Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Agony and The Ecstasy of Mike Daisey:

The factual revelations in the last few months about Apple's abhorrent manufacturing practices have made people incredibly uncomfortable. We do not want to believe that we have contributed directly or indirectly to the oppression of others in the creation of our gadgets. This backlash against Mr. Daisey has less to do with debating the obligations of storytellers and more to do with our desperate search for a way to force Apple's worms back into the can and pretend they never existed.

In the last few weeks, Chris Hayes has had both Mr. Daisey on his MSNBC weekend program as well as actor and playwright Wallace Shawn to discuss his play “The Fever”. This is no accident. Mr. Hayes is rightfully bringing an issue into the fore that we struggle to keep hidden away: how are our possessions made and what responsibility do we have to ensure they are done so safely and fairly?

This is a question with which I have struggled ever since reading Mr. Shawn’s play over a decade ago. And I still fail at this. Even knowing about Apple’s practices, I use an iPhone, a Macbook Pro and I’m typing this on my iMac. And that’s only one organization.

Consider how with each passing year more and more of our work is outsourced, robbing our citizens of much needed jobs and allowing us such physical distance from the locations in which our things are produced that we ignore the blood, sweat and tears of those who make them.

Whatever you think of Mr. Daisey’s cry, I can assure you that the wolf exists.