An ode to globalization, selfies and Jesus junk. I wrote this song shortly after reading The Story of Stuff, in which author Annie Leonard traces the stories behind the everyday stuff we westerners build so much of our lives around.
The song focuses on the people around the world who work, often for short pay and long hours, sometimes in slavery, often in generally poor conditions, to make the stuff that I think is so vital to my quality of life. In making the film to accompany the song, I chose to take a good hard look at my own face rather than further exploiting the beautiful and tragic faces of those who suffer just so I can save time and money perpetuating my comfortable lifestyle.
This video’s purpose is not to inform, inspire, call to action, or entertain. It is mostly to confess, lament, own up to the truth – that my perfect little plastic world is built on the backs of a good part of the real world.
I will not be swearing off my iPhone, my imported grapes, my sweat-shop-produced clothing. But I will be honest about the stories behind the things I allow into my life. There are many perspectives on globalization and the good or evil that it does to people and the planet. There are not easy answers. But this is something worth talking about, acknowledging, wrestling with.
A great place to get started is Leonard’s book, which, along with lots of other resources including some cute little films (whose purpose actually is to inform, inspire, call to action, and entertain), can be found at www.storyofstuff.org.
A couple other links:
About people (including children) mining for cell phone parts in Congo – http://www.congocalling.org
A fair-trade cell phone I just came across today (I know nothing about it, but looks like something worth checking out, *note – only available in Europe) – http://www.fairphone.com
A post I wrote on our less-updated blog golopomo about the environmental impact of our stuff – http://golopomo.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/humanature/
Electronic waste (e-waste) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_waste