Tag Archives | exploitation

The Problem With Hugs

Ruth Fowler writes at CounterPunch:

By now we’ve all seen the viral image of a teenage black boy, tears streaming down his face, hugging a white police officer in riot gear. The image, taken from a Ferguson protest in Portland, Oregon will doubtless become as iconic as the photograph of 17 year old Jan Rose Kasmir holding a flower up to the stony faces of the National Guard during a Vietnam war protest, or the unknown man standing alone in front of oncoming tanks in Tiananmen Square. The boy, Devonte Hart, has unwittingly become a symbol of hope and pacifism in the midst of growing fury over the failure of the Grand Jury to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown. It seems to suggest that if we all just stop for a moment, let down our guard, become human beings, show some love and face our own mortality, that this whole sorry mess might blow over.

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Inside China’s Dwarf Empire

‘To westerners, it may seem voyeuristic and immoral, but this is China and – for the people who come here and for many of the performers – this is simply not an issue,’ says De Wilde Photograph: Sanne De Wilde

‘To westerners, it may seem voyeuristic and immoral, but this is China and – for the people who come here and for many of the performers – this is simply not an issue,’ says De Wilde Photograph: Sanne De Wilde via The Guardian

Exploitation at its finest. Even if the Chinese don’t see it that way, it certainly is.

via The Guardian:

The Dwarf Empire – or, to give it its full name, The World Eco Garden of Butterflies and the Dwarf Empire – is situated in the mountains of southern China near the new city of Kunming. Created in 2009, it is a tourist attraction boasting two daily performances by 100 dwarves, who live and work in an elaborate fantasy world ruled by an emperor and empress. To western eyes, it looks like a remnant of the Victorian freak show.

“In 2011, I accidentally found an image online of Chinese tourists posing with little people,” says Sanne De Wilde, a young Belgian-born, Amsterdam-based photographer.

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Let’s Talk About Fast Food Worker Exploitation

Fast Food by SteFou! via Flickr.

Fast Food by SteFou! via Flickr.

Are fast food workers exploited? Don’t they deserve fair compensation for feeding us? If it’s true that “exploitation occurs when ‘the energies of the have-nots are continuously expended to maintain and augment the power, status, and wealth of the haves,'” then it seems that not only are fast-food workers exploited, but many minimum wage workers are as well.

via Truth Out [please follow the link to read the entire article]:

As fast-food workers demand a fair share of the profits they create, the industry, its supporters and assorted critics of the movement have responded by lobbing red herrings, from the contention that workers should find new work if they don’t like their current working conditions to the threat that “robots will replace you.” Others charge that workers don’t deserve a living wage because their job doesn’t require a college education. A Facebook meme posted by Sarah Palin in response to last fall’s Fight for 15 protests pictures US soldiers in combat, accompanied by the text: “We get paid less than minimum wage and you’re demanding 15 bucks an hour to slap a burger on a bun.” These common appeals are part of a tapestry of “plutocratic fallacies” used to justify exploitive wages and foster irrational division among low-wage workers.

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Interview: John Waters on his “exploitation films for art theaters”

Waters at Pen America/Free Expression Literature, May 2014. © Ed Lederman/PEN American Center via Wikimedia Commons

Waters at Pen America/Free Expression Literature, May 2014.
© Ed Lederman/PEN American Center via Wikimedia Commons

The Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City is hosting a retrospective of John Waters’ films beginning this week. They are also showcasing “John Waters Presents: ‘Movies I’m Jealous I Didn’t Make‘”:

Here they are—eight extreme, astoundingly perverse, darkly funny, and, most importantly, supremely surprising films that turn me green with envy. Every day I feel inadequate thinking of these fanatically obsessive, ludicrously sexual, unfathomably criminal, melodramatically misguided cinematic gems. Why oh why can’t I make films like these—ones that jolted me out of all cinematic lethargy? Exploitation, art, horror? There’s no such thing as genre when you’ve slipped to the other side of cinema-sanity. See for yourself the movies that drove me beyond the pale of normal movie madness. Jealousy over other directors’ careers is a terrible thing to waste. — John Waters

The series includes CrashFinal DestinationBefore I ForgetKiller JoeThe MotherNight GamesOf Unknown Origin, and Thérèse.… Read the rest

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Collectivist Capitalism vs. Compassionate Capitalism

AdamSmithGary Clifford Gibson writes at Another Working Blog in the Submergent Plutonomy:

This is actually a fairly simple distinction. Capitalism that grows from an individual or family’s personal work building assets without exploiting other people is compassionate capitalism, while the impersonal stock investment, M.B.A. networking trans-national globalism business approach is collectivist. The collectivists are cold-blooded while the small time capitalist is compassionate and cares about his own work and building up of resources.

Adam Smith, the modern spiritual founder of capitalism, wrote largely in support of compassionate capitalism inclusive of trade. There weren’t the sort of large-scale networked corporations in existence in his day that built up huge global capital advantages and leveraging monetary sophistication. It is quite a stretch to transmogrify The Wealth of Nations into a support for absolute abstract modern business practices and monetary policy. One must be disingenuous to extend Smith’s Wealth of Nations so far as that.

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HuffPo Just Discovered ‘Real’ Vampires

In what must be a shock to some small percentage of people born after 1989, the Huffington Post offers this “shocking” report on a “real-life” vampire couple. Undead? Try unintentionally hilarious.

Benninghoff, 20, met Draven, 38, on a dating website this past February and, while both were into the gothic lifestyle, he wanted a more intimate relationship.

“When he explained that blood sharing would bring us closer together, I asked him to turn me,” Benninghoff said, according to the Daily Star. “Aro cut himself with a razor and offered me his blood. Then I cut myself and he drank from me too. Suddenly I felt the energy rushing through me. It was a magical experience –- much more intimate than sex.”

With a connection like that, it would be silly not to tie the knot so the couple is planning a wedding on Halloween, Hir24.hu reported.

But they haven’t yet told Benninghoff’s parents that her daughter has “converted” to vampirism.

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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Boys in the US

Picture: Khotan (CC)

Picture: Khotan (CC)

Cameron Conway posts at the Good Men Project:

On 30 March 2013, ECPAT-USA, a policy organization that fights against the commercial exploitation of children, released a groundbreaking and desperately important report titled “And Boys Too.” The entire report can be downloaded as a PDF directly from their website. Here are some take-home points:

(1) “Most significantly, responses from service providers clearly indicate that the scope of CSEB (commercial sexual exploitation of boys) is vastly under reported, that commercial sexual exploitation poses very significant risks to their health and their lives; that gay and transgenders are over-represented as a proportion of the sexually exploited boys; and that there is a shortage of services for these boys.”

(2) “The John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation study The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City in 2008 estimated that as high as 50% of the commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S.

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Underground Sweatshop City Uncovered In Moscow

Russian police just raided a secret underground city beneath Moscow inhabited by hundreds of illegal immigrant workers employed making clothing at rows of sewing machines. The subterranean world, where the workers were allegedly kept by lock, had no natural light but did have a market, cafe, chicken coop, casino, and movie cinema. What a metaphor for our economic structure:
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