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So, the Back Seat Drivers post about the case of the Filipina woman who was being paid slave wages. The comments to the entry get somewhat heated. The Drivers respond with style, and the comments get even more heated. In fact, so heated do they get that I feel the urge to get in on the action, and am now embroiled in an increasingly idiotic debate with someone who says things like (I am actually laughing as I type), "Or do you think we are born with inherent rights? What a churchy sentiment. " Believing in human rights? The craziness! Don't let Amnesty hear about this bloke. Anyway, apparently these charmers want to defend and care for people in the third world by....paying them crap. Forever. Because heaven forfend that the west should, I dunno, pay a bit more for our luxuries so that people in the third world get paid more. Ah, crazy neo-cons, adopting the language of liberals to espouse their belief that the poor should be rounded up and shot. Or maybe forced to proof read dreadful economic policies which will fuck them over even further. One or the other.

Anyway, I am now weary of arguing, but inspired by these high jinks and the similar ideas espoused in one of the world's leading economic-conservative publications, Patsington and I have decided to write a Brecht and Weill style musical in homage to these great economic masterminds. It will be a stirring and inspiring story of some noble business bosses who are being sucked dry by the parasitic blood-sucking workers, with their selfish demands of unionisation and labour regulation. We even wrote a couple of exciting tunes for it last night, which I sang both auf Deutsch und Englisch in my best Lotte Lenya voice. And what are we going to call this masterpiece?


Can you wait for this to hit the stage? I bet you can't.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
Make sure you leave some spelling mistakes in, because the Economist is too snooty to have sub-editors!
Mar. 31st, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
Ha, seriously? I have indeed noticed its sloppy spelling, but I thought that was because they were using some sort of shoddy cheapo non-union printing works or something... Don't give those greedy printers more than you have to!

Actually, to give the Economist credit, it would never actually argue paying someone €1 an hour. They might be too weak from hunger and you wouldn't get enough work out them. They're crafty at the Economist!
Mar. 31st, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
In these situations, I often find it useful to fall back on a quote by Charles Darwin, who appeared to have an inkling very early on that his theories about biological evolution would be co-opted to justify the social status-quo or worse:

"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."

In other words, one is not required to demonstrate the existence of inherent rights to some neo-con twit, but rather the neo-con twit must demonstrate that physics, chemistry and biology have somehow determined that being born in, say, the slums of Lagos, results in poverty and a short life expentancy just as surely as apples fall from trees and that we can do no more about the situation than we can stop the tides. Something of a tall order...
Mar. 31st, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
I think you should go over and post that!
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)
Alas, I'm up to my eyeballs in septuagenarian Apollo Program engineers (long story. Very long story. In fact 12,780 words long. Help me.), and can't spare the time to deal with the follow up that I know I would get sucked into, but please feel free to lift away!
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
You really should start calling yourself 'the prophetic voice of conscience'.

You really, really should.
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC)
Hee! I feel a new LJ subtitle coming on...
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:23 pm (UTC)
Anna, shirking your responsibities! HOW DARE YOU?!!!

Good lord, I knew they were a bunch of nutters over at the "Freeless Institution" but I think that whole argument sums up the massive flaw in neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism - there is a complete lack of accounting for the human element. The way immigrants are spoken about is awful - as though they were robots without feelings, emotions, hopes or desires.

By the way, it's nice to see that the NUJ in Ireland is actually capable of helping someone out, because they seem to be totally swamped and underfunded when it comes to assistance for my chapel. Of which there are only two (and a third person, a scab). Perhaps the small numbers have osmething to do with it. We are smaller fish than the INM group I guess...
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC)
The Union were actually really great to me - obviously I can't discuss the details in an open post, but they sorted stuff out incredibly fast. And well. I just rang up the head of the union one day, and he had the whole thing fixed in less than a week.

The way immigrants are spoken about is awful - as though they were robots without feelings, emotions, hopes or desires.

It's almost worse when they're being "compassionate" and telling us we hate/patronise/are fucking over the third world.
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
It's almost worse when they're being "compassionate" and telling us we hate/patronise/are fucking over the third world.

Don't get me started....
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, go on!
Mar. 31st, 2005 10:05 pm (UTC)
No, really. I saw some of that "compassionate" stuff in Uganda last year and can't bear to talk about it.
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC)
I'd pay to see that! Especially if you include a George Bush character singing about NAFTA. Which, for what it's worth, makes a great curse word. "Oh, Nafta!"
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC)
Where can I purchase advance tickets? Or at least camp out to be first in line?
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:35 pm (UTC)
For you, my dear, a special gilded box with quilted seats and complimentary (and made from the blood of the evil workers) champagne!
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Well thank you kindly, Countess Bathory!
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
I just left a fun comment of mine own, regarding various nations' declarations of independance...
Mar. 31st, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC)
'The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread'. Anatole France

You know, I've never been really poor and I have no problem sympathising with people less well off than myself. How does one grow up believing than anything other than luck divides the rich from the poor?
Apr. 1st, 2005 05:17 am (UTC)
Definitely write the musical. It reminds me of the time a boss in New York, a multimillionaire, called me up to his office very excited about this new idea he had: there should be a bill of rights for executives!
Apr. 1st, 2005 10:59 am (UTC)
Siptu's campaign to get a fair wage for immigrants working on the Irish Sea "is in direct conflict with the lifeline our jobs provide for citizens of poorer nations".

How charming.

And I too cannot wait for your musical extravaganza. Maybe we could do a double bill - do you remember myself and KvS's Ceaucescu: The Musical that we started writing in college? Unfortunately, I can't remember much of it myself, other than that it was a)extremely jaunty and b)tasteless.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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