Friday, June 03, 2005

The Corporation

We rented The Corporation this week. Everyone in the world should be made to watch this, I mean, what's more important than the decline of civilization? This whole situation has really spun out of control, especially since the Bushies took over. Corporations (and organized religions... but that's another topic) have been running the world for some time, practically no holds barred.

I don't know what I can do to change all that, so I just think try to think about my own involvement and how I have contributed to the problem. It is next to impossible to get through life taking care of basic needs as a human in a truly ethical way. No matter what, you are going to be supporting something you don't believe in. I am a graphic designer, web designer, technical illustrator... basically I provide ways for other people to communicate things visually in order to sell a product of some kind. Before I was a designer, I was just a working stiff doing unskilled labor.

Here are some jobs that I've had and how they promote unhealthy, unsavory, or unethical things:

Barmaid, Cocktail waitress: (a) Promotes drinking, which can cause death, destruction, addiction, or just generally embarrassing behavior. (b) Promotes sexism. Yes, they do only want the young pretty, flirty ones. They wouldn't want me now. To address (a), people have been boozing and getting stoned since the first plant fermented or caught fire, so I don't think this situation is changeable, and probably shouldn't be changed. As for (b), well, what can you do? The preference for young and pretty waitstaff isn't going anywhere. Young and pretty applies to all gender options.

Automobile Assembly Line Worker: Evil Cars. I wish they weren't, I wish there were a better way to get around (Don't tell me to ride a bike. I don't know how. I tried to learn as an adult and all it does is plunge me into deep white-knuckled tear-filled states of phobia, panic and paranoia. I will admit, I am different. I also cannot swim, skate, or ski for many of the same reasons. Again, that's another topic). I wish I could walk or use public transportation to get where I need to go, and maybe I could if I didn't mind adding an hour or so to my commute time. I wish the dependance on oil would go away, and that cars didn't pollute and require pavement and kill living things by hitting them or slamming them into things. I wish I didn't have to sit in a car for a couple of hours a day. I've wondered, was it really better in the days when they used horses? Didn't that cause a lot of pollution too, as well as being cruel to animals? OK, I admit that cars are worse... probably. Mainly because they are part of the big Corporate Structure of the World, and besides the above things, car companies are into plenty of other stuff, including the Defense Industry.

Aerospace Company: It was a very cool place to work, especially the part that had to do with NASA, (things go fast, go high, blow up big, ooooh, aaaah, oh nooooo) but not so big in the ethical department. I was in the missile systems division, a part of a larger company that made fighter jets, with a parent company that made commercial aircraft. Basically, I supported the missile industry, and some of the missiles were nuclear. Not all of them were made for the United States to use, not that it's any more ethical if they were. I will also add to the already stated obvious things, that the Military-Industrial Complex uses plenty of money for things that were not intended by the poor tax-paying joe who just wants the country defended, things that are, in fact, completely unrelated to that. It's a big topic.

Medical Equipment: The worst thing about this is that there is animal testing done at some levels, and of course it was part of the huge corporate megalo-world takeover. When I first started at the company, it had been recently acquired by a large corporation, which in turn was gobbled up by a super-megalo corporation. By the time they sorted out the spoils, they found they didn't need our little company and sold it to a smaller corporation which merged us with a stronger company, our jobs were obsoleted through redundancy and we were all laid-off.

Geological Research Company: Sounds fairly benign on the surface, but the chief function of this entity to to figure out where to drill for oil. Not only is this not necessarily the best move for the environment and delicate eco-systems, some of it employs deep-water seismic techniques that are very bad news for dolphins and whales. And's all about the oil. Some of the research is done FOR ecology and conservation, so it's not all bad (and what is?), but that functionality would not be able to continue without the support of the oil-seeking corporations. I don't have any warm-fuzzy feelings about being part of this problem. If you are one of my "superiors" reading this, you can fire me. I promise you I will float. No hard feelings, OK? (not TRYING to dooce myself, just exercising freedom of speech without naming names)

Musician and Band Support: It's very difficult to find something negative about this. Music is a beneficial thing. I pronounce it to be a good cause. If you want to pick nits, I guess you could say that animals died to provide guitar straps and drums, and that vehicles are required to move all that stuff around. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever be able to make a good living supporting music, but it's still a good cause and more a labor of love than anything else.

So, What can we do to help? How can we fix this? Years ago, I used to just get up in the morning, give myself a virtual lobotomy, and hit the road for work to make that living and cement my road to security in retirement. Now I know that it's a big deception. The Corporation may be legally a "person" but that " person" is a psychopath (see the movie!). They will all just use you up, wring you out, and get someone younger and cheaper as soon as they possibly can, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on they way out.

No comments: