This post is inspired by a stint of research into what Apple executives’ reaction was to the “Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”. Even though on a corporate communications level, Apple has responded to the conditions portrayed by Mike Daisey, Apple’s executives shied away from making public statements about Mike Daisey’s allegations…until today… Continue reading Epic Showdown: Tim Cook vs Mike Daisey (with a guest star as well)
I actually got to meet Jason DeRulo after the concert last week– we talked ethics for a hot sec.
Do you think your goal as an artist is to be the most profitable tour or to express yourself and bring the most joy to your fans? Continue reading Jason DeRulo Talks Dirty to Me
As much as I hate to admit it, I definitely have a tendency to initially overreact to a story or piece of journalism after encountering it for the first time. My experiences over the past several weeks regarding the Mike Daisey story are a prime example of that. When I first heard Mike Daisey’s original monologue on This American Life two weeks ago, I came away shocked, confused, and angry. I was ready to burn my MacBook and boycott Apple forever. Maybe it was Daisey’s tone, maybe it was because it was an assignment from a professor, but I definitely believed Daisey and reacted strongly against Apple. I did not stop to consider that parts of the story that did not seem to add up. Continue reading The Gap Between American Understanding and Chinese Reality
Does art do a better job of getting to the truth than journalism? This question really stuck out to me, especially as we dig deeper into this controversy between Mike Daisey and Apple. As we all know, this question is brought up from the fact that Daisey’s emotional monologue turned out to be not quite as truthful as it is made out to be. However, even after knowing the facts, I am still touched by Daisey’s story. Why would it still have a positive affect on me if I didn’t believe it? I think this is an important point to bring up when deciding if art does in fact bring out the truth. Continue reading “But were the lies necessary?”
I noticed striking similarities between the events that were portrayed in the Bucknell Forum version of “The Agony and Exctasy of Steve Jobs” and the plot of George Orwell’s “1984”. In the beginning of the show, Apple’s famous 1984 commercial is shown with the catchphrase “…you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984”.” Did Apple uphold that promise? The people marching in the background of the ad in aligned, controlled unison seemed strangely similar to the FOXCONN employees’ strict working conditions. As the play within the play continued on I began imagining a story within a story; that is, the reality of technology firms today within the confines of the story that far too often conceals the truth. The comparisons and generalizations I am going to make may not be entirely true, but it is not my goal to declare any truths, but rather to arouse questions (much like the ending of the Bucknell Forums’ play) or “Think Different”. Continue reading Don’t Bite the Apple: A fictional piece
People from all over China come to Shenzen to find employment opportunities. As harsh as the conditions are in factories, thousands of people are still waiting and wanting to get jobs from them. But why? Continue reading Globalization: responsible for problems, opportunities or both?
We all watch the news and believe everything they tell us. The media would never lie, right? Or are we just expected to take every single thing we hear with a grain of salt? In my opinion, many people are too busy to come up with their own interpretations and would rather just listen to what they hear on the news. But many times, stories are reported through different perspectives and given different twists based off the views of their network. Continue reading “Truth” is in the eyes of the beholder
After listening to Mike Daisey’s monologue last week, I was completely sold on the validity of his story. Hearing Mike so precisely, so vividly, and so confidently describe his trip to the Chinese factories left not even an inkling of doubt in my mind about the accuracy of the events that took place. However, throughout the 57 minutes and 35 seconds of “Retraction” and the multitude of attempts by Daisey to save-face while on the air, my confidence and trust in the accuracy of Mike Daisey’s account was shattered.
Would working conditions really be different oversees if we, as Americans, demanded different working conditions? Come to think of it, would we really even take the time to demand different working conditions? Would we really boycott the products that we are so obsessed with until Apple gave their suppliers a greater profit margin? While I am confident that there would be some Americans who would do so, I am uncertain that the majority of Apple consumer would take such actions. Doing so would likely be “too inconvenient” or “too much work.” Well, yeah, so is working 24 straight hours in an awful factory just to produce that device that is glued to your hand 24 hours a day. So maybe we should reconsider which of these situations is a bigger burden.
I know, easier said then done, right? I, for one, believe there would be a SIGNIFICANT amount of change in working conditions in Chinese factories if Apple were to provide their suppliers with a greater profit margin. To be honest, it’s not like Apple is financially struggling to exist or anything. It is outright selfish and unethical for Apple Inc. to exploit the lives of others at the expense of their own greed and desire for greater profitability. If Apple were to give their suppliers even a slightly larger profit margin, how much do you think the company’s total revenue would suffer on the year end financial statements? I believe it is safe to assume that providing said suppliers with a greater profit margin, on behalf of better working conditions for hundreds of thousands of people, would not put them in to debt. Perhaps, such actions would actually attract more consumers, who, perhaps may have boycotting Apple products due to their unethical practices and conditions.
Switching gears to the other main concern of This American Life’s: Retraction, I find it to be quite egotistical of Mike Daisey to deceive thousands of people at the expense of his own career. I believe it to be both astonishing and outright stupid that he would be so senseless to lie about details that can easily be researched by any listener. For example, the population of Shenzhen- just type “Shenzhen population” in to Google, and there it is. Or, stating that the guards outside of the factories had guns, when, anyone who may have traveled to China, or reported on the events at these factories, could tell you that only the Chinese military and Chinese police carry guns. With this information in mind, I have to question Daisey’s moral character based on what he mentiond during the podcast about admitting to the fact that he continued to lie to This American Life, even when the radio show contacted him regarding the validity of his information. Daisey not only put his own reputation on the line, but the reputation of the radio show, by letting them report false information.
Daisey mentioned that he “was kinda sick about it. Because [he knew] that so much of [his] story [was] the best work [that he] had ever made.” Hearing him say this really, really made me upset. I sincerely believe he did not “feel sick” for having lied to so many people, and that he did not sincerely feel bad for making a mockery out of a dire situation for his own individual professional gain and benefit. He just felt sick that he had been caught. Finally, I find it quite interesting that Mike Daisey chose to use the word “made” in describing the quality of his work. While he probably used this word in reference to his monologue, I believe his word choice further builds upon the fact that he “made” this story up by combining his own experience with the experience of others. While I understand that Daisey wanted to make people care about the situation, he very easily did not have to go to the extent that he did to convenience thousands of people that these were his own personal experiences. Just like he admitted to Cathy, he was well aware of the fact that he was lying to lots of people.