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John Carter and Bombs

So, while it’s not as terrible as everyone has made it out to be, John Carter has officially begun making its mark as one of Hollywood’s biggest bombs in history, losing well over 200 million dollars, a surprising feat considering its pedigree and the love fans have had for the source material. There are some who also believe it may have really cost over $350 million once all of the marketing and other issues connected to promoting it nationally and internationally have been tallied in.

This is also that point where I point out that this is also just about the same amount of money many feel would be necessary to clear Laos a substantial majority of the 8 million unexploded cluster munitions left in Laos since 1975. While there are many who want to point out that this is an apples to oranges comparison, I think it is still significant that while we can regularly fund and finance multi-million dollar films, support for humanitarian projects with key long-term benefits for development, trade, and intercultural exchange remains elusive.

Constructively, as Lao Americans we need to begin asking ourselves how we might surmount this challenge and help connect our communities and develop in such a way that people might invest in the clearance of UXO in Laos with the same passion and enthusiasm as producing a film like John Carter, or going to watch the Hunger Games or Twilight.  This is not an absurd position, as many issues, such as breast cancer awareness and environmental concerns have been able to generate this international level of support well beyond local concerns. A recent non-profit organization’s efforts to raise awareness through a viral video demonstrated the ability to use social media effectively to generate not just awareness but tangible support.

I would be concerned that a sudden influx of cash and support and international awareness can also be tremendously risky, prone to waste and misdirected funds. This is of course a concern for many already. But what are your thoughts and and ideas?

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