My Marie Antoinette moment

“Let them eat cake,” she’s supposed to have said. And I suppose the idea is that we’re all outraged that she could have been so callous about the suffering of the poor while stuffing herself with delicacies. (Although I also suppose that might depend on the tone in which those words were spoken. But let’s go with the standard interpretation.) I had my own little Marie Antoinette moment on the flight from Auckland to Bangkok yesterday. The first meal had been served, I’d just taken a spoonful of the red pepper pannacotta that formed part of the entrée. But had also just started reading the front page article of this week’s Guardian Weekly: ‘Anger and fear: workers of Europe take to streets’. For a brief moment it seemed terribly WRONG that I was being pampered at some ridiculous altitude while ‘out there’ people were growing increasingly afraid of unemployment, the global economic crisis, of being able to put food on the table. Still, I could scarcely open the window to share my entrée, even the entire meal, with the world, could I? So I ate up.  

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