Could television be the great third-world prophylactic savior?
While you were focused on why that Congolese student asked Hillary Clinton for Bill's take on China's growing influence on the African continent, CNN.com had a slightly more important story: would the world have fewer hungry mouths if more people had access to decent television?
First and foremost, there is a World Population Day and it was on July 11. This year, the Indian Minister of Health and Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, made an interesting comment regarding population control in the subcontinent. To paraphrase, he thought that if they could get electricity to villages, the locals may be too tired to baby-make thus reducing overcrowding. Reactions to his comments were mixed at best.
To put the situation in perspective, the US State Department says India has roughly one-third the land mass of the United States with roughly three times as many people resulting in a population density of nine times that of the US of A. And you thought it was irritating to hear your neighbors having sex. Read: How Often Do Your Neighbors Have Sex?
And while it wasn't PC (Indians are generally unfailingly polite but not always "politically correct"), it was something that I've heard before… largely from NYC cabbies. If you've visited the Big Old Apple and had the privilege of riding in a yellow taxi, you may have recognized some very exciting accents possessed by the drivers. These are, by-and-large, foreign accents and if you take time to chat up one of these gentlemen, you'll learn that many of them are from not first-world countries. And many of them have many children. Their rationale? No television.
That's right. When it's late and it's dark and you don't feel like sleeping, there are only two things to do: tell knock-knock jokes or throw crotch parties. Birth control is not very highly thought of or available in many parts of the developing world (particularly barrier methods), so this lack of Must-See TV (or even Gossip Girl, not that I watch that show) frequently leads to human conception.
While few people have ever credited TV with doing much good, maybe Ghulam Nabi Azad is onto something. Or maybe the nation that invented the Kama Sutra will just think of creative ways to have unprotected sex in such a way that both parties can watch The Jetsons.
Thoughts about watching TV instead of procreating?