You’ve heard all the same horror stories as I have. You’ve sat in your nice living room with your designer clothes, that you got on a clearance rack at Macy’s, just like me. You speculate and hear whispers about how these clothes were made from slaves in like Indonesia, or worse yet my own India. You don’t think about it too much because they are pretty, and what are you supposed to do? Where would you shop where there is no slave labor? Kmart? I don’t think so. No one advertises, “No slave labor here!”
And that coffee you bought from Starbucks on the way to the mall, that coffee was created by prison labor. You don’t even know what that is, for all you know prisoners should be laboring. For your morning coffee.
You try to be healthy so you spend more money at Whole Foods to get cleaner, fresher food. Then you hear they are doing it too, the prisoner thing. There is organic meat there, for god’s sake. Organic! You know about all the animal cruelty in the world, you have animals you love, but you still eat meat. What do you want us to do? Become vegetarian? Let’s be real.
But the thing is, I hate it all. I hate all the violence and poverty that I am supporting. I like to think I am a prisoner too. I have no choice but to fund these industries. I’m not that strong, I got to watch out for me. I can’t worry about every goddamn politically correct action that I must take in order to make the world a better place.
Maybe that’s true for you too, maybe its just me. What’s the answer? I’m not going to boycott nice clothes and caramel macchiatos. I am not accustomed to sacrificing things I like. I am privileged. That is who I am.
I’m sitting at a Panera Bread right now, writing this monologue. I don’t even know what dirty business Panera is up to and quite frankly I don’t want to know. I got nowhere to go but these places you tell me engage in evil practices. Come’ on I’m good, I don’t do drugs, I only drink socially, I don’t beat my kids. I don’t even have kids to beat. One thing I did right: I didn’t perpetuate the population explosion on Earth.
What are we going to do about all this, if most of us are uncomfortable leaving our comforts? Most of us are not bad people, per say. We pay our taxes, we even buy Girl Scout Cookies. We are against the Iraq war.
I don’t honestly know enough about what goes on in this nasty world to be horrified by it. I close my eyes lately. I don’t watch the news as much. I get snippets from headlines of articles I see on Facebook. I don’t read those articles. They would upset me. I’m serious, the world and its state of affairs is slowly making me sick, making me sad. I’m depressed enough on my own, I don’t need input from this world to add fuel to this fire.
The thing is I’m lonely. I don’t have a particular community of like-minded people that I can escape into. Everyone around me is isolated. I can’t change the world on my own. I have to pay my bills. I shop at Wal-Mart even though they treat their employees like shit because they are the cheapest groceries in town. I’m not cheap. I’m frugal. Like I said, I got bills to pay and a life to live. I can’t do it all. I can’t be that perfect consumer who watches out for every guilty corporation that is raping the world and still live a functional life. You don’t even know: they are raping me, right now. I work more and earn less…
The only solace I have is a nice hazelnut cappuccino and a new pair of skinny jeans from Target. Don’t try and take away everything that is good in my life. Maybe you have the luxury of being like Tarzan and living in the jungle, being vegan and eating plants. Good for you.
If you ask me this conversation is horribly depressing. It’s not my fault. None of this is my fault. I don’t go around doing bad things like causing slave labor. I’m the slave if you ask me. Who is looking out for me?
I don’t like to end things in this ugly way but what else can I say?
Miss Consumer USA