Capitalism and Its DisconPANTS and Cambodian Mass Faintings
Hey! I made a new book, mostly as an excercise to teach myself to silkscreen, but also because of my love of working really hard on pointless projects that end up being very frustrating involving pants! Speaking of which, I also have a new piece up on Truthout:
About a year ago, record numbers of garment laborers in factories across Cambodia—which exports 70 percent of the garments manufactured there to the US—were reported to be suddenly and mysteriously falling to the ground, unconscious. Hundreds at a time – sometimes less, although sometimes more. Workers at many scenes reported foul smells, difficulty breathing. Halting investigations took place at select plants by various parties involved: government officials; labor unions; human rights groups; business associations; monitoring organizations; and, weirdly, the international big-name brands that sell the clothes being made. A consortium of factors was considered: hypoglycemia, the direct result of workers not eating enough; minor factory infractions that managers promised to address immediately; a common cold outbreak emanating from Canada; overwork; mass hysteria; workers partying too hard over the weekend; and spiritual possession. In the end, no single cause was named for the nationwide epidemic. Besides a 5$ “health bonus” for qualifying workers, no sweeping policy changes were offered to keep the incidents from continuing.
It seemed to be just more bad luck for Cambodia… [but] the real bad luck for Cambodia … is that thousands of workers falling ill on the job isn’t enough to catch the fashion industry’s attention.
Read “The Fashion Industry’s Perfect Storm” here. (You will probably wish to know in advance that the story, which lists 3,000 faintings over the last year, is no longer accurate, as 500 more occurred within five days of publication.) Buy the limited edition red-white-and-blue silkscreened book, Capitalism and Its Discontents, here.