Monday, August 30, 2010

The Pot Slave is Also a Good One

My boy Zach VandeZande, who's a writer that I first found out about through AHPT, has fun Facebook statuses:

Zach VandeZande may have told his students a parable that ended with a four-year-old Columbian girl saying "Daddy, why are we so poor?" and the father answering, "Because, dear, there are students in America who need coffee so that they can get up early enough to take an elective creative writing class.”
Which is the kind of brilliant shit that makes me swear that one day I'll eventually buy something he made. (Crap, sorry man.)

But it occurred to me that even that was not taking it far enough, so I told him that "I like the slaves that pick my bananas the best. Bananas are REALLY easy to eat!"

Slavery: Because we couldn't have a ton of useless crap if it weren't dirt cheap!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

That doesn't even make sense. So the Columbian farmer would make more money if only coffee wasn't such a hot international commodity? Or am I just not seeing the brilliance at work here?

NutellaonToast said...

Well, you're not seeing something....

Downpuppy said...

Orwell said it fairly clearly:

"We all live by robbing Asiatic coolies, and those of us who are ‘enlightened’ all maintain that those coolies ought to be set free; but our standard of living, and hence our ‘enlightenment’, demands that the robbery shall continue. A humanitarian is always a hypocrite, and Kipling’s understanding of this is perhaps the central secret of his power to create telling phrases. It would be difficult to hit off the one-eyed pacifism of the English in fewer words than in the phrase, ‘making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep’. It is true that Kipling does not understand the economic aspect of the relationship between the highbrow and the blimp. He does not see that the map is painted red chiefly in order that the coolie may be exploited. "

Americans get dibs on the Western Hemisphere coolies, although our inability to get rid of Castro & Chavez may be a sign that the system is breaking down.

atat said...

Yeah, Orwell's Facebook status makes a lot more sense than that other dude's.

NutellaonToast said...

The Facebook status slaves were a lot more skilled in Orwell's days.

Kenmeer livermaile said...

Sadly, globalization facilitates slavery at a distance, and distance lends, if not enchantment, at least emotional remove.

The pleasure of cheap goodies is much closer and more immediately affecting than the pain of slaves way down yonder.

atat said...

But that's too reductive, and it's why the Columbian coffee example misses the mark. People try to inflict guilt with those sort of glib statements, but it's an empty guilt, because the system can not be reversed with this false either/or choice.

NutellaonToast said...

alternative explanation: Human beings rationalize.

I know, it's rare! I swear, though, that I've seen it happen!

NutellaonToast said...

To be only slightly less glib, but I'm sorry, AT&T, but if you can't see the inherent exploitive nature of our relationship with poor motherfuckers, then you just have your head up your ass. Yea, fine, maybe "slavery" is a bit hyperbolic; good point, grammar NAZI.

Kenmeer livermaile said...

It's a truth we have difficulty, in so many ways, dealing with.

atat said...

Obviously, I can see "the inherent exploitive nature of our relationship with poor motherfuckers," but that has nothing to do with the point I was making. Insulting me may make you feel better, just as curbing your consumption of coffee (or bananas or whatever) may make you feel better. The problem is that both of those reactions manage to avoid the actual issue, and could in fact end up doing more harm than good.

NutellaonToast said...

I'm fairly certain that Zach's glib demeanour demonstrates the exact nature of what you described. If he had thought that not eating banana flavoured coffee would change shit, he would have been earnest instead. Perhaps that is what you missed.

Or else I made it up. either way, I really like insulting people on the internet, so don't take it personally, asshole.

Kenmeer livermaile said...

Zach is funny man.

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atat said...

So he was making an ironic joke about glib liberal professors who mislead their students while attempting to make obvious comments about Third World labor conditions?

And you're making an ironic joke about reactionary maniacs on the Internet who make bad arguments and use insults as a form of punctuation?

It's like making fun of lousy writers by being a lousy writer.

Kenmeer livermaile said...

On the internet, meaningful concepts quickly devolve into inane arguments in which the de facto and preemptive winner sometimes feel compelled to stoop to the level of the glaringly obvious loser.

But then, there's nothing on TV, Hollywood sucks, and there are so many books published these days one scarcely knows where to begin?

Behold ye internet.

NutellaonToast said...

AT&T, we are reading him very differently. I'm not sure what your interpretation is, or what you think my motives for calling you a dingbat are, but clearly lines are crossed and I'm sure it's because this sentence is ended not with a period but with a "you're a moron!"

Zach was making a joke about the injustice of the world and how it's not even used for a remotely reasonable cause, and I thought he did it in a clever enough way. The rest, well, fuck, I have no idea what you're talking about, man.

Er, I mean, fuck you!

But yes, speaking with your tongue in your cheek sometimes makes it sound like you're mumbling, but I've found even straight in approaches are misinterpreted, so I'll just stick to what I enjoy! YAY SARCASM!

Ryan W. said...

Irony is dead.
I'll just say; if anyone in this thread actually thinks that not buying coffee will help the situation in Columbia, you're welcome to test this belief by not buying coffee and seeing if the situation improves.