Re: a kinder, gentler hacktivist...

From pj lilley <>
Date Tue, 7 Sep 1999 23:13:56 -0400 (EDT)
In-reply-to <>

[: hacktivism :]

i have to agree with brad about the consumer product that hunger site is
selling....  anyway, i thought you might be interested in this comment
from a student union organizer in guelph, when this site was discussed...

Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 19:04:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: josh shook <>
Subject: the hunger site

each of these listservs has received an email lauding the hunger site, a
web site where 0.25 cups of grain (cooked volume) is donated by a
corporation to a person in the "developing" world.

i find the whole concept very disturbing.  i think the impact on us and
the people we are supposedly helping to be negative.  as usual the
corporation does well.

Aaron addressed some of the issues of why the program is not actually
helpful to the hungry people.  it should be mentioned that each
corporation only donates half a cent, of which two thirds goes to buy the
food when you click with your mouse.

advertising is so insidiously part of our everyday environment that we
begin to lose sight of what is an ad and how it impacts us.  i think we
need to recognize the hunger site for what it is:  an advertisement.  we
are exposed to thousands of advertising images each day and the last thing
we need is to be subjected to more of them.

besides selling ourselves as numbers to advertisers, we must question why
we are going to this website and clicking the donate food button.  having
looked at the website and its brief minimal discussion about world hunger
without talking about it's causes, it is obviously not an educational
venture.  since clicking the button does not help anyone in any real way,
we are basically doing it to make ourselves feel good.  perhaps we can
fool ourselves into thinking that someone, somewhere is doing something
about the problem and we can just go back to our lives as usual.

i watched the little world map (at least north america was not in the
middle but it was still on the top) as countries blinked each time a
person died of hunger in them.  i wondered if any industrialized/first
world/developed country would ever blink.  i waited for awhile and only
saw african and south asian countries with people dying of hunger.
obviously the map was created with some bias as we all know that people
die of hunger all around the globe.  by not having our country blink, we
are led to believe that hunger is a problem in the "developing" world.  we
need to acknowledge that hunger is something that we are causing
throughout the world but also right here and right now.  

i would suggest that a better use of our energy would be to found a food
not bombs or join an existing one.



    <            josh shook                                      >
   <            local affairs commissioner                        >
  <            u of g central student association                  >
 <            local 54, canadian federation of students             >  
<            phone: (519) 824-4120 x4407, fax: (519) 763-9603        >   
 <            student centre room 274, university of guelph         >
  <	       guelph, ontario, canada, n1h 2w1                    >
   <                                >

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On Tue, 7 Sep 1999, Brad Waugh wrote:

> [: hacktivism :]
> To paraphrase Chumbawamba:
> "Pictures of starving children sell e-product.
> Brad
> [: hacktivism :]
> [: for unsubscribe instructions or list info consult the list FAQ :]
> [: :]

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