Clothes are cheaper than ever — great for the people who buy them but horrible for the people who make them.
It was bound to happen, us monkeys acting like gorillas.
After all, it was consumption that fueled our modern evolution, so it only seems fitting, and perhaps somehow ordained in the mathematical-based laws of physics, that consumption is fueling the end of the world as we know it.
Fashionably fucked-up and in a metaphysical quandary, us monkeys.
On a recent Last Week Tonight, the John Oliver fashion segment explaining “why clothes are so cheap here while little kids work in God-awful conditions over there” doesn’t fit so well. Literally and physically. [Video below.]
Upon further reveal, the world’s axis of greed is not limited to Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Finance, Big Ag, and Big Military Industrial Complex. There’s also Big Fashion.
The con game remains the same.
My take on their ultimate business model: what laypeople understand to be pyramid schemes, mob monopolies, Ponzi schemes, loan sharking, speculating, insider trading, hustling, robbing Peter to pay Paul, gambling, etc.
No country was ever born without the death of what came before it. And no value was ever established that couldn’t be devalued, re-valued, sliced up into a bunch of mortgage securities, parlayed into something else of value, bet on, banked on, scammed over, and so on and so forth, round and round we go.
We gorillas be shifty.
Exceptionally shifty are the most greedy descendants of the Great Apes in the land known as America.
First they shifted the responsibly of doing all the hard work onto slaves. When America objected to slave labor, some went to war to keep it. When the war ended, with slavery vanquished, they shifted from slave labor to child labor and sharecropping. When America objected to child labor, they moved the child labor overseas, and became a newfangled kind of sharecropper, one who didn’t bear the burden of having to feed, house and keep alive cheap labor, which was now tucked far, far away on some dirty back road, away from the watchful eyes of the humanity and even farther away from the feudal lord/sharecroppers’ manor.
And our clothes, our goods, our gadgets, our toys are all pennies to the dollar, whatever that means.
What it means for me …
So all the fabulous clothes I buy and this amazing, wonderful iPhone I’m dictating into, and the big screen that I’m looking at, and everything else that I and every other American buys and enjoys — most of which says “made in China or China-lite” — we’re doing so at the expense of a lot of women and children in faraway places who are living nothing close to anything resembling any kind of American dream.
But those kids seemed eager to do it. The John Oliver fashion segment shows that some lie about their ages, just to appear old enough to get a job.
That’s what my own mom in America in the late 1940s/early 1950s. One of the bullet points of her life is how she and her sister, my aunt Evelyn. put up their ages so they could get jobs as soda jerks — roughly around the same age of those girls in Bangladeshi girls in Oliver’s segment.
Because they wanted to make something better of themselves.
That’s what those kids are doing, because for them the [insert name of a Third-World country] Dream is not even up to the level of the life of a 1950’s soda jerk.
So, true, globalization of the world will eventually mean more wealth spread across the planet and less people living in that rural pastoral, unplugged world of yester-century. Point, primates.
But does it have to be done at the expense of thousands of people dying in burning factories, or under collapsed factory rubble?
How’s this for a social media meme?
- being whipped and beaten to death, then left for dead by your slave master,
- or being burnt alive while trapped with others in a factory,
- or being buried alive underneath rubble with a whole, six story building on top of you and you don’t know if anyone can hear you scream?
In America, we went to war to get rid of one of those things (slavery), and we fought very hard for most people, especially kids, to be able to work under less lethal conditions. And for the very young to not have to work at all!
(Except for all the young Latino children and their families working for the Food Chains in our onion fields, or is that killing fields? Sure ain’t a field of dreams for anyone but the richest, the people on top of the food chain.)
What can I do to make a difference?
Stop everything and began a new mission in life, grand grasshopper. Yeah right.
Baby steps: do what I can, remain conscious, take small steps, same as with what appears to be my Vegan Voyage.
Join the wave. That’s what we all need to do to wave goodbye to the old ways of consumption.
Before it’s too late, like the title of one of my favorite songs from Donny Osmond.