tisdag 11 augusti 2015

In which a political cartoon is interpreted

Steve Breen (?) cartoon, unknown date:
What is satirist Breen trying to tell us here? For one thing, he's wrong. Liberal arts students do not think of menial laborers as "losers". We think they perform the very important job of keeping the world turning and saving us from having to get a honest job.

Although Mr Artist here is not wrong. A career in welding is probably going to make Mr Smith die young, with a dulled mind and a wrecked body, in pain and darkness and despair over a life squandered. All in service of his corporate masters, in exchange for a pitiful crumb of their table.

And the worst of it part is, he doesn't have any choice. He can't choose to pursue a higher education. He has been prepared for his work by a society that teaches him learning is for the weak; that won't let him study at a level where he may justify getting in debt or qualify for a scholarship. He can't afford to have what he wants, and so he's an easy target for the allure of a quick, large and steady paycheck.

And then he'll start a family and have literally no way out. Every single full time worker I've known in my life has worked to support their family, not because they enjoyed their work or thought it was meaningful. Just because they had to.

In the game of life, yes, Smith is a loser. Don't mock him, but have some pity. Don't blame him, but blame the ones who turned his life into a game.

Your humble critic's yearly income: ~$16 000 in disability benefits and rent supplementals.

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