the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair

Image: AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis.

This photo of a beggar lying in a Athens street beneath a photo of the Greek national soccer team reminded me of a quote by legendary comedian Bill Hicks from 1993. Bill was talking about defence expenditure coming before third world aid, but the current financial crisis that has seen the disparity between rich and poor only widen further is just as relevant a context.

Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

I doubt Bill, if he had survived pancreatic cancer that eventually killed him in February 1994, would have been surprised that his comments would still be so relevant nearly twenty years on. He may have been a cynic, but he was also a realist.

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