22 August 2008

A fucked-up follow-up

I wanted to write "no comment" and leave the image to speak for itself, but I just not that capable of restraint. I mean, are you kidding me?! How perverse is this ad?! On any number of levels.

"Believe." So, this is what belief has come to? This is the extent of our moral or spiritual aspirations nowadays? Le dieu c'est moi.

"Believe your expectations can actually be exceeded." So, our culture of expectation is now a taken for granted? That's the new baseline.

"You can shower at 43,000 feet. ... The future has arrived." You got that right. Well, maybe it's more a question of the future hurtling towards us - even faster than before. And it's not looking quite as pretty as a moss-coloured tank top.

I came across the ad this morning while I was at home flicking through the latest issue of Travel & Leisure magazine (research data, I swear) and, unusually, listening to KUOW's Weekday programme hosted by the altogether inarticulate Steve Scher - known in our house as Steve Slur. The main guest this morning was Paul Ehrlich, author of "The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment" in which he paints a pretty damning picture of our future without water. And this comes only a week or so after I had screened The Possibility of Hope for my students - a powerful documentary in which John Gray, Fabrizio Eva and Saskia Sassen have, respectively, this to say:

"The most fundamental reality at the present time is that the human species has overshot the capacity of the planet to sustain it, both in terms of human numbers, and in terms of the impact of these human beings on the planet."

"Human mobility is uncontrollable unless you act on the main cause of mobility, especially in our days. I think the main cause is inequality – inequality of opportunities, not only socioeconomic conditions."

"... global warming delivers its goods, which is a lot more water in a lot of parts of poor countries, which means that people will have to leave. We can call this a kind of environmental-driven migration."
Water is undoubtedly going to feature large in our future. But not in the way first-class passengers on Emirates would have it.

10 August 2008

Water, water, everywhere...

It's been a while since my last post, but, hey, it's not like the gulf between super-rich and super-poor just got smaller. No sooner have my feet touched the ground in Seattle...

Emirates now offering first-class passengers showers (see pic for demo). The grimy details of this latest display of filthy rich were to be found all over the media. In fact, it was the media's fascination and delight with this story which was almost more disturbing than the showers themselves. There were stories in the British Mail, the Guardian, the Times, the LA Times, and so on. And the blogosphere's taken it up big time - ranging from the critical to the celebratory. Everyone appears to be taken with this newsworthy snippet of technological innovation and luxury lifestyle consumption.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot : O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.