It’s a fascinating and awful thing, to think of the potential the world has and our ability to piss it away with greed, selfishness, me-wantee consumerism and morality-free capitalism.
As this new section grows we’ll look at the big badness of Big Bidness, going over genocidal fossil capitalism, modern slavery, sweatshops, anti-democracy lobbyists, and the rise of media-facilitated fascism. We’ll look at better ways of being, from Fairtrade and microloans as stop-gap solutions, to trade justice and universal basic income as daydreams of a better future. And we’ll look at the kick-ass campaigns that will get us from one to the other.
Having graduated from the Bond Villain School of Bastards and Bastardry, Nestlé, the world’s biggest food and drinks company, apparently set out to also be the world’s biggest contributor to infant mortality, aggressively marketing its baby milk substitute in countries where the water used to make it was so filthy it killed babies…
Say what you like about climate change, it takes a lot of hard work. Wilfully destroying the planet, triggering climate breakdown and bringing on irreversible mass extinction takes effort and sticktoitiveness. It takes constant vigilance, lest we accidentally find ourselves reducing our kamikaze carbon emissions. Fortunately, humans are always working, always innovating. Always coming up with new ways to wipe ourselves out.
Something big might possibly have happened, maybe. As climate breakdown kicks off and the sixth mass extinction continues, the genocidal capitalists behind it all might finally be getting what for.
Dumb as we are, humans are still finding new ways to wipe out life on earth. The latest wheeze is deep sea mining, in which genocidal capitalists hunt for minerals and metals by tearing up the seabed, demolishing fragile undersea ecosystems we’ve barely begun to explore or understand. Add to this our love of chronic overfishing, plastic pollution and coral bleaching, and we’re properly giving the oceans what for. Which is a shame, given they’re currently keeping us alive.
It was at six dark forty on the 13th October 2020 that there was a great disturbance in the Twittersphere, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in pissy consternation and were, unfortunately, not suddenly silenced. Then it was that Apple announced they would start shipping phones without power adapters and earbuds.
It feels like we’re about due an update on the No More Page 3 campaign. It’s been six weeks since I added my influential signature to the petition to rid The Sun of its tits and yet the quickest of flicks through the paper indicates up to ten nipples a week are still featuring prominently. Indeed, this week marked the beginning of 2012’s Page 3 Idol in which members of the public are invited to display their breasts in the hope of winning a grisly five grand and a shot at a long-term career in tit display. If ever there was any doubt that The Sun encourages its readers to judge women on the quality and condition of their breasts, here we have an competition in which its readers are actually encouraged to judge women on the quality and condition of their breasts.
So there I was, all ready to announce Kiva as the Chazza of the Month for a second non-consecutive time when what should appear but a classic spot of Zero angst? You’ll recall how Kiva is a microfinance outfit offering loans to people in developing countries and how I’ve bigged them up a couple of times already. But after that last rant about payday lenders being arseholes the worries I’ve had about microfinance went from being vague floaty things at the back of my mind to being slightly less vague, marginally firmer things on a list of other things to consider thinking about at some point in time when I can be bothered.
It’s fair to say I’ve been banging on a bit about poverty recently, what with all those articles about the government assault on welfare and charities covering the gaps and such and such, and while this sentence started out with the intention of apologising for all my banging on it’s looking more like ending on a justification for it because banging on’s what you get for me being around poverty all day and everyone else voting Tory. Poverty, as I was saying, is shit.
Half the adult population of the planet has breasts, a fact the other half’s been struggling with for quite some time. Now, I don’t need to bang on about patriarchy and the objectification of women in much detail, partly because I’ve done it enough already and partly because it’s obvious and everywhere. It’s there in our horrific record on domestic violence, in the difference in salaries for women and men, in the difference in pocket money for girls and boys, in the attitude that says a man’s a player and a woman’s a slag, in pornography that casts women as sluts to be simultaneously lusted after and looked down on, in the pornification of pop culture that has singers writhing in bikinis to sell records, in the mutilation of women’s bodies pumped full of silicone and collagen and numbed with botox. Turns out I needed to bang on about it all.