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» My Biggest Disappointment

Shegetz has reminded me... (WARNING - THIS IS FUCKING LONG)
I started my course in international development full of optimism for saving millions of lives at the head of my own NGO or something. Unfortunately, I must say that so far I am very disappointed with my hopefully-to-be-one-day MA. Not because of the uni, but because of what I learn through it.

So now at the age of 20 I've turned into a cynical cunt already. It's a depressing course, because you can see that the vast majority of foreign aid is utterly, and I mean utterly, useless and sometimes aggravates things. This ranges from governments to charities through to NGOs. There are so many vital things that don't get taken into account and often of course these orgs have their own, not necessarily well hidden at all, agenda. That needs to be achieved at any cost. A good one would be food aid. What an incredible crock of shit: I'll take USAid because it's the easiest to lambast, so here goes:

The Org has sources all over the world (especially Africa of course) who predict where there is going to be a food crisis, so that they can get their shipments ready. A good example would be a province in Zambia a couple of years ago where severe draught killed off nearly all crops. The media blows the whole thing out of proportion and says that EVERYONE IN ZAMBIA IS GOING TO STARVE TO DEATH IF WE DONT DO SOMETHING NOW!!!! à la Bob "the know-it-all" Geldoff. Tons and tons of surplus mais and corn get sent to Africa, where it is sent to the region. Woohoo everybody lives.

The problems with this are these:

1) Zambia could have handled the crisis using the other 8 provinces it had. There was enough food to go round. They didnt need or want lots of food to be sent to them.

2) The HUGE amounts of food dump the prices. Simple economics here: not enough demand, the prices fall. The farmers there can't sell anything, because although the USAid bags say "strictly not for sale", no one really aderes to that - walk into any market in africa and you'll see Uncle Sam's rice. No kidding, his face is on it (sometimes). The salesman got it for free, why should he buy it?

3) It makes the US look like such a kind country, when all they're doing is buying off the surplus crops, allowing their stupidly massive amount of farms to survive. They'd get in trouble with everyone if they burned it, so they give it away.

4) Interestingly, the food aid industry in the states is massive. Everything is produced in the USA: from the cooking oil barrels to the food bags. Trucks need to be bought, drivers for these trucks, an entire port who's name escapes me (hey I didn't sleep last night!) survives on just sending out food. This has become such an powerful force that it regularly lobbies for more food aid. Not for the starving though...

5) The receiving country is forced to take whatever they get. I'm unsure about GM crops, but that time Zambia gave the excuse that they couldnt possibly accept the food because it was GM. I think it was just a ploy not to get flooded with unneeded corn mais and rice though. Although that's just my opinion.

6) In the long term, it cripples the receiver's economy. USAid carries on sending food for years, when the crisis could finally be over. Why should the farmer farm if he's getting food anyway?

Don't get me wrong, food aid is useful as a short term option but now it's frankly just ridiculous. There is no need for these cargo ships laden with useless food going back and forth between the states and "starving" countries. Really, they only need to make the journey as few times as possible.

This is where I have respect for the EU, because they finally realised that they weren't helping this way. Instead they send -very tightly controlled in comparison to the way money is usually thrown again- cash, with which a country can buy crops from a neighbour. Three advantages:

1) He gets it quicker - it's fresher!
2) It's doubtful that they would cripple their own economy on purpose this way.
3) They're strengthening the region.

Basically, that's what I'm disappointed about: opening new markets or diplomatic pandering thinly veiled as an act of charity. Let them sort it out themselves, advise them but don't force them. They'll come to you if they need help...

There are countless other examples: genital mutilation banned in one area, unfortunately now the girls cant find husbands anywhere, because that's the way they know it in other villages where there wasn't a campaign. Of course genital mutilation on girls is a horrifying practice, but if you start a project like this you need to look at the bigger picture. Organisations you pay too much money to for them to give you a placement somewhere to teach little african kids. Face it mate: you really are probably making no difference at all. I should know, I made that mistake in my gap year. I'll never do something like this again. I paid 3 grand for three months (standard price!) and found out that my host family was getting 40 quid a week. That takes the piss really. With all the other "volunteers" money, they managed to raise the cash for a fucking plastic tank for the school to collect water in. They cost 200 quid. A fucking joke in my opinion. Oh and a couple of books and pencils.

So there you go: all the optimism has dissipated, I'm very disappointed with the world and if that cunt in the front row keeps asking inane questions I'll stab the shit out of him with my pen. And now the chinese are throwing cash around like a euromillion winner, ignoring inside politics. Which doesn't help.

Getting tired now, so I'll just say one more thing:

There must be a way to make the world a better place, but I think that'll be for when aliens come or when we stop - as developed nations - exploiting other countries' resources and then have a go at them for being shit at developing in the space of two months. Because most of all, these things are going to take years.

Length? When I have an itchy bellend I need to reach down to my ankles.
(Mon 30th Jun 2008, 9:30, More)

» Guilty Laughs

you're such a bastard, morrybyte
"oh yeah, well so's ye mum."
"my mum's dead"
Now, being about thirteen i'd heard that retort before so said "only cos you were such a fat bastard to squeeze out of her vag."

He stared at me aghast and ran off.

You guessed it, his mother died giving birth to him. Every time i hear "so's your mum" i've got to giggle at myself walking into the most awkward moment of my life.
(Thu 22nd Jul 2010, 15:44, More)

» Accidental innuendo

My mum's austrian
Helping out some friends whilst cooking, having only just arrived in England, she didn't know how to say grating cheese.

Going back to school-time french, she then asked:

"Do you want me to rape the cheese?" in what I can only imagine was an Arnie-like accent. It was one of those moments where everyone just stopped talking and stared.


in french, to grate = raper (pronounced rappéh)
(Thu 12th Jun 2008, 13:20, More)

» Bastard Colleagues

This isn't one of mine
but one from my mum. Now, she has a pretty high (non-british) diplomatic position in a large European organisation which mostly deals with human rights issues and currently has a twunt tory at its head. he is a twunt for many reasons, but let's ignore that and get straight to her secretary.

The woman has worked in that office as a temp for about 20 years. This basically makes her un-sackable. She does fuck all, is unable to perform the most basic tasks and natters on the phone to friends and family all the time, at the cost of the taxpayers from almost 50 countries. Every time she's asked to photocopy something she asks how the bastard thing works AGAIN so people are starting to give up giving her the job and have passed it on to the poor buggers who are there on apprenticeships.

My favourite story, which despite my mother's anger I laughed at, concerns this woman's amazing archiving skills.

For some security reasons my mum can't put anything in the shared folder of the office network so that her underlings can receive documents easily. Instead, she always has to email them. bearing in mind that this office has about 8 workers and deals with loads of different requests every day she only ever passes the most vital things on to them and keeps the rest herself. The rest would be merely interesting to others at a later date.


Come July/August this year and NOTHING is happening, and only her and her secretary are sat in the building. So she decides to clear the huge backlog of stuff that needs to be put on the network for all to see. Thinking this would be a good exercise for her dimwitted secretary, she tells her to put these documents into the shared network. "no problem", comes the reply.

So my mum begins the time-consuming task of attaching these documents to emails. For some reason she could only send about 50 or so at a time, so she sent about 15 emails with 50 documents.

job's a good'un! she thinks and forgets the whole episode. Until about christmas, when she's looking for one of these documents (since they're on the network she deletes them off her computer) the shared folder. Using "search" brings up nothing. Strange, because they're all sorted by date and subject. About to give up hope and just randomly clicking through, hidden in the depths of some nonsensical folder name is "*morrybyte's mum*'s emails". She opens it, and what does she see? 15 Outlook email files (or something similar). And they're all named things like "Documents to put on shared folder", "more documents", "even moooore documents", "wow, that one took a while", "I'm getting bored now" etc etc...

The silly bint had just put the saved emails into the shared folder, which effectively meant that no one could find anything from those hundreds of documents. Goodness knows how much grief that caused for her other co-workers who will have had to embarrassingly ask for a new copy directly from the sender. When questioned about this she said "What? extract them each and every one and sort them? But that would have taken hours!" she seemed unaware that this was (and, sadly, is) her job.

She cannot be fired, and is apparently thinking about taking my mum to court for harassment and bullying because she always gets negative reports at the end of the year.

FEEL THE LENGTH
(Tue 29th Jan 2008, 21:53, More)

» Best Graffiti Ever

Loads of these
One on the wall the urinal is on saying "come closer, it's shorter than you think"

one cheeky sod had scrawled on the floor "Look right", then on the respective walls "look forwards", "look up", and finally "look back" on the ceiling. Behind you the immortal words "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING YOU'RE SHITTING ON THE FLOOR! LOOK AT THE FLOOR AGAIN AND CONCENTRATE"

I like it anyway.

"James loves bumgayrapistcockmunchers - call 07959....."

Making Mr Pringles look like hitler.

"Vote BNP" - and with "do a little dance mid-shit, if you" scrawled on top - in the toilet cubicle again.
PHWOAR LENGTH

edit: another toilet one: "mummy, daddy, if you are reading this it is because I didn'T come home. I'm meeting Charly off the internet in a minute in here" with two childsized, pretty shit drawings of handprints in red colour... ouch...
re-edit: and of course who can forget the classic "HAHA! You're fucked now!" on the empty roll of bogpaper.
(Thu 3rd May 2007, 19:26, More)
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