kottke.org posts about labor

The T.V. Might As Well Be An Answering Machine At This PointJan 17 2008

I've turned my T.V. on just one time in 2008. I rarely miss it at all, except for a very few moments when it's like missing heroin. (Some relief coming: eight episodes of "Lost," beginning January 31; ten episodes of "Battlestar Galactica" coming in March.) Yesterday for a job I was talking with two bigwigs, an actor and an actor-director; they said they were both in a weird state of both crunch and inactivity because of both the Writer's Guild strike and the maybe-upcoming Screen Actor's Guild strike, which I had totally forgotten about. (That 120,000+ member union may strike in June, over the same issues—profit from new media—that sent the Writers Guild out more than two months ago.) That's when I realized: I can't take a world without actors! Sure, they're not as useful as deli owners or baristas to my life. But I like looking at them! Maybe it'll be averted: The Directors Guild is close-ish to a settlement, which might be a template for the writers, which might be sort of a template for the actors. In any event, I asked the nice Oscar-winning lady what sort of things she liked about working: "I have health insurance, that's enough," she said. Mm, I should get a union then! Some health insurance sounds good right about now.

This one guy tried to get theJul 26 2005

This one guy tried to get the word "sweatshop" printed on his custom Nike shoes and Nike wouldn't let him. "The Personal iD on my custom ZOOM XC USA running shoes was the word 'sweatshop.' Sweatshop is not: 1) another's party's trademark, 2) the name of an athlete, 3) blank, or 4) profanity. I choose the iD because I wanted to remember the toil and labor of the children that made my shoes. Could you please ship them to me immediately."

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