Sep 1, 2009

A Slab of Cruelty

iPhones are exploding or are being prone to explode. Apple remains silent. No big deal? Well, I don't know. I don't have an iPhone and I'll hardly have one anytime soon, specially because I'm a SonyEricsson kinda gal, but even if I weren't, or even if it wasn't an iPhone issue, I wouldn't want my phone exploding on me. I guess that's a pretty rational wish: I don't want to be hurt by my things, particularly when I'm not suicidal, EMO or into selfmutilation.

We were talking about this today at the office, in one of those "breaks" in the middle of a workshop-meeting (called "encerrona" some years ago, and under the idiotatorship of a certain head), we mentioned Apple, and how the periferals and handhelds it produced had nothing to the computers. Joking, one of my colleague said:

"Oh come on, so it explodes? So what? Don't be so delicate."

In my eternally delicate and subtle and diplomatic way, I added:

"Yeah, because at least you are getting mutilated by an iPhone, not a landmine like so many children around the world."

However, this actually made me think. It seems to me like the crimes committed with landmines, what it does to people, now regardless of the fact that they are kids or adults or elderly, or civilians or militia, is far more worthy of charity and attention and movements and big foundations, than the harm done by companies to their customers and their environment. Lead poisoned toys are not such a big crime. Oh, I mean, wow, its so bad that babies die and it must be stopped, but it doesn't draw so much attention and not much is done to prevent it in the future. Same with poisoned food, same with the frozen meat the U.S. where trying to sell to Korea, which may or may not be contaminated with the mad cow disease. (Yeah, frozen for so many years, and yet in your fridge after a month is "garbage" all the way.)

I'm against landmines and every form or war and violence that sneaks up and kills people who haven't signed for it. Hell, I'm even against killing those poor soldiers! If war were about the politicians who set the entire thing up fighting against each other and killing each other, I'd say go ahead and kill'im good, but the idea of people dying because of someone else's stupidity, pisses me off. So just as I condemn and hate landmines, I hate all forms of terrorisom, I hate the guerrillas that hit on towns and kidnap people to get ransom from them, or kidnap children to turn them into child soldiers, I hate those who mutilate or kill or rape or make others live in fear and anger.

Hate the gangs and the maras and all those that polute countries in "peace" and rob, torture, rape, kill, kidnap. Those who think they can rob a child from a family and sell it to someone else, take a kid from the street and lock it up, those who trick people to sell them into slavery, those who think that they can get away with murder and think that human rights are only for them, and they can take them away from other for pleasure or profit. And all these are hineous things, and some is done, some isn't. Either way we generally agree that these are bad things and should be punished by the Law. But then, why do we let them go for the companies?

Companies can steal your money with a product that's not all it promised, and though you theoretically have the right to ask for refound, try to do it and you'll see walls and paperwork getting in the way. Banks can steal your house and your paycheck, just because they give you a loan they made you think YOU can pay. Companies can enslave you by taking your rights, such as the Right to Union, such as charging you for a health insurance plan that they will deny you once you get sick. They can fire you any time, they can find ways to reduce your paycheck, they can break the Law against you, and you will stand powerless and vulnerable.

Add to it they can harm you, poison you, mutilate you, handicap you and even kill you and what can you do? Honey, pretty much nothing. At least when you step on a landmine you don't have to prove it was a landmine and then be questioned about you had to step on that spot from all the spots available, but when it comes to product, the victim is believed to be the villain of the tale.

So, when your iPhone blows your hand off, remember you have no reason to complain because a) you bought it, b) you sure did something to make it blow up, and c) sorry, but you are not a kid mutilated by a landmine, so man up!

That's the world we live in.

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