Former NBA player Paul Shirley published an essay on the web site FlipCollective.com in which he explained why he wasn’t going to donate to the Haitian relief efforts. He also asked Haitians to “maybe use a condom once in a while?”
Oy. Full explanation after the jump.
Paul Shirley used to play for the Chicago Bulls; he currently plays basketball in Spain for the ACB team Unicaja Málaga. On the blog FlipCollective.com, he wrote a lengthy post explaining why he would not be giving money to Haiti, and suggested that we should send the country “a slight reprimand for the conditions prior to the earthquake.” Something like this:
Dear Haitians –
First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.
As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it’s possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?
The Rest of the World
Shirley does lay out more specific reasons why he thinks giving money to Haiti is a bad idea. But still. Wow.
Shirley’s reasoning appears to be summed up by this sentence: “Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads ‘Need You’re Help’ is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.”
Shirley says that “In this belief I am, evidently, alone,” but sifting through the over 1500 comments that his post generated, it seems that some people agree with him. One reader wrote, “Great essay Paul. I too have not donated and for exactly the same reasons.”
Shirley was fired by ESPN, for whom he had worked as a freelance writer, because of the essay.
Well then. Moving on…
A new book says that the late Pope John Paul II used to “beat himself with a belt and sleep on a bare floor to bring himself closer to Christ,” according to CNN. CNN quotes from the book: “In the closet, among the cloaks, a particular pant-belt hung from a hook, which he utilized as a whip.” Apparently this is not unusual, according to journalist David Gibson, who told CNN that “Even though it’s going to weird people out, it’s obviously seen by his postulators as a sign of his holiness.” This is relevant because Pope John Paul II is up for sainthood.
Osama Bin Laden has released a new audiotape in which he says that “All of the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis.” He called it a message “from Osama to Obama” according to a report on Al Jazeera. The authenticity of the tape has not been verified. Here is a video from Al Jazeera English that wonders if playing these tapes is good journalism.
I do wonder how Osama bin Laden can keep making tapes and having them delivered to a television station, but we still can’t find him. Then again, multiple administrations have failed to capture him, including the Battle of Tora Bora in 2001, when Bin Laden was apparently in our sights, so to speak, but got away. (I’m simplifying here.) Of course, there’s always a chance that Osama Bin Laden is already dead.
On that note, let me leave you with something a little less serious. A video of a man rolling on the floor of a New York City subway with a chicken. As someone says on YouTube, “on the uptown 6. nothing wrong with it.” Here’s the video. You decide.