So there has been a lot going on in the world lately. Universities are on strike, The Greatest Celebrity of all won the election, Gaza got the shit bombed out of it, and of course, that guy on the biggest loser lost 30lbs in one week! I guess it is finally time that I got my butt into gear and voiced some opinions.
First of all, to all the capitalists out there: Unions are not the devil. I know that it scares you to think that fair wages, and basic worker’s rights might adversely affect your profits but the world will not collapse. Yes, unions force employers to pay for things they might not want to pay for. Yes, unions make it difficult to swiftly fire someone (pro or con?). Yes, strikes piss people off. But that is kind of the point, isn’t it?
I think it is funny how little people remember. Remember when people used to get fired in factories when they were sick, pregnant, or had to go to the bathroom after 8 hours without a break? Remember how there was no such thing as a regulated work week and poor people had no power to fight back? Remember how schools used to be segregated? Remember how women weren’t allowed to vote? Remember when raping your wife wasn’t a crime? It amazes me that people think that nothing is worth fighting for anymore because they think that all the goals have been achieved. Sure, those examples are extreme, but as soon as you stop paying attention to human rights, things have a nasty way of creeping up on you.
American politicians are fond of the “frog in the boiling water” story as a metaphor about civil liberties and torture. What the mainstream doesn’t seem to consider is that we do it all the fucking time! Women can vote and work and in theory make the same amount of money as men – to hell with feminism, I’m taking my bitches out for manicures! A black man is president – don’t you tell me racism isn’t dead!
The world is in a scary place right now. People get shot in the subway station over arguments? Countries drop bombs on hundreds of thousands of innocent people to stop terrorism? Violence is everywhere and we seem to have lost the ability to be shocked by it. How can so many people grow up to have the instictive reaction to kill someone over a difference of opinion? When did people decide that violence is the only way (or even a useful way) to stop violence?
I get that the world is hard, and I get that sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any other option. My problem with that is that not enough effort is put in to finding the alternative. Because it is so easy to kill people at the push of a button is exactly why we need to be investing in alternative methods. Maybe if more effort was put into understanding people’s lives, fewer people would be dead.
Israel: Hamas is bad. Terrorism is bad. Your decision to bomb the shit out of Gaza settlements? That is also bad. I understand the basic instinct to protect your people after so many years of persecution and violence. What I do not understand is wanting to do it in a way that reproduces persecution and violence. If you feel that you deserve land that is exclusively yours, don’t the Palestinians deserve the same thing? If you are horrified when innocent Israeli’s get murdered, shouldn’t you be equally horrified when innocent Palestinian’s get hurt? Unless you think that every human life is equally important, how can you continue to profess that the historical tradgedies of Jewish persecution were unjust? Human life is important. All of it.
Obama: I like you Obama. You get people mobilized. Perhaps all we ever needed was a little community organizing? Even if the rhetoric around Obama is ridiculous (come on guys, he’s not Lincoln. Give it a rest), and even if he actually didn’t have a plan at all, Obama is good because people need some hope in this world. Critical thinking is good. Apathy because you can’t find anything in the world to care about is bad. Thank you Obama for, at the very least, making people think that there is still some good in the world. Even if you achieve nothing else, it makes me happy to think that people care. Because when people have something to live for, they value their lives, and the lives of others more.
Unions: York University, get off your ass and make a deal. Media and stupid-star.com-article-comment-leaving-conservative-capitalists – shut the fuck up you’re pissing me off. I get that the economy is bad, but clearly this is the time when stability in wages, and job security are the most crucial. Recessions are social constructions anyway. Money has value because we say it does. Stocks increase in value because people think they are good, and the moment someone gets scared, every panics and the thing falls down. The economy is a house of cards to start with. Therefore, when there is a recession and companies start laying off employees or hiring temporary staff to cut costs so they continue to make an inflated profit, people need to stand up for their rights or everyone loses. To quote (sort-of) my boyfriend Jon Stewart – if you can’t stay true to your values in tough times, they’re not really values.
I don’t believe in the big man up stairs, but I am tempted to throw in a little “what would Jesus do?” here. Come on people. Stop killing, cheating, stealing lying, bombing, firing, destroying etc etc. Love thy neighbour. I bet it goes a long way. And even if you can’t love them (especially since so many people in the world drive me mad), at least control the urge to kill them. That’s is all I ask.