Child labor stories 2017: the monster's legs

Stories and News No. 962

The mica is one of the most common minerals on a global level, of great value for its ability to reflect and refract light and is used in a multitude of products and industries. About a quarter of the mica in the world is extracted in the poorest areas of India by at least 20,000 children working every day in the mines.
Some of the biggest suppliers of car paint have recently joined a global initiative to eliminate child labor in the mica industry, thanks to an investigation by The Guardian.
Unfortunately today, despite using the paint produced by the above vendors, all automotive brands including Volkswagen, BMW and Vauxhall (General Motors) have refused to join.
This is just a story.
Or a fairy tale...

Once upon a time there was a monster.
A terrible monster, so terrifying and invincible at

the same time that now no one dared to face it with a loud voice in the public square.
So big and powerful to get the most important victories on the world.
The habit.
When the monsters become normal characters, like every others, as an essential part of the image, everyone feels entitled to enter the frame.
Saying and doing mostly everything goes on in their head or belly.
One day, some of the most undervalued creatures on earth, decided to raise their heads.
Negligible event, in fact, thinking about their height.
“Let's stop the monster,” the leader shouted.
“Yes, let's do it,” yelled back his friend of a lifetime.
“Hurray,
yelled another one awakening at that moment by a nice dream, but still happy to be on board.
You know, it doesn’t happen every day to lift your head down there, and when it occurs you don’t want to be the one who will listen this: you don’t know what you missed.
“How do we stop the monster?” Rightly asked the most practical among them.
“Simple,” replied the leader and with inspired voice launched himself into a charismatic, long prepared
monologue.
“Let’s cut the legs’ monster, let’s truncate those columns that hold up its hideous figure, let’s throw away those rotten and cruel limbs, those wrong knees, those smelly kneecaps and those ugly shins...
 
“Please, get to the point,” asked one of the many, as far as he shared all the antipathy for the sadistic creature.
“I said, let’s cut all the legs of the monster, which allow it to walk on our lives and our homes, trampling our present and erasing our future.”
“All the legs?” Asked another one, with obvious skepticism in his voice.
Now, what is not said in the beginning - I apologize for this, we’re speaking of a thousand-legged monster, here.
However, the leader had studied well and his reply was swift.
“Here's my plan: we convince the legs to break away from it.”
At first there was some derisive chuckle and no confidence in the absurd idea, but he didn’t lose his heart. He knew that to be followed in his utopic enterprise there was no other way to take the first step.
The first leg was convinced by him and the chain reaction was like a Mexican wave of defectors limbs, one after another deterred from the horrible task of serving the evil being.
The most surprising thing for the little rebels was discovering that the legs were just waiting for someone to invite them to free themselves.
However, the unexpected part was waiting for them on the last fragment of the story.
The last leg was ready to abandon the monster and so it did.
The little creatures cheered with joy and began to sing and dance, to make the party worthy of such great victory.
Nevertheless, a nasty roar rose in the sky behind them.
They turned and saw the monster still there, determined to continue ruining their lives.
They realized that the legs were not the ones keeping it alive.
But all those who, consciously or unconsciously, are feeding it…


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Diversity stories: the kingdom for everybody

Stories and News No. 961

The Donald Trump’s administration has decided to cancel the diversifications on bathrooms and changing rooms for transgender students, matching their gender identity.
A sort of step back from Obama’s government.
A right move for some and a medieval action for others.
Yet, I know a place...

Once upon a time there was a kingdom.
A great one, if you think about it, a lot bigger than you might believe, if you look from above or a

good distance.
You have got the best screening size and opportunities within your imagination or what it has so far survived.
In the great kingdom, much more than the simple appearance, there was everything for everyone.
All had been designed and programmed for each living creature.
It was so for inanimate things too, let alone who breathes and loves, comes and goes.
There was food for all, depending on the digestive system and tastes, the ingestion and ways to find it.
And there was shelter for every kind of life, a bed to achieve or ready to the task, protection from inclement weather and the whims of fate, space to spend time and build relations with similar lives or not.
There was light, all you really need in your existence.
There was dark too, all you need to fully appreciate the former.
There were billions of living beings, each one different from the other, equally unique for special reasons, all of them with a motive to exist, all of them with a cause to go and come back.
And there were no fewer meetings between them, intimate or just mentioned, random or inevitable, perfect or destructive.
There was free will and there were endless choices, there were countless colors and an incalculable multiplicity of sounds.
There was music, then.
And there was dancing.
There was all sorts of plausible art.
Unrivaled when it was not at all.
There were unlimited possibilities.
And there was a finite time.
As this story, as it should be.
There were thousands and thousands of other tales, each open-ended.
And there was a not transcribed, as immense, unthinkable, as deafening, never be narrated, however beautiful, number of ways to love each other.
Once upon a time there was this kingdom.
And it’s still here, for our ungrateful luck.
It's called nature...


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Immigrants stories 2017: what color are they?

Stories and News No. 960

The bodies of at least 74 people, believed to be migrants, were found on the Libyan coast after umpteenth tragedy at sea for people fleeing to Europe to escape war and poverty.
As usually, the dead were covered, as much we do with bulky stories, unless the tale or the characters decide to unsettle the readers...


Once upon a time there was a news.
It came forward timidly, as it had happened earlier.

Nothing new, when the race is usually won by arrogance and utilities.
It's normal that the creatures stripped by fate, so with no wallet, are falling behind.
Nevertheless, we all get at the end of the race.
What happens after can change everything, even the order on the winners podium.
There are 74 dead bodies on the beach, the press agency said.
Nevertheless, she said nothing more.
What beach? The first curious guy asked.
It's important? Replied another one.
In fact, admitted the other.
They’re migrants, said the expert.
Are they? Asked her directly.
We don’t know, she said.
Why? Someone asked on behalf of all others.
Because we can’t understand it, the sad stories messenger explained.
Because it's damn sad, indeed, it’s also horrible, it’s a terrifying and unacceptable thing to happen, like any useless sacrifice of creatures in the middle of life.
Here we say it and we come back no more.
What do you mean you don’t understand? It was the inevitable, following question.
If they are blacks, they are migrants, explained the one obsessed with fundamental skin tones.
Brown, if we must say it, a pickier colleague pointed out.
No brown, cleared the altercation the agency.
What color are they? Many sang a cappella.
That’s not clear, said the fatal emissary.
What do you mean that’s not clear? The subsequent and monotonous question.
They show a never seen before color, said the agency.
An confused and even slightly agitated silence invaded the scene.
Aliens? Guessed one of those with a head perpetually raised to the stars, poorly concealing a growing excitement.
Now we’ve got also migrants from Mars, the joke of the moment.
Let’s build a large wall around earth orbit, the proposal of the most expulsive man among those present, mistakenly taken for a joke.
They are human, she said.
How can you tell? Asked the polemical one.
Because they tried to survive certain death, because they have not surrendered to fate, however cruel and unjust it was, because they decided to risk everything, just to cling to their existence, because they have chosen the only possible way, because they trusted the sea and their courage, because they have sought help from their peers, because they certainly have rejoiced at the earth view and certainly some of them cried or just yelled inside, of pain and anger, for the bitter outcome as much the beginning of their story, because they died indulging on the planet they loved anyway, because despite far from their home, earth receives and doesn’t reject, embraces and doesn’t judge, because like humans they are dead.
Under the eyes of other humans…


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Human rights stories: Justice for Adama Traoré and others

Stories and News No. 959

I read that Adama TraorĂ©’s death in the custody of French police has become one of the most discussed cases in Europe on the alleged or proven brutality of the agents. It becomes every day more topical everywhere.
People rightly ask for justice and these days the manifestations in Paris are very crowded.
However, in my humble opinion, the paradoxical aberration that lets who should protect and serve citizens to deprive them of life, offers a simple request of normalcy...


There once was a crazy land.
A totally messed up country, twisted in reasonable logic and mere physical facts.
Adama's sister Assa during a manifestation
In the mad state lived her, Miss Simple.
A quite girl, but nothing bigoted, believe me.
Only someone with an understandable view of life, with emotions in the right place and a spontaneous propensity for harmony with the world's goods.
Nothing special, it should be remembered, but in the realm of the insane, she served as a litmus test, since we are in the senseless ground.
Read as well as the human exception to the wrong rule.
The young lady didn’t understand and so far it was only obvious reaction to events.
However, Miss Simple was far from that and then didn’t just respond.
She wanted answers in turn, struggling with every means against the faults disguised as essential tips and lines.
As a sort of wrong Don Quixote, with no Sancho in support, alone and proud she threw the spear against the dragons with empty eyes and foaming at the mouth.
And she said no to any accepted abnormalities, reciting aloud the distortions tolerated by her peers.
A scarf should protect your throat from cold currents, never strangling you, she said.
An umbrella should save you from the rain, let alone get lightning in profusion.
The lifeline at sea is there to avoid your drowning, because there is air inside, no heavy, murderous stones as dull hatred.
Traffic lights is the last bulwark between the driver and his fellows, one of the rare cases in which the colors are really essential in our common journey, it should then change policy, and not as a mere coincidence.
As if the lives at stake did not matter at all.
As if everything was just a game.
Of lives.
Similarly, the parachute should be the most exciting way to get courageously back to the temporarily hailed earth, not the fastest way to do it. Maybe refusing what is written, opening on command and guiding the healthy traveler safely home.
These and many others, too, were the contradictory cracks that Miss Simple saw and rejected in her country.
She never stopped doing so.
Because she knew that screaming the simple normalcy, from her own point of view, was her right.
And maybe her duty too.


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Stories about environment: one of us trees

Stories and News No. 958

In Cambodia the timber tycoons, working with local officials, are seriously undermining the survival of the Prey Lang’s forest.
In defense of the latter there is Leng Ouch, who reveals to fear for his life and his loved ones, but that does not stop him.
Because Leng is one of them...


In Cambodia there are trees.
In Cambodia there are crazy trees.

Because it’s so everywhere, if you think about it.
If you think about it carefully, nowadays you are really crazy to choose to be born tree, in this world.
Also river or lake would be would as much risky choices, if not masochistic.
But you know how vulnerable minds are, ready to be crossed by every living thing desired, with a tirelessly heart, which makes it noteworthy of a story.
So, where the trees lost their mind to think of being the center of the universe, they themselves narrate tales and dreams.
To see everything and everyone as souls composed of plant and root.
Still only at birth and death.
Now, imagine the traditional version, the sacrificial victim of your kingdom.
Read as well as the illusion from the human point of view.
Well, those that over time you have learned to simply call trees, are just witnesses, silent spectators, those that have not yet learned to run and shout.
But this doesn’t mean they didn’t breath and move towards the horizon which all, trees or not, are going to.
This doesn’t stop them to watch and listen the admirable life.
Of a tree, of course.
Because I said at the very beginning, madness is the key, the most obstinate form of it, let's face it, the only one that really had the chance to bring down the castle of the evil.
Here it is, the protagonist of their bizarre visions.
One of them… or us, it always depends on which way you read the story.
An extraordinary tree with eyes and ears, touch and taste, and all his special senses devoted to the care of a crucial planet.
That is, the only one we have.
The only one we really are from.
A tree that is willing to lose sap and oxygen, light and future for his fellow people, the much underrated terrestrial beings.
A type of tree that reveals the error at the end, the naive mistake of green creatures.
I am one of you, he says with words and especially gestures.
Because, for you, I would give myself.
And because I know that without you, myself would not be here anymore.
They,
who are cursed, they're only human


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