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My thoughts on the Madonna/Mercy issue… - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
My thoughts on the Madonna/Mercy issue…
… are still far from coherent. I know I promised a few people that I would write something, preferably articulate and polite, but the moment I start thinking about this topic, I find myself very, very far that articulate and polite frame of mind. And I think this has got to be said right now. Immediately. Irrevocably. For my own sake, if not for any one else’s.

So apparently, my tears of joy were taken as tears of rage.

Well, clarification: I am very, very, very happy that Madonna got Mercy.

I couldn’t have dreamed up a better end to the story if it was a book that I was writing. Whatever crimes Madonna has apparently committed, by being rich and famous and assertive, I’m ready to give her a free pass in Life for giving a damn about a four-year-old orphan* in Malawi. Everybody and their mother has an opinion about what Madonna can be allowed to do or not, about the sacredness of foreign adoption laws, and about how Madonna’s bulldozed the Justice system of Malawi to get what she wants. But no one seems to be in the least bit interested about Mercy and if those foreign adoption laws are really in her best interest. Because the last time I checked, Madonna wasn’t going up against some Perfect Middle-Class Malawian Couple® who would have given Mercy a Better Home™. (And don’t even get me started on Mercy’s father*.) Madonna wasn’t going up against Some Less Than Perfect Single Parent® who would have given Mercy a Sensible Home™ with Cultural Appreciation™. She was going up against Nobody. Na da. Nothing. Nobody gave.a.damn. about a four-year-old little girl in Malawi until Madonna put the country on the map.



And you know what? If you’ve started out life with a parent willing to support you, if you take your hundred-year democratic government for granted, if education is something that you regard as a chore and not an impossible dream, if immunization is something that you get for free, and if you’ve never worried for one day where your next meal is going to come from, then you’d better BLOODY SHUT UP about how money does not equal a good life. Because you have NO IDEA what that statement even means and your arrogant ignorance is an insult to the MILLIONS OF CHILDREN that die EVERY DAY in Africa from POVERTY.



*And I say orphan even though Mercy’s ‘father’ apparently found out four years after the fact that his dead girlfriend left behind a child. Because even though he might have been in prison, or at sea, or under the impression that it takes close to five years for a woman to give birth to a child, he certainly didn’t keep in touch with his pregnant, teenage girlfriend long enough to know that she was: a, dead; or b, dead; or c, dead. And his sudden re-appearance into Mercy’s life has nothing.at.all.to.do with the fact that a billionaire is ready to move Heaven or Earth to adopt her. And throw away some substantial cash in the process as well. Oh no.

Tags:
Current Mood: angry spitting mad

26 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: June 16th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I admittedly don't know much at all about this particular issue. Perhaps it's over simplifying things, but in the end, if the kid is in a good home with someone who loves her? Then I'm glad.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 16th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's certainly no greater simplication than the anti-adoption argument that basically boils down to: "Madonna shouldn't be allowed to get her way all the time."
r0ck3tsci3ntist From: r0ck3tsci3ntist Date: June 16th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love this part best:

And you know what? If you’ve started out life with a parent willing to support you, if you take your hundred-year democratic government for granted, if education is something that you regard as a chore and not an impossible dream, if immunization is something that you get for free, and if you’ve never worried for one day where your next meal is going to come from, then you’d better BLOODY SHUT UP about how money does not equal a good life. Because you have NO IDEA what that statement even means and your arrogant ignorance is an insult to the MILLIONS of children that die EVERY DAY in Africa from POVERTY.

I'm going to make son read this just for general purposes.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 16th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really needed to let that out. I’m usually very hesitant about going all, “you have no idea what you’re talking about, so shut up” because I’ve goofed where I’m privileged as much as the next person. But I'm fed up with people trying to draw parallels between Mercy's adoption and the adoption of some of cheerleader's unborn baby in Southern California especially when you can read up just about anything from Wikipedia.

Edited at 2009-06-16 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: bobill Date: June 16th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I too really like that statement. I really like your outlook on life.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 16th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* Thanks dear. I appreciate that.
knight_ander From: knight_ander Date: June 16th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
No need to get so upset just because someone missunderstood your position on the subject.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 16th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sighs* Did you even read my entry? Or will this be another opportunity for your particular brand of humour e.g. paralleling Avatar whitewashing with real vampires not getting cast in Twilight?
knight_ander From: knight_ander Date: June 16th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I am not being funny.

My comment was directed toward the first portion of your entry and the entry you linked to. To me it came across that you were "spitting mad" at the person who thought that your "tears of joy were taken as tears of rage" and their misunderstanding of your view on the situation. That is all I was referring to.

And, yes, I did read your entry. Three times now.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 17th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
No, I am not being funny.

Really? Because your track record of equating Asian minorities with vampires evinces your special brand of humour.

My comment was directed toward the first portion of your entry and the entry you linked to.

And, after reading my entry three times, that was all that mattered enough to you to respond to.
knight_ander From: knight_ander Date: June 17th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay first I think that any outrage that is directed at Madonna mainly has to do with how she went about choosing the child, like she was hunting for pumpkins on Halloween. Taking a child out of poverty is one thing, but when you're that rich, isn't there a way you could do more? Build schools, hospitals, or anything else that can help everyone in that region to get out of poverty?

Secondly, is there no poverty in her country? My view is to clean-up your own backyard first, so why not do something for the people where you live? In fact, why not do something for the people who are struggling in your old hometown of Detroit, Madonna?

Thirdly, I am not a supporter of foreign-adoption. Why go to Africa, Russia or Cambodia when surely there are children in whatever country she's currently calling home who would be far better off? While poverty in the US is not nearly as bad as poverty in Africa, there are still millions of children living in poverty in America, and something has to be done about it. Emigrating out of poverty in one country doesn't mean you won't find yourself stuck in it in this country, and that needs fixing.

Some of the people at Planned Parenthood here in the US see that abortion is the only option for pregnant girls, but why not adoption? Obviously, giving up your child to such a public figure as Madonna could create all kinds of problems, but it would probably be a better option for many childless couples who want a child but are unable to conceive on their own.

I don't know if that answers anything for you. I'll add that my initial view of your entry was that you were really mad and that I was trying to help you calm down a little. Yes, you should be outraged, and your points were well taken, but your statements in bold and CAPS and all the trademark signs came across as... well, unprofessional is the only word I can come up with right now, but it just didn't look good.

I apologize for the offense.

Edited at 2009-06-17 02:03 pm (UTC)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 17th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Is that bubble you live in so filled with privileged gas that it’s leaking out of your ass?

like she was hunting for pumpkins on Halloween.

Do you know this from your vast experience of adopting orphans, and of interacting with all those homeless children in Detroit on a day-to-day basis or is this just some impression you formed because obviously, there’s absolutely no way a superstar like Madonna can form a genuine connection with some scraggly-haired black kid from some strange-name African country?

Secondly, is there no poverty in her country?

You are actually comparing poverty in the US of A, the only superpower in the world, with its social security and free education and clean drinking water to a country like Malawi?

If Mercy from Malawi is the only homeless child that Madonna with her billions chooses to help, then she has still done far more than most people will probably ever do in their lifetimes. Because you don’t need to be rich to make a difference to a child’s life but you certainly need to give a damn which is far more than you obviously do.


Thirdly, I am not a supporter of foreign-adoption. Why go to Africa, Russia or Cambodia when surely there are children in whatever country she's currently calling home who would be far better off?

Well thanks for clarifying where your priorities lie. Let’s take care of the American orphans who exist in a system that supports them and leave the rest of the world to die. After all, they are bloody foreigners, aren’t they?



I don't know if that answers anything for you.

Let’s put it this way: I have no further illusions about the type of person that you are.


came across as... well, unprofessional is the only word I can come up with right now

By your standards, professional would be comparing Mercy to a vampire baby.
(Replies frozen) (Parent) (Thread)
knight_ander From: knight_ander Date: June 17th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Mainly regarding the Avatar/Twilight portion of this discussion

I made that comic because I thought the crusade by fans to change the cast of Avatar was goingt to be a fruitless effort. I was willing to give the producers the benefit of the doubt that they were casting based on performance, not race.

Now, I could have been wrong that the outcry would go unheard because of Dev Patel (sp?) was cast in one of the major roles.

The Twilight aspect came in because the movie came out at the same time as the Avatar-casting controversy started.

At no time did I ever intend to have my comments come off as racist. I just believe when you have that much money, you can do a whole lot more than saving just one child.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 18th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Is that bubble you live in so filled with racist gas that it's leaking out of your ass?

based on performance, rather than race

At no time did I ever intend my comments to come off as racist.


Someone who believes and declares that non-Whites are intrinsically inferior to Whites and are as "alien" as vampires, does not "intend his comments to come off as racist". It's actually funny in a pathetic kind of way. With each insipid, prejudiced sentence you make, even more of your ugly soul reveals itself.

Edited at 2009-06-18 01:01 am (UTC)
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: June 17th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for writing this. I hadn't thought of the topic from that perspective before, and I should have.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 17th, 2009 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I'm glad that despite my fury, I managed to get some semblance of a point across. :)
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: June 17th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Your previous post was confusing because it didn't look like you were really challenging some of the replies. *Shrug.*

Obviously, the kid will never have to worry about dropping dead from malaria or where her next meal is coming from. Certainly, she will be well cared-for. It's just that a lot of people are cynical about Madonna, me included.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 17th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Because I agreed with them! I do believe that a lot of money changed hands for Madonna to get Mercy. I don’t believe for a second that the adoption was legal. But I don’t see how being cynical about the Malawian Justice system being greedy scum-bags who’d jeopardize a little girl’s chances in order to milk money out of a billionaire somehow boils down to me being against the adoption.

Obviously, the kid will never have to worry about dropping dead from malaria or where her next meal is coming from. Certainly, she will be well cared-for. It's just that a lot of people are cynical about Madonna, me included.

And I’m cynical about people who have never had to worry about malaria or hunger in their lives, sitting down in judgment over someone who actually cared enough to make a difference. Look, misunderstanding or not, you and I are not going to see eye-to-eye about this so let’s just drop it.
reihla From: reihla Date: June 17th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, you shouldn't be so tentative about what you believe. Come on out and say what you really think! :D

Seriously... I think it is absolutely a crime against humanity that any child anywhere in this world ever dies from starvation. Ever.

My mom was a single parent and worked 3 jobs. We always struggled to find money to buy the essentials, but never did I have to worry about going without food or clothing or health care or a roof over my head.

We are all so very spoiled having grown up with publicly funded education, clean drinking water, central heat and air, freedom to work hard and become anything we want.

I'm not a huge Madonna fan - I admit that - but (unlike some celebrities who are nothing but windowdressing) at least she is making a huge difference in the lives of a handful of children and - if their government allows - I believe she will make a significant difference in the lives of other Malawian children. That's more than I've done here in my own community and country, and for that she deserves a round of applause.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 17th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, you shouldn't be so tentative about what you believe. Come on out and say what you really think! :D

Oh no, this is me holding back. :)


Seriously... I think it is absolutely a crime against humanity that any child anywhere in this world ever dies from starvation. Ever.

Word.


I'm not a huge Madonna fan - I admit that - but (unlike some celebrities who are nothing but windowdressing) at least she is making a huge difference in the lives of a handful of children and - if their government allows - I believe she will make a significant difference in the lives of other Malawian children. That's more than I've done here in my own community and country, and for that she deserves a round of applause.

I'm not a Madonna fan either - or rather, I wasn't until now. As much as I loved her music, I disapproved of her lifestyle for a long time. But all of that pales to what she's done - which, as you say, is far more than a lot of people will even think of doing in their lifetimes. You don't have to be rich or a superstar to make a difference. I know that I haven't done a fraction of what I actaully could do if I cared enough. And it's disheartening to see people read all sorts of selfish interpretations into the adoption so that they won't have to ask themselves if they could be doing more.
reihla From: reihla Date: June 17th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
>> Oh no, this is me holding back. :)

LoL. :)

I have several exceptional friends who have adopted children from other countries. It is a very expensive undertaking and a huge committment whether you are an international superstar or a cashier at the corner store.

I can't think of a single reason for Madonna's motives to matter to all her critics. Maybe she wants the good publicity, or maybe she really just wants to love that particular little girl. The thing is, she's crawling in money. She could've easily thrown cash at the problem without taking any personal interest at all. Without tying herself irrevocably to that young life. For whatever reason she didn't... ... It seems pretty pointless to me to analyze her, much less criticize her.

I know some folks prefer to stand on moral high ground where legalities are concerned, but my gut feeling is that saving a life might be worth throwing some money at less than honest government officials. But then, I've always hated the idea that corruption in government only seems to benefit the corrupt.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 18th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
She could have easily thrown cash at the problem without taking any personal interest at all.

Thank you! Anyone can have a bout of sentimentality, write a cheque without stepping out of their comfort zone. Taking on a lifetime commitment means giving up of yourself personally, not your never-ending cash flow. I don't know what kind of world we live in that people who have no claim to moral superiority in anyway, can sit in judgement of Madonna's adoption.


saving a life might be worth throwing some money at less than honest government officials.

It's strange, isn't it, how people change their opinion of foreign governments to further their own agendas?
vanimy From: vanimy Date: June 19th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to admit I also thought you were mad about Madonna adopting the girl... I misunderstood your entry too.

That being said I have two distinct feelings about this. On the one hand, if I focus on Madonna herself, I can't help but feel Madonna is buying kids around and I understand why some people who spend long years to be able to adopt a child in a foreign country might feel like this is unfair. On the other hand, when I do focus on the girl, I know she's way better off being adopted by someone who has a good life, be it Madonna or someone else, than starving to death in her country. It's one more child saved and I take that any day.

I'd rather not think of poverty in Africa myself because I know that when I do think about it it makes me suffer and mad at the whole world and powerless. When you think of how easy it would be to help Africa...(the whole production in the world every year can feed twice the population on Earth.... it's mind-boggling). Yes, we have our own issues in our countries, issues getting more serious every day with this damn financial crisis and we should do something for these people too. But I can't see how helping people here and people there would be incompatible.

Anyhoo. Even though I think Madonna behaves like a diva and thinks she can buy anything, in the end, the girl's well-being is the most important thing.

You know it's ironic because what you wrote is exactly what my dad used to say in front of the TV when journalists were criticizing Madonna for her first adoption.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 21st, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to admit I also thought you were mad about Madonna adopting the girl... I misunderstood your entry too.

Fair enough. I guess if so many people read it wrong, then I was the one mis-communicating. :)


On the one hand, if I focus on Madonna herself, I can't help but feel Madonna is buying kids around and I understand why some people who spend long years to be able to adopt a child in a foreign country might feel like this is unfair.

To be fair to Madonna, it's not like Malawi orphans are in such high demand and she's elbowing other more deserving parents out of the way. I really doubt that her adopting Mercy harms or hurts some other parents's chances of adopting their own children. If anything, the fact that Madonna succeeded with this adoption sets a precedent for any other further foreign adoptions from this country.

I'd rather not think of poverty in Africa myself because I know that when I do think about it it makes me suffer and mad at the whole world and powerless. When you think of how easy it would be to help Africa...(the whole production in the world every year can feed twice the population on Earth.... it's mind-boggling).

I know what you mean. Have you ever read this poem: "no man's an island/every man's death affects me/because I am a part of humanity?" That's how I feel when I think about all the senseless poverty and violence happening in parts of the world, but particularly in Africa, poverty and violence that was partly created by our forefathers and may even still be sustained by "foreign interests" now. It takes so little to make such a difference. And that's why it hurts when I read criticism about Madonna and her adoption because 99.99% of the time, the criticism is coming from someone who doesn't give a damn.


Even though I think Madonna behaves like a diva and thinks she can buy anything, in the end, the girl's well-being is the most important thing.

If she's buying happiness for kids, then I say, all power to her.


You know it's ironic because what you wrote is exactly what my dad used to say in front of the TV when journalists were criticizing Madonna for her first adoption.

I... that really means a lot to me, coming from you. *hugs*
From: bobill Date: June 25th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know I'm going to end up forgetting, so I'll say it a day early. Happy birthday! I hope you have a fun-filled day ahead of you!
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 26th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much, dear! What would you like by manner of icon or story for my birthday? :)
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