Don’t you just hate it when your Pinot Grigio gets warm?

There’s a Twitter conversation known as #firstworldproblems, which features things those of us in the rich world like to complain about. I assume (and hope) it is meant to be ironic and self-deprecating humor ….

CNN picked up on how a charitable organization, WaterIsLife, made use of it to make a similar point. PRI’s The World actually did an interview with the advertising firm, exploring their rationale and how they promoted the irony without succumbing to pandering or inadvertent ‘poverty porn.’

By the way, I am not endorsing this non-profit group. I don’t know much about them (and there are TONS of water advocacy groups out there.)

I just think this video is a clever way to raise ‘awareness’ of global poverty.

What makes it even funnier — or ironic — is that the video (on CNN) poking fun at our Great Gatsbyesque rich-world complaints is always preceded by a paid advertisement which, though it rotates, often tends to be selling something just as ludicrously bourgeois as our complaints.


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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.