No one needs a billion dollars, no one person needs that much money, starts the viral TikTok song by Chaz Cardigan. It’s a fairly straightforward thesis, and even though the original video has since been taken down, the sound persists and has been used by countless other users, with videos like the one I linked to collectively garnering millions of views. Backing up that initial point, the lyrics continue:
A billion is a thousand million,
That’s twenty-one thousand years of work
At minimum wage to make that money
To hoard like you deserve it.
No one makes a billion dollars
Without exploiting workers.
Although this earworm acts as evidence that a platform predominantly skewed toward Gen Z is cool with vilifying the ultrawealthy, the sobering truth remains that as a culture we worship billionaires. It’s not just people who go far out of their way to simp for Elon Musk, either-
-it’s the constant media attention paid to those who make more in a single day than most of us are able to in an entire year. To be absurdly rich, at least in North America, is to achieve celebrity status, and the news cycle reacts accordingly. While the lavish praise heaped at the feet of such icons as Warren Buffett can often feel like it borders on infatuation, things truly cross that line when we consider the literary genre of billionaire romance. The name really says it all: the category exists to portray fictional billionaires as the desirable objects of our affections. Continue reading →
Posted in business, internet, literature, media, money, morality, writing, Youth
Tagged billionaire, billionaire romance, books, capitalism, charity, Elon Musk, Fifty Shades of Grey, Gen Z, genre, hero, Jeff Bezos, money, no one needs a billion dollars, rags-to-riches, romance, romance novel, wealth, Zoomers
Last week saw an announcement from fast food chain Wendy’s that they’d be rolling out some 6,000 “self-service kiosks” in their restaurants. This follows rulings in California and New York that would gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 an hour, and as you might imagine the connection has not been lost on people.
Of course, when I say “people”, I mean the ranks of bougie suburbanites who have been gleefully cackling over Wendy’s decision. It is these folks who I’d like to address directly today.
Seriously, what kind of demented, spiteful people are you?
After decades of stagnant wages and crippling poverty. After years of broken promises and betrayals by their supposed liberal representatives. After months and months of fighting and campaigning finally the poor have a victory.
And your response to Wendy’s giving their jobs to robots is “Serves ’em right?”
Did I say **** you yet?
Well, **** you.
You guys sound like mustache-twirling caricatures from some turn-of-the-century political cartoon.
“Oh I say, my dear Montressor- that’ll show those filthy proles! Now let us adjourn to the smoking room for cigars and brandy!”
What are they going to ask for next? An eight-hour work day? Paid lunches and sick leave?
Only for all your cantankerous whinging, you’re probably not some festering slumlord or monocled oil-tycoon. So why are you bent out of shape? Continue reading →
Posted in America, bizarreness, food, literature, money, morality, news, science, science fiction
Tagged 15, asimov, ATM, capitalism, digital literacy, fast food, Fight for 15, future, Futurism, Hunger Games, Labor Laws, Luddite, manual labor, minimum wage, Player Piano, retail, robot, Robotics, Self Checkout, Self Service Kiosk, Skilled Labor, socialism, The Naked Sun, Vonnegut, Wage Hike, Walmart, welfare, Wendys, working class
I love getting lost into the world of a book. You know how it is when you can’t handle taking a bathroom break or stopping to eat lunch because it might mean tearing your eyes away from the page? Luckily, as an English major, reading is a big part of my learning experience. Not every book I’ve been assigned to read has been my style, but some of those books have been so good that they sucked me deep into the story until the next things I knew, tears were streaming down my cheeks.
For the sake of this article, I won’t be focusing on all the books I’ve read over the past year. If you want to read a fantastic overview of a wide span of books, I suggest you check out Evan’s 2014 Literary Awards. Instead, I want to share the last three books that made me cry, and, more importantly, I want to discuss the larger issues that make each of these three books valuable reads.
Each of these novels engages with what it means to live in a post-colonial world. In each story, it quickly becomes apparent that the horrors of colonization do not simply end the moment government policy changes.
While I will avoid any key plot points in these books, I will be alluding to general context around the books. If you prefer to go into your reading experience with a blank slate, I should warn you, Spoiler-ish content below.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Generally regarded as the post-colonial prequel to Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea opens in Jamaica, shortly after the abolition of slavery. Rhys’ protagonist, Antoinette, comes from a family of plantation owners who were brought to financial ruin by abolition. As a child, Antoinette struggles to understand what separates her family from the rising class of British capitalists.
By writing from the perspective of a child on the wrong side of history, Rhys prevents any oversimplification of her narrative. She also challenges the idea that colonial injustice somehow ended when slavery did.
Rhys’ strong narrative style creates a story that will immediately pull you in, but her imagery and carefully thought-through word choices create layers of meaning that make this novel much more complicated than it appears at first read. While it initially seems to be a Gothic Romance, Wide Sargasso Sea also explores a variety of important questions around race and gender. Continue reading →
Posted in history, literature
Tagged Antoinette, author, british, British Columbia, Canada, capitalism, Charlotte Bronte, cry, David Lurie, disgrace, Eden Robinson, english, Haisla, Heiltsuk, J.M. Coetzee, Jamaica, jane eyre, Jean Rhys, Kitimaat, Lisamarie Hill, literature, Monkey Beach, narrative, reader, Rochester, slavery, south africa, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, university, Wide Sargasso Sea
…and yeah, that’s from the point of me speaking as a rabid Marxist.
And speaking as a Marxist, this has always been a peeve of mine. With the way politics often gets portrayed, plenty of folks (both liberal and conservative alike) get the misconception that Socialism is just a ‘roided up version of Liberalism and Communism is just a ‘roided of up version of that, with the state getting more and more powerful, larger in size, and more invasive in scope as you progress along that line.
That’s absolutely not how it works, and while that picture’s wrong, I’m not really here today to correct that.
(Though just for the record, this’d be a more accurate picture of the political spectrum…)
I’ve been playing around with this post for a while now, and it’s coming from more than just a desire to clear up my own stance. I truly do think that of the two major forces in American politics and culture, Liberalism is actually the more insidious (I’m not saying that Conservatism is better, but it does seem a lot easier to confront). I’m writing not to just talk about why I’m not a liberal, but why I don’t think you should be one either.
That said, let’s bring up the obvious:
I’m not going to try to address all Liberalism- that’d be a tough task for a book, let alone some blog post. I’m not going to try to attack hypocrisy either, those accusations can always be dismissed with the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Instead, I’m going to try to hit what I think are the core flaws and paradoxes that the ideology rests on. Continue reading →
Posted in America, bizarreness, Economy, environmentalism, Europe, government, history, morality, news, politics
Tagged capitalism, classical liberalism, communism, conservative, Corruption, deepwater horizon, environmental, FCC, FDA, free enterprise, freedom, Green, Green Capitalism, inequality, jeremy bentham, John Rawls, lenin, liberal, liberalism, liberals, Limits of Justice, Marxism, Michael Sandel, mineral management service, nanny state, Nationalism, nationalist, neoliberal, new york soda ban, paternalism, political compass, San Fransisco City Council, san fransisco happy meal ban, socialism, spectrum, sustainable, sweatshop, the greatest good for the greatest number, Theory of Justice, those who walk away from omelas, utilitarian, utilitarianism, welfare
May 1st of this year marked not only the annual May Day parades celebrated by leftists across the globe but also one of the most major victories for Socialists in this nation as Seattle announced it would raise it’s minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.
While the push for a higher minimum wage has existed for quite some time, the unprecedented victory in Seattle is largely thanks to the efforts of Socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant and the 15 Now campaign.
Continue reading →
Posted in America, business, Economy, money, news, politics
Tagged $15/hour, 15 now, 8 hour work day, arguments against, arguments for, capitalism, defense, economy, fast food, fast food average age, hourly wage, howard schultz, inflation, Kshama Sawant, meme, minimum wage, response, Seattle, service industry, small businesses, socialist, starbucks ceo, wage, Washington, white collar, work, working class
I promised that every one of my posts this month would have something to do with the radical left, and that includes skewering ’em on Shame Day for their many, many sins of commission and omission alike. Let it never be said that I’m an impartial judge, so let’s get right to the charges- there are a lot of ’em.
Continue reading →
Posted in America, bizarreness, Christianity, Economy, history, politics, Shame Day
Tagged America, anti-america, capitalism, communism, Communist, great moments in leftism, language, left, leftist, Life of Brian, Marxism, Marxists, party, people's front of judea, PR, prussia, radical, sawant, sectarian, sectarianism, shame day, Socialist party, Socialists, terminology, Trotskyism, working class