nettime's avid reader on Thu, 10 Apr 2008 11:41:27 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Dropping like a lead imperialist balloon

Dropping like a lead imperialist balloon

The irony and pathos gets laid on pretty thick in Monday's New York Times' 
story on how thieves, motivated by high prices for lead, are stripping 
British church roofs of the increasingly precious metal.

The irony:

>     One of the oddest consequences of the historically high price is
> that idyllic corners of Britain -- a nation that gave birth to the
> Industrial Revolution -- are suddenly feeling the strain of Asia's
> industrialization.

The pathos:

>     Still, she said, churches like hers would remain vulnerable, in part
> because respect for faith traditions is often too weak to offset the
> temptation of cashing in on global markets. "We increasingly seem to live
> in a world where the question 'Is nothing sacred?' so easily springs to
> mind," she said.   

But at Ultrabrown, Manish Vij sees history replaying itself, along a new 
vector of force.

>     For centuries, of course, the British gouged gems from temple to
> tomb, laid claim on egg-sized rubies and sapphires from Indian mines,
> stole priceless statues from Indian museums. They denuded the
> subcontinent of raw natural resources and shipped them to be finished in
> England. Now the cycle has reversed, and sites the British hold sacred
> are again being stripped by privateers for raw materials in great need
> overseas.... The rapacious needs of a growing industrial power once
> again turns others into sources of raw materials. Only they aren't
> colonies this time, and the exchange is in currency, not guns.

-- Andrew Leonard

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