Sunday, February 19, 2012


While reaching over to turn-off my alarm this morning my finger tips grazed the smooth brushed aluminum back plate on Kristine's iPad 2.  As I slowly roused myself out of my Sunday morning stupor, my fingers continued to brush the case in search of an imperfection, a pit or a scratch. No friction at all. The same can be said for the smooth glass surface So polished, so refined, so perfect!

Apple has made a pile of cash off these incredibly beautiful elegant polished and refined designs.  Sure, I like the look of them, but I have never really put one to a somatosensory test. Before you start thinking that I have gone all Raj for my iPad (In a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory Raj started developing a relationship with Siri in his iPhone), relax. In fact, this tactile experience caused an attack of the conscience.

The trendiness and elegance of the design is inseparable from its design and it's ideology. The whole moral, ethical, functional and superiority of these products is a microcosm of our society's irrational suspension of humanitarianism in return for an emotive relationship with goods borne out of the exploitation of children, nature and others lives. The joy of life, the pursuit of perfection, the good deal has whitewashed the true cost of manufacturing, growing and providing products for us.

In China, manufacturing plants that assemble Apple products (and for many other electronic companies) are surrounded by suicide nets. Workers are exploited and exposed to chemicals that would be intolerable in our society. In the warm afterglow of all of the chocolate exchanged on Valentine's Day, we conveniently forget about the exploitation, slavery and blood that is accepted for the production of the majority of the world's chocolate.  We conveniently whitewash the evidence of child slavery and horrendous working conditions in India, and most of southern Asia, where our outlandishly expensive brand name clothing is manufactured. We gobble-up cheap fruit like bananas, that arrive in our stores at the horrible cost of thousands of lives annually in Latin America due to exposure to pesticides that are illegal in much of the rest of the world.

Have we improved our condition?  Do we all have blood on our hands? We continue to whitewash the reality of our  society's hegemony based on the juxtaposition of two very different realities. 

We are awash in the white as we head to our churches, mosques and temples.   

There is no universal purifier, just whitewash.

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