the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

When Will We Learn?

I had hoped to be writing a Marieke story tonight. I enjoy writing, and it's what I prefer to do. But sometimes you need to set aside what you want to do in favour of what you need to do. I read a post over at Kim Stagliano's blog that really upset me, and I believe the issue needs wider publicity.

Please, go over there to read the post. I'm sorry if you're busy and were hoping for a quick, fun read, but this is important. You can come back here when you're done.

A lot of the information you just read shocked and upset me, but one item stood out. It stood out because it was the only one that specifically mentioned life expectancy. It seems that in North Korea, autistic children are sent off to "a remote institution where their life expectancy is less than 2 years". Many of them starve to death.

How is this any different than the groups singled out in Nazi Germany to be sent to concentration camps where they died, often of starvation? Why haven't we heard any of this from the media? Oh, I forgot, they were busy covering the really important stories, like the fate of Anna Nicole Smith's dead body. In fairness to the media, though, they cover what we want to know about.

It seems that, as a society, we are more interested in the fate of one dead woman's body than the fate of thousands, perhaps millions, of living, helpless children. Or at least that's what the media thinks. I hope most of my readers disagree. I hope most of them are wondering why the American government is silent about this issue.

Why can the United States, which tosses billions of dollars around the world, not do more to help those countries who sincerely want to do more but don't have the funds to do it? Why don't we speak out against the governments that just want to kill helpless children? How many more countries is this happening in? Is it just North Korea, or are there other regimes willing to get rid of the "inconvenient"?

Why haven't we, as a society, learned anything from history? When will we learn? How many millions will die before we do learn? And how can we say, "We didn't know", when in fact the lessons of history have told us enough that we should know? Killing any group of human beings is never acceptable! That isn't such a long lesson, or such a difficult one, so why is it so often ignored? If you don't have time now, come back later to visit geistweg † genocide, a blog about this very subject, one that potentially threatens every human being on earth.

I hope every one of you who reads my post will do what you feel that you can. It isn't my place to tell you what you are able to do, but I can make a few suggestions. Write about this on your own blog, contact the press to ask why they aren't covering it, write to your Senator and Representative to complain that the United States isn't doing more. Please... for the sake of all those helpless children who can't even speak for themselves and are starving to death in North Korea and perhaps elsewhere as I type this.

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Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hi Ray,
If it's any ironical comfort, North Korea is one of the most hideously secretive countries in the world.
I'm sure the media for whatever its purpose, always banks on exclusives and a good story. They may have jumped earlier on this if they knew how. But a journalist, unless specifically invited, risks his life eing immediately destroyed - the borders are so tightly-guarded.
I think the US and other countries/organisations have brought up the stories of starving children before - I've read this in great length in features in British mags and papers and also Australia when I lived in those places. Britain's featured quite a bit and Australia's television media is especially fearless.
I know there was once a full-length feature on the starving children and also population.
But perhaps the cautious moves are due to the constant threat by a leader who also appears to be a bit of a madman, saying he's not afraid to use the country's nuclear weapons to cause irreparable damage. At the moment, Bush is popular with only a few worldwide. That very real threat has always lingered on the horizon like a big dark cloud.

March 12, 2007 12:39 AM  
Blogger david santos said...


March 12, 2007 6:43 AM  
Blogger anna said...

Children who can't speak. God, how I understand that subject.

God bless anyone who cannot defend or fend for themselves and suffer.

March 12, 2007 9:36 AM  
Anonymous kuku man said...

it is a sticky situation!

But can US Bullet and Soldier feeds those Starving Korean Children?

Just Remember Katrina....
The same evil bastard are in full control of the US.
And it won't change a dime if you choose the Democrate!

March 12, 2007 3:02 PM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Susan, yes, those are no doubt some of the reasons. And I thank you for trying to offer comfort in the midst of my agony. I'm sure there were and are some journalists who have done their best, and others who would write about such things if their editors would allow it. My outrage is for those who don't care, who don't bother, who aren't moved when they read of such things.

Anna, I understand your feelings, and wish the United States would also do more for its own citizens who need help. I didn't mean to leave them out; the post I read was just so awful it compelled my attention.

Kuku Man, I don't think those currently in power, or the Democrats, will do anything real about this. I wasn't suggesting they would - I was expressing my outrage because that is what they should be doing. But the powerful never have truly felt compassion for the powerless, and I fear they never will. You are right, an invasion of North Korea would do those children no good; what might help would be an offer of funds and information on treatment, with no strings attached. I'm not holding my breath until such an offer is made, though.

March 13, 2007 12:36 AM  
Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

N. Korea is famous or rather infamous for it's brutality. I'd like to say I'm surprised by this but I'm not. This is where you write your congressmen and senators and demand they take action. Let fellow bloggers know etc. Someone always knows someone etc... Hopefully N. Korea will collapse under it's own weight and democracy will get a chance.

March 13, 2007 12:58 AM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

This is a terrible thing, tragic... i followed the links and cried. I hope that we as people some day become better then we are now.

March 13, 2007 3:04 PM  
Blogger Saoirse Redgrave said...

It's certainly no consolation, but consider what China was doing to "combat" its unwanted population of female babies (often the 3rd child) throughout the 80s and 90s (forced late-term abortions, crushing newly born babies' skulls with rocks).

Not an excuse, certainly, but recall that the common people in these countries face crushing poverty and often superstition is stronger than the impact of science. When you aren't educated and the country views you as only a stepping stone to its international power, the population will certainly suffer and inhumane treatment will continue.

Consider the orphan children of Romania (in the 80s, etc,), lying in cribs staring at blank ceilings and walls--virtually untouched and unloved because there wasn't enough funding for caretakers. An entire generation has grown up there without what we understand in the US as necessary bonding with other humans.

I'm not trying to lessen the impact of this tragedy by comparing it to so many others, but there are so many injustices... As a writer, what can you do?

I have friends who foster only children with "disabilities." I know others who adopt that same type of child or teach them (as my mother did).Maybe that's not for you (it isn't my calling, I know).

Perhaps...Cover their human interest stories. Keep it in the media, but tease its coverage out by showing hope amidst the tragedy. Raising awareness raises funds. Raising funds provides money for studies and intervention.

Maybe journalism isn't as attractive as writing fictional stories. Try a YA novel or a children's book with a character or setting that reflects your concerns. Read "The Giver" and "Ender's Game" to see how others introduced such concerns as the inadaquacy of seeking utopian societies blindly.

And, of course, vote your conscience. Make it quite clear to your government representatives that these issues are important and your future vote will depend on what you actually see them doing.

And, finally, take everything I say with "a grain of salt." Maybe there's something useful there, maybe not.


March 14, 2007 9:01 AM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Saoirse, a well thought out reply, and I thank you. It doesn't diminish any tragedy to admit that there are many others. I've read Ender's Game, and most of the others in the series. Orson Scott Card is an amazing author, and yes, I could learn a lot from him. Since I wrote this post, I've been thinking very hard about all this. You offered some good suggestions, and ones I'll think over carefully. But I have to try to accept that I can't accomplish it all on my own, much as I wish I could write an Uncle Tom's Cabin that would put an end to injustice almost immediately. (And the only reason that book succeeded so well was the fact it 'struck while the iron was hot', and prodded into action a society already seeking to end the injustice it spotlighted. So, even then, it wasn't truly possible.)

March 15, 2007 12:25 AM  

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