Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fiji, DVDs, and complicity

Reading this reminded me recently of how appalled I was when some members of my family went on holiday to Fiji.  It wasn't so much that I thought they shouldn't under any circumstances go but more that it didn't even occur to them that by going they might be helping to support a military dictatorship.  I try to imagine if New Zealand, another great tourist destination, suffered an armed coup and consequently the inhabitants lost their democratic rights, free press, civil freedoms, and were pushed into poverty, how I would feel if people from democratic countries carried on coming here (and paying their entry taxes) as if nothing had happened?  But really those members of my family were no different from all the other western tourists who only care about getting a cheap holiday: they just couldn't give a tinker's fart about the people in Fiji.

That said, I didn't say anything to them about it.  Just like I said nothing when other members of the family came back from a different holiday proudly carrying a haul of pirated DVDs.  Now these are educated people.  They know full well that money from pirate DVDs goes to fund terrorism (especially in that country).   But why let that get in the way of a cheap movie?

Does my silence make me complicit too?

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