This is about this incredible Apple Fanatic who begins to think about how Apple products are made - and goes to China and finds out. What you'll get is an unbelievable 'blast to the past' - things I read about in The Corpse Walker were present in the article. Confession letters. Immediate explusion if you step out of line. And, of course, the usual sweatshop horror stories - terrible working conditions. Unimaginable long hours. Click the link and press Play on the page to hear all about it, and here's the transcript if you want to read along - or read ahead, like I did. I swallowed it up so quickly, oh my goodness.
For almost everybody in the Western-influenced world, Steve Jobs was the face of Apple. I myself thought everything about apple must be as perfectly clean and minimalist as the very packaging its products came in - as Steve Jobs was, with his simple black turtleneck and compelling words. I thought, if any company was free from working conditions - it would be Apple. I, like so many other people who must have also been under this ridiculous illusion, was wrong.
Here's a few excerpts:
1.Magic. That they made. None of it - not a single fucking bit of it - belongs to them. This is Marxism at its finest.
We go outside and get into a taxi and begin to drive through the streets of downtown Shenzhen. Shenzhen looks like Blade Runner threw up on itself. LEDs, neon, and 15-story-high video walls covered in ugly Chinese advertising. It's everything they promised us the future would be.
When I leave the factory, as I can feel myself being rewritten from the inside out, the way I see everything is starting to change. I keep thinking, how often do we wish more things were handmade? Oh, we talk about that all the time, don't we? "I wish it was like the old days. I wish things had that human touch." But that's not true. There are more handmade things now than there have ever been in the history of the world.
Everything is handmade. I know. I have been there. I have seen the workers laying in parts thinner than human hair. One after another after another. Everything is handmade.
And I ask him what he did when he was at Foxconn, and says he worked on the metal enclosures for the laptops, and he worked on the iPad. And when he says this, I reach into my satchel, and I take out my iPad. And when he sees it, his eyes widen, because one of the ultimate ironies of globalism, at this point there are no iPads in China. Even though every last one of them was made at factories in China, they've all been packaged up in perfectly minimalist Apple packaging and then shipped across the seas, that we can all enjoy them.
He's never actually seen one on, this thing that took his hand. I turn it on, unlock the screen, and pass it to him. He takes it. The icons flare into view, and he strokes the screen with his ruined hand, and the icons slide back and forth. And he says something to Kathy, and Kathy says, "he says it's a kind of magic."
This is life. This is the country of my family. This next one is a bit of a stretch, but these are my people, even though I say I despise them most of the time and love only a handful that is my own family. So, please, click this link. You don't have to like me, or my blog, or whatever, but please I implore you to just read a little bit of the transcript. (Don't tell me you don't have time for this - one makes time for the important things!)
I hope it's affected some of you guys out there - I should be getting to sleep now. Night! xo