Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cranky humanitarianism and murdery playlists

I've been working with a law firm that does international human rights cases and civil rights cases. And it makes me cranky. Every day I read a new case and it's a new company I can't buy from, new food I can't eat, clothes I can't wear, and power driving authority figures with weapons to become their worst selves. and transport? Forget about oil companies, if you don't think they will rape, pillage, and kill everyone in their way to get  to their oil, you're wrong. If you're a person living where they find oil, between where they find oil, or basically in any way concerned with oil, you're just screwed. You should move immediately or commit seppuku to spare yourself whatever indignities the oil company's security forces would impose before your death. Even Canadian oil companies. I feel like once you've corrupted Canadians, all is truly lost in your industry.

But don't we all know oil companies are evil? I'm aware, I drove a prius when I could choose my car. I make baby steps. And I've been all over Free 2 Work's list of slavey textile manufacturers. So, I'm pretty good about buying clothes only from manufacturers with B grades and above for their distribution. (ps, thank you Jesus that H&M is one of them). And, frankly, over the years out of a distaste for consumerism and a deepening in religious philosophy, I've been living a simpler, less acquisitive lifestyle. But the things I do love, I like...really love. and I buy them a lot. I come from the loins of a man who eats Subway every day for lunch. every. day. we're a family that likes ruts.

Then, in preparing another case, I had to read, and re-read, a case against Nestle, Cargill, and Archer Daniels. It's about how they basically allow and encourage their cocoa suppliers to enslave children.  So it's just awful. Everyone knows the chocolate industry is one of the worst offenders on the planet, but it's nice to live in ignorance. Ignorance is easy and delicious. At first I was like, "hey, I can just buy fair trade, chocolate, I'll just have to figure out which chocolate bars are made by these companies and not eat them, should be all good." you see where this is going, right? Like, I was feeling pretty good about myself and my general efforts. My pillow of self-righteousness is soft and large. And I totally forgot that Nestle is a huge conglomerate that owns everything. So I open my fridge to drink my most super favorite creamer, which adds daily (hourly!) chemical deliciousness to my life, which I look forward to every day and...I realize in horror that it is made by Nestle. And I'd just been immersed in tales of Malian children being trafficked and maimed and killed to work in the cocoa industry that supplies Nestle's chocolate. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I just want to affirm that stories about maimed children taint deliciousness tremendously. consciousness is the worst.

Why do I have to make an effort to find things NOT made with slave labor? I should have to like really want slavey shit and go on dark internet places to have to find it. It's bizarro world out there in the global corporate economy.

Once when two of my best friends and I took a vacation out of spite to Siberia and Vladivostock (no seriously, we were living in Taiwan and I was like, "hey, we are so close to Vladivistock, we should go" and a coworker was like, "you can't, it's too hard to get the paperwork." And of course I was like, "game ON" as thoughts of Dostoevsky danced in my head. and then, you know I bribed the Russian consulate guy in Taipei, paid a bunch of fake fees and voila: communist housing, prostitutes, more fake fees, no smiling, white tigers, spinning wheels, red hair dye, vodka, troika dancing, women in short-skirted military uniforms and heels directing the plane on the tarmac, onion domes, and a working cannon. Russia.) anyway, we went out to see the people who were living off the land in Siberia. "living in the old way" or something. So there was this guy that we called Stepan the Hot because, well, right. This guy picks berries, herbs, and mushrooms from the forest, raises bees--from which he makes both honey AND vodka, made himself a fish farm, makes barrels from wood he cuts from the forest, welds iron stuff, builds houses, drinks the blood of weaker men, and is generally a complete badass. We kept saying that if the nuclear holocaust ever occurred we were heading straight to Stepan's house. People who don't use slave labor: Stepan. People who literally don't ever have to worry that anything they have was made by slave labor: Stepan. one guy in siberia. Stepan uses only himself and his hearty wife. *sigh* So. much. effort.

Just fyi, here is a list of ethical chocolate companies

In the midst of a bunch of my research on various human rights violations I was getting super depressed, but needed to like motor on with my research and I was wondering, "what's a good murdery soundtrack to motivate one as she's trying to clear-headedly present issues?"
I came up with MIA's Matangi--the songs Exodus and Bad Girls, in particular. Also, unsurprisingly, Rage Against the Machine, and Rise Against. Interestingly, usually when I would listed to these songs in other contexts they would amp me up. But when my head is full of the worst side of humanity, they are calming. Like, oh good, someone else is really angry about things, so I can just report on them. Thank you, Zack de la Rocha, for your rhythmic anger. If anyone has other suggestions, I'm in the market. 


Anonymous Chris said...

I'd suggest anything by Tool, but in small doses.

Oh, another good chocolate maker is Theo's chocolates - I'm a bit biased, I helped design their current chocolate factory, and I get free stuff from them from time to time, but, they are a complete bean to bar maker and ethically source their beans. FU Nestle and your crappy Crunch bar! And fyi, Nestle also is the parent to Perrier, San Pelligrino, Buitoni, DiGiorno, Hagen Daas... or half the stuff in my fridge.

1:42 PM  

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