Sunday, May 16, 2010

Behind our backs.

Each time I take these other jobs to learn some humility I manage for a few hours and can even ignore the grinding pain in the joints, but when I look around at the mammoth scale of the operation and how completely unacceptable it is to expect Thailand and China to produce this much specialty athletic equipment, I start to lose my mind. I think, "No, Oggy, you need the money. Fuck it all. FUCK THE EARTH. WE FUCKED IT UP. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE SAVED."
I try to convince myself that whatever moral principles I cling to are so pathetically futile and self-destructive that I'm being pointlessly stubborn. Just give up! Fuck it all. Work, take the money, buy some crack and shoot up in the bathroom. Who fucking cares? Look around at this fucking square mile of athletic equipment. Just look. This is insane. Nothing can justify this many jock straps that can withstand a 90 MPH impact from a piece of molded rubber. No. It's totally and completely wrong. No way are you going to justify a factory in China devoted solely to sewing jock straps for hockey players. Nope. Impossible. Not hundreds of thousands of them. No no no no no.

So, I try to ignore it, punch the time clock and move on, but then I think, wait...wait...hold on. The reason I am shocked and repulsed is because I'm actually seeing something that is shocking and repulsive. No one would think this is normal if they would just leave the seacoast of New Hampshire or read something other than Sports Illustrated. I mean, yes, this is totally normal AS LONG AS YOU ARE AN ETHNOCENTRIC CAPITALIST. If you aren't then you will quickly see this operation as utterly unsustainable and wasteful. Shameful. I mean, this is the kind of operation historians will highlight as evidence we were blind amoral pigs.

Stop, Oggy! I will continue until they fire me...Just take the money,,,just... but I'm telling you that this can't go on. I realize these specialized pieces of equipment are well designed and long lasting, but this is HOCKEY. ROLLER HOCKEY! What the fuck>>?

Again, it's because most of humanity only sees the five styles of rollerblades at the one sporting goods store or at Walmart. They think, "That's it. There are only this many rollerblades in the world."

Well, I intentionally worked at dozens of different Target stores and now at the place that distributes to Target stores and I'm stunned by the volume of crap that is being produced. I don't mean it in a bad way but you are an incredibly ignorant person if you believe the only rollerblades in the world are at the one Walmart you visit. My brain can barely comprehend the number of indestructible jock straps that currently exist. The volume is like sand in the desert. Just imagine a jock strap that is 6 stories high and weighs 700 pounds.

It's the nature of capitalism, the compulsion to produce and consume, that we never pause to consider what the grand scale of things is. In fact, I admit I don't naturally pause to consider the grand scale of things but I have forced myself to take jobs in factories and in the Gulf of Mexico so I can actually experience some of it and the final conclusion is that we've collectively run amok. It's not a myth made up by pot smoking hippies; it's true. Commerce has been taken over by the most short sighted people in history and television has normalized a lifestyle that is completely blind to the consequences we will all soon suffer and which the developing world is suffering right now. We're plugged into the dream machine so it's impossible to see the machine. The sky is falling and no jock strap can protect your nuts.

I have a lot of time at work to ponder if unregulated commerce is Man's attempt to protect himself from the elements or if it is actually a plot by a tiny minority to get rich by encouraging and exploiting Man's childish nature, by catering to our infantilism. I really wonder because I know this can't last. An American child uses the resources of 7 children from a developing nation. The theory is that if America is comfortable then the rest of the world will eventually benefit. But what I see is tens of thousands of indestructible jock straps. You can theorize all you want but when I see a hundred thousand lime green roller blade wheels in boxes stacked 6 stories high then, excuse me, but I start to question all theories. This is not the benevolent hand of grand commerce. No. Something horrible is happening here and that is why there are fences around the building. You go to a Walmart or online and you think you are ordering a special set of rollerblade wheels made specially for you by tree elves. I'm telling you the truth and there is basically a thunderous downpour of rollerblade wheels, hockey pucks and jock straps and you are ordering a single item that is so insignificant compared to the whole that only a computer can tell when a piece is missing. We have mountains and mountains of specialty athletic equipment in the world. MOUNTAINS like small skyscrapers. Factories are devoted to jock straps. Containers...cargo ships are completely filled with superhero themed goalie masks and ON THE OCEAN RIGHT NOW.

The truth of commerce is so ugly and wasteful and dirty, and the myth of commerce is so glossy and perfumed and hair free, that I can only rant about it and pray Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky write a solid essay on my behalf. I'm telling you that this contradiction is almost something that can't be explained. You have to experience it to understand the dimensions. Naomi Klein is pretty good at describing it but I think modern commerce is too complicated for anyone to completely grasp through an essay. Like, on the front of Lester Brown's Plan B there's a quote by Bill Clinton "Good book." Ok, Bill. Nice of you to put the hamburger down long enough to write the blurb. No way did Bill Clinton demonstrate he learned anything from Plan B. Why? Because all he did was read the book. That's not good enough. You basically have to go work in a modern factory if you want to understand modern commerce. Right now. Quit your specialized job and go do someone else's specialized job in a factory. That's my only recommendation. We all need to swap jobs and see what's going on behind our backs. If you don't do it then you will dismiss me as alarmist and continue to suckle the Fox News tit for misinformation, you gullible, cowardly cunt.
Sorry, I got angry.
(deep breath)
Please come work with me for one day. That's all it takes. I'm not asking you to change careers. Just see with your own eyes and you will understand. I can't describe it well enough and they strip search me before and after I go to work so I can't smuggle in a camera. Please. I'll get you in touch with my placement agent.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.