#53 Hating on books like “Three Cups of Tea”
Few things bring more meaning to Expat Aid Workers’ dull lives than having a solid reason for righteous indignation.
There’s enough food in the world to feed everyone (thank you @Josette_Sheeran!), the cure for malaria is within our grasp (thank you @bill_gates!), and CARE, Starbucks and some singers with flagging careers are teaming up to sort out the rest. Pretty soon there won’t be anything left for EAWs to do…
…except find fault with those who try to encroach on the sacred space in which they alone save the world.
Sparring via aid blogs and twitter sort of gets you there — and true, nothing really knocks the wind out quite like a hard kick to the groin via a nasty remark in one’s comments thread. But books about whites-in-shining armor “inspirational” development heroes who blindly stumble on apparent solutions in difficult countries are total low-hanging fruit for a bit of EAW ire.
R&R in the Seychelles got your cynicism on the run? No worries: hit the tikki bar, knock back a few, and unleash a little vitriol about The Blue Sweater to the unsuspecting adventure tourists on the adjacent stools.
As they start to look uncomfortable (or bored – who the hell is this Novogratz woman anyway?), switch your rant to the for-profit mogul-who-grows-a-conscience and becomes “committed” to “doing whatever it takes” (short of actually giving away any personal cash) to fix the world, thus proving that capitalism can be “good for everyone.” (Uh, yeah – obviously. Poverty is totally on the run in all of the capitalist countries in the world).
In the end, as all good EAWs know, aid workers are the only ones who really know what it takes to solve the world’s problems. So you’re totally justified in ranting on a bit about Philanthrocapitalism.
Tough day in the cubicle? Review the 2011 Sphere manual? Bone up on the latest studies from ALNAP? Write a life-saving trip report (code for “accountability”)? Or… jump on the Greg Mortenson dogpile?
Total. No. Brainer.