy to protest
In such seething hotbeds of social rest.


We discuss malnutrition over steaks
And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
Whether Asian floods or African drought,
We face each issue with open mouth.


We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
Raises difficulties for every solution --
Thus guaranteeing continued good eating
By showing the need for another meeting.


The language of the Development Set
Stretches the English alphabet;
We use swell words like "epigenetic"
"Micro", "macro", and "logarithmetic"


It pleasures us to be esoteric --
It's so intellectually atmospheric!
And although establishments may be unmoved,
Our vocabularies are much improved.


When the talk gets deep and you're feeling numb,
You can keep your shame to a minimum:
To show that you, too, are intelligent
Smugly ask, "Is it really development?"


Or say, "That's fine in practice, but don't you see:
It doesn't work out in theory!"
A few may find this incomprehensible,
But most will admire you as deep and sensible.


Development set homes are extremely chic,
Full of carvings, curios, and draped with batik.
Eye-level photographs subtly assure
That your host is at home with the great and the poor.


Enough of these verses - on with the mission!
Our task is as broad as the human condition!
Just pray god the biblical promise is true:
The poor ye shall always have with you.

- Ross Coggins



Well , you know right then that come rain or hail, it's going to be a damn entertaining read.

P.S.: Sitting here in Francophone Africa I can easily identify with what he's probably going to say in his book.

P.P.S: Me extremely happy to see my reading habit reviving un peu in francophone Africa ( By Jove,it's not easy to find English books here!!!)