Brown Girl In The Rain

Another alternate universe.

Aug 21

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

Philip Larkin, The Mower (via fishingboatproceeds)

Aug 7
“With B.E.F. June 10, Dear Wife,
(Oh blast this pencil. ‘Ere, Bill, lend’s a knife.)
I’m in the pink at present, dear.
I think the war will end this year.
We don’t see much of them square-‘eaded ‘Uns.
We’re out of harm’s way, not bad fed.
I’m longing for a taste of your old buns.
(Say, Jimmie, spare’s a bit of bread.)
There don’t seem much to say just now.
(Yer what? Then don’t, yer ruddy cow!
And give us back me cigarette!)
I’ll soon be ‘ome. You mustn’t fret.
My feet’s improvin’, as I told you of.
We’re out in rest now. Never fear.
(VRACH! By crumbs, but that was near.)
Mother might spare you half a sov.
Kiss Nell and Bert. When me and you -
(Eh? What the ‘ell? Stand to? Stand to!
Jim, give’s a hand with pack on, lad.
Guh! Christ! I’m hit. Take ‘old. Aye, bad.
No damn your iodine, Jim? ‘Ere!
Write my old girl, Jim, there’s a dear.)”

The Letter (1918), Wilfred Owen. (via the-library-and-step-on-it)

In the spirit of that Brain Pickings girl, combine this with Christopher Eccleston reading Wilfred Owen’s Dulce Et Decorum Est.

Jul 31
“Once she said, with heat:
“I shall be glad to leave England. Everything is so meagre and paltry, it is so unspiritual - I hate democracy.”
[…] “What do you mean?” he asked her, hostile. “Why do you hate democracy?”
“Only the greedy and ugly people come to the top in a democracy,” she said, “because they’re the only people who will push themselves there. Only degenerate races are democratic.”
“What do you want then - an aristocracy?” he asked, secretly moved. He always felt that by rights he belonged to the ruling aristocracy. Yet to hear her speak for his class pained him with a curious, painful pleasure. He felt he was acquiescing in something illegal, taking to himself some wrong, reprehensible advantages.
“I do want an aristocracy,” she cried. “And I’d far rather have an aristocracy of birth than of money. Who are the aristocrats now - who are chosen as the best to rule? Those who have money and the brains for money. It doesn’t matter what else they have: but they must have money-brains, - because they are ruling in the name of money.”
“The people elect the government,” he said.
“I know they do. But what are the people? Each one of them is a money-interest. I hate it, that anybody is my equal who has the same amount of money as I have. I know I am better than all of them. I hate them. They are not my equals. I hate equality on a money basis. It is the equality of dirt.””
The Rainbow, D.H. Lawrence. (via the-library-and-step-on-it)

browngirlintherain said: John! John! I just saw your video from a NICU in Addis Ababa. THANK YOU. I loved that you spoke about KMC. I am a doctor and a newborn receiving KMC is the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen. May I suggest you read Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone? It is about growing up in Ethiopia and medicine and life and beauty and I think you will love it and I would love to hear you talk about it! Love your work!


I have read Cutting for Stone!

I was very impressed with what I read about Kangaroo Mother Care after talking to Dr. Gessesse. One of the things Bill Gates said to me was that a lot of the effective strategies for improving health care in the developing world (like KMC) aren’t that expensive, and many don’t require highly trained specialists.

Obviously, we need more Dr. Gessesses in the world, but a lot of the improvement in Ethiopian child mortality and vaccination rates is due to health extension workers and the amazing volunteer Women’s Health Army. These people provide prenatal care, talk to their neighbors about issues like family planning and when to introduce solid food to keep infants growing, and how to get folic acid and iron supplements inexpensively. Health extension workers, meanwhile, have only a tenth grade education and a year of training, but they can diagnose and treat illnesses from malaria to rotavirus to TB. (You’ll meet some of these people in future videos.)

All that noted, I don’t want to make it sound like a solved problem: Even with this progress, over 6% of Ethiopian children die before the age of 5. Most of those deaths are preventable, and if you believe that all human lives have equal value, you have to acknowledge the ongoing injustice and needless suffering in poor countries like Ethiopia. But the progress is real, and I think Ethiopia is blazing an important trail for the developing world.

(The video in question.)

John Green wrote back :’)

Thank you for talking about non-physician healthcare workers, Mr. Green. Community based interventions are just what the world needs.

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