so, i went to an amnesty international comedy night last night, to raise awareness/protest against the imprisonment of Burmese comedian Zarganar, imprisoned for criticising the military junta's handling of the aftermath of the cyclone.
in between the comedy acts (Robin Ince - very funny, Josie Long - fairly funny, Rich Herring - fairly funny), there were a couple of Burmese political refugees speaking about Burma. one was a Burmese comedian, Zarganar had been his mentor, the other was...well, a woman. i'm not sure what her role was, but both had been imprisoned in Burma for several years. both well good-humoured, good-natured, and cheerful. probably because they weren't in Burma, i guess.
ok, after that boring tl;dr background, the question. what do you do about somewhere like burma? do you do anything? should you do anything? human rights abuses are numerous and widely chronicled, there's all the photos of the monks face-down, dead lying in the...i dunno, marshes? rivers? in terms of picking "most abhorrent regimes" in the way they behave towards their people, burma's top 3, if not no. 1. "a win's a win", and all that.
i know it's cause i'm jaded, but i can't see what good, say, writing petitions and sending postcards to the head general to ask for a comedian's releae is going to do. i'm still saying do it, because hell, it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. but what hope is there for the burmese that the country will change? and how do things like that happen?
(and yes, me refusing to refer to it as "myanmar" is an act of pettiness right up there with "dick, sorry, nick griffin")