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#a281 :: Cupcake topper

November 21, 2008

enlargeMore than 500 million human beings live in absolute poverty. Right now.

Their lot is not changing.

More than 15 million children die of hunger every year. Starve. To. Death.

How many children is that? Numbers are pretty meaningless when you’re talking about entire nations of people, but do some math:

Remember the faces of the kids in your own first-grade class? Remember the fat kid and the anxious kid? The punchy kid and the silly kid and your very best friend in the world who laughed when you ate paste? Now multiply the size of your own first-grade classroom by about 20 …

Can you picture 20 classrooms holding 20 kids each? Okay. Now multiply that again by 20.

See them in all your mind’s eye, all those 8,000 kids in those classrooms. Multiply them by 20 more.

And then 20 more. And then 20 more times. You still don’t have the magnitude of the lives of children slowly starving to death each year because the imbalance of our earth is so horrifically extreme.

You probably have no more perspective than certain consumers of cupcakes, who think this is a good idea:

Devote an entire industry to the manufacture of one kind of object.

Spend millions of dollars a year into training people to run oil rigs and petroleum refineries and plastics factories and paper mills for the packaging and salespeople and catalog editors and web staff – to build nothing but millions of objects just like this object:

A tiny plastic hot dog atop a plastic stake. That gives your own well-nourished kid a chuckle for the half a second before he plucks it out and gobbles down 400 calories of refined-sugar-frosted, luridly colored angel-food cake.

And hucks this thing into the trash.

Sorry to get so … heavy.

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Jetsam, Miniature, Model, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

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