Thursday, March 22, 2012

Apple-itionists

I've written about Apple and the Chinese slaves in the past because I'm a lazy person and it's an easy topic to instigate and annoy my readers. I like to compare iPads to cotton in 1830. Plantation owners in Mississippi liked to say that they were giving the black man gainful employment that would raise him up from his African tribal depths. Looking around today you could almost see his point: Maybe I'm projecting my own distorted values and views but the descendents of the Haitian who was never purchased by the New Orleans slave trader in 1802 is now in a worse bind than the descendents of the Uncle Tom who picked all the cotton for Civil War uniforms. Whether it is worth being born of slave blood if it means you can work at Jack in The Box is the topic of another essay because my point is that when your livelihood depends on free labor then it's no surprise that you justify it with all kinds of ethical rabbits pulled out of philosophical hats. And when you own an iPad then a gypsy hippie talking bad about Apple isn't going to compel you to trade it in for a wooden pencil. Basically, the Chinese are deftly maneuvering around their terrible situation. They failed to manage their resources because they were too busy clubbing Buddhist monks to death and in their blind seizure and destruction of farmlands while hunting coal also eliminated the ability of the Chinese to sustain themselves locally. They basically manufactured the conditions of slavery and are lucky they don't allow emigration because surely the population would flee if they had the chance. Unfortunately, Nepal isn't exactly the breadbasket of the world so it was a near miracle when the demand for high tech goods surged exactly when the environmental regulations in the U.S. had companies looking away from San Jose, CA for supply. Low cost employees, a region devoted exclusively to manufacturing, diverse factories in close proximity, starvation, all of this added up to a perfect business partner for the high tech companies that were competing with Japanese developers. All things considered, it worked out pretty good for China and consumers worldwide. And the same thing could be said for affordable cotton in 1820.
 And now the cycle begins again as tech abolitionists (I'll coin a new term: Apple-itionists) raise doubts of the morality of the status quo. We eliminated slavery in America because we exported it to China. Chinese workers routinely say they prefer to work more because they need the money. But that's only one side of the story because the alternative is starvation and the cause of the starvation is the lack of food from their depleted country. My point is that you should not break your neck giving yourself a blowjob just because you buy an Apple product. You aren't "saving" anyone but you are deluding yourself into thinking the slaves are better off picking cotton than being locked in a cage on a slave ship. There are alternatives your Jack in The Box brain is ignoring to justify your blighted worldview. If you buy an Apple product then the only justification you can use is, "I'm just a big dumb fuck who does what I'm told. Pass the Cheerios." There's no other words that should leave your mouth because it just makes you look even more stupid as you fumble for justification of your twisted words fed from an Australian media mogul's glorified asshole. Get in line and buy the stuff that has price tags and makes funny sounds and lights up when you punch it you dense gorilla with your chicken waffles and insensitive sneakers. Dance with the broken-hearted in the Vodka swamp where the Lorax plays checkers with the dead possums. It's all a dream that Oggy makes up in his sleep and projects onto your corrupt eyeballs while you snore through inflated ego nostrils.

An Apple-itionist guy performs a show about the Apple drama. NPR reported on his show and then retracted the story because the show isn't all factual. But it's a gray area as far as lies and truth. Here's my response:
Isn’t it understood that This American Life is good radio entertainment like The Shadow and The Lone Ranger? And they do a story about a theatrical production that turned out to only be a theatrical production. I don’t know why they’re retracting anything since they reported the fact that someone is performing a show that is a creative expression of an individual’s collective experience, research and imagination. Yes, underage workers make iPads. Yes, workers have been crippled, killed, demoralized and exploited by Apple. No, tree Gnomes don’t grow our cell phones from a silicone patch.
Let’s really be hypothetical: If I were sent to a distant Galaxy to plead my [The Earth's] case to an advanced life form who had the capacity to solve all Earth’s problems including disease, warfare, climactic apocalypse, Khloe Kardashian, carbon-based energy, Uwe Boll films, racism, etc, and I only had 45 minutes to do it, then my presentation might be considered a one-man show and it would include a description of damage from tornadoes (that I’ve never experienced), Hurricanes (that I’ve never experienced) Tsunamis (that I’ve never experienced) Nuclear Power plant meltdowns (that I’ve never experienced), sea levels rising, animal life dying, genocide, clips from “A Dungeon Siege Tale”, etc.
Now, everything listed didn’t happen in one day but for narrative purposes I might decide to present it all as events that happened in 24 hours. Heck, the alien’s sense of time might be so different that it’s safer to just say, “this all took place in the time that it took for me to tell you about it. We are in urgent need of help.”
Then the alien leader asks the question, “Is all of that true? Did all of that happen to you?”
And since we’re talking about the salvation of the planet what do you think my response will be?


I promise to get back to humor in a day or two. My computer is broken and three different film projects are in limbo until I fly to China on the back of a Pegasus to get the tree Gnomes to make me a new computer from the lips of sea lions. As soon as that happens I'll make my wolf video and all the fairies will fly out of their magic holes and we'll drink Black Russians in the island sun while Russian prostitutes parade before our wooden erections. I promise.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.