Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Shopping for gadgets, buying a labor guilt trip -

Every day each of us is confronted with situations that would threaten to pose ethical dilemmas, if only we chose to consider them.

We sometimes do the moral math and act accordingly. Often, however, we push from our minds the human costs of our choices as consumers, the repressive regimes that benefit, the environmental impact, the effect of a manufacturer or merchant's support of bad people, bad causes or bad practices.

We continue to pump gas, buy diamond jewelry, snap up the latest electronic gadget — because we're human.

"It's very easy to decide we're hypocrites … so that phrase starts to have no meaning," said Mike Daisey, a monologuist whose stories generally hew to the intersection of lives and global corporatism. "What's more interesting and more true, I think, is that we're all denialists. We find things that do not fit in the context of our daily life, that are too difficult to deal with the implications of, and then we do our best not to think about them.

"We have a lot of assistance because we live in this really fabulous consumerist culture where there's a lot of incentive to not think about things, especially when they're trying to sell us new things. There's a tremendous amount of support, in particular, for not thinking about how things are made."