07/31/12

Electric Bill

In honor of NBC’s coverage of the London Games, I recorded this entry yesterday but am offering it on tape delay only now.

So, anytime that something happens to “half” of India, it’s a pretty big deal. Same with populations of “all the ocean creatures;” “all the women who watch ‘Chelsea Lately’;” and “all the people that saw this video.”

But, when that something also includes the loss of electrical power, it’s even more serious.

I know, right. Who knew half of India had electricity to lose?

After claiming that more than 600 million people were left without power for the failed grids, this Guardian article sheepishly ends:

But any connection to the grid remains a luxury for many. One-third of India’s households do not have enough electricity to power a light bulb, according to last year’s census.

So which it is it? A lot of people without electricity or a theoretical lot of people that could have been without electricity had they had electricity to start with?

It’s like some sick blackout of a blackout. Zero times zero.

Unfortunately for a population as subjugated as certain elements of India’s has been for millennia, even a half a billion times zero is still roughly zero. Just mostly what they had. Or I guess didn’t have. The essentials.

Humble-brag time. We support a boy in Sri Lanka named Aniket, who is almost, to the day, the same age as my son. We can’t even send him simple pictures of our home for the massive relative wealth it represents. And, trust me my crib is jumping.

There’s a fine line between the modern conveniences we swear “we could never live without” and the threshold accoutrements of life that all peoples in the 21st Century should expect to have, if they so choose. I’m beginning to count electricity among them.

So, the irony is that there is a power failure in India of critical human proportions. It just has nothing to do with this week’s grid failures.

I won’t link to it for the language, but the Onion.com has a pretty pitch perfect piece that nails the absurdist nature of the power going out on a country already, in so many ways, suffering a suffocating darkness.

[Olympic Note: What the heck happened to the Russian women’s gymnastics team?! What’s with all this crying and moping around. I want my soulless, killer-commie, soviet block, android gymnasts back. If Nadia Comenici had screwed up a floor routine, she would have done an Ivan Drago, raised her fist, and yelled at the fake Mikhail Gorbechev in the box seats, Ивана Драго я победа для меня!!!!” (Roughly translated, “I win for me! For me!!) I’m just saying. Russians don’t cry. Come on. These Olympics stink.]

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by Sundance.

Today’s song blog here:

Times Zero