The Motivation And Purpose To Boycott

This commentary is in response to this recently “Freshly Pressed” Post entitled “I May Shop On Thanksgiving.”

I say this respectfully and not with intent to draw ire but just to poke at your logic a bit…the problem is simply “want”. What I mean by that is that we currently live in an economic system in which workers in the jobs you reference are basically compelled to sell their labor to corporations in order to just have the basic means to survival-food, shelter, etc Labor is viewed and treated as a commodity just as a television or an xbox 360. The market is a disciplining force. It is a compelling force. It’s maxim is maximization of profit at whatever cost. And one of those costs is labor. So if every company in these sectors is offering shitty wages for long hours then the fact is workers have no where else to go. If the exploitation existed with just a few companies then those companies would quickly go out of business because no one would want to work under their conditions when they have the freedom to choose better conditions. The problem is there is a monopoly on exploitation in the sectors you reference, and so the conditions are set for the labor market to act as a compelling force. People need to have access to the basic means of survival. This is the reality of wage labor. Continue reading

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The False Binary of Hanlon’s Razor And The Oppressed/Oppressor Relationship

Hanlon’s Razor says that we should never attribute to malice that can which be adequately explained by stupidity.  I believe Hanlon’s Razor presents a false binary, one which suggests that if a person or group of people is acting ignorantly, he or she can not be acting malevolently. Continue reading

Class, Just Call Me Ephraim: A Word On Authority

I have made the decision that once I become a teacher I will introduce myself to my students by my full name, Ephraim Hussain.  Consequently, they will have the option of either calling me Ephraim or Mr. Hussain.  My feeling is that they will opt for the former, and that is indeed my intent by opting not to impose the conventional “Mr.” title.  Now this may seem like a relatively minor aspect of my future teaching practice, and indeed one might view my concern with the matter of how students are to address the teacher as completely inconsequential and silly.  Here is why I would strongly disagree with that sentiment. Continue reading

We Students Need A Unified And Thoughtful Voice In Our Educational Lives

Allow My Friend Calvin To Explain My Reasoning

I know that, in America, teachers are demonized mostly for the wrong reasons and mostly by politicians on the left and right of the political spectrum who have fallen hopelessly in love with the “Standardized testing/Accountability” fad that has completely run our educational system into the ground……….

But folks, there are some terrible teachers out there who don’t fall into this category.  They are called college professors, and some of them just really don’t have a clue what they’re doing and the worst part is their failure to realize that they don’t have a clue what they’re doing.  

Continue reading

Richard Murdoch’s Rape Comment: Perception Becomes Reality

What Richard Murdoch said about rape: “I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,”

This needs to be put in some context and not be subject to the partisan nuttiness that it has already been subjected too. Murdoch did not say that God intends rape to happen. What Murdoch said is that life when it is formed, no matter how it is formed…..is a gift of God. Continue reading

Interning on the Campaign Trail: The People and the Purpose

I ended my post Interning On the Campaign Trail: Advertising vs. Policy by saying that I harbored mixed feelings about my time spent interning so far.  It primarily focused on my dissatisfaction with the way campaigns are orchestrated these days.  Even though I have a lot to learn and my viewpoints are constantly evolving I do not hold out much hope that any of those sentiments will change.  But now I want to focus on the more positive aspects of working on a campaign. Continue reading

Why does ESPN Publish Jemele Hill’s columns?

I usually don’t write about sports ( actually I have not yet) but I couldn’t resist…..

Dear ESPN and Jemele Hill:

Warning!!  Warning!!  Jemele Hill has gone rogue in the world of sports journalism!….Oh wait, no…that’s just ESPN publishing another one of her useless, mindless, and least thought-provoking columns ever.  The part about her going rogue was just me daydreaming about a better world.  Although I did not quite dream it up right, or else I would have imagined her taking up any other occupation besides being a sports journalist.  Unless, of course she would clean up her columns and write about something more interesting that actually has to do with the world of sports, than…oh I dunno…Wes Welker’s very tough decision to have a hair restoration procedure at which point I am sure the many readers of ESPN would cherish her writing.

Because the fact is, if I was bald and was getting a hair restoration procedure and feeling very insecure about my appearance……. I’m not getting any national attention for it, nor would I want any because I’m not an egotistical “pick a word” who thinks anyone would or should care about my hair restoration procedure (barring my friends and family of course).

This has to be my favorite quote of the whole thing.

“So in some ways, Welker, who was almost flowery in his praise of Leonard’s handiwork, made a business decision. Not that Welker is some kind of hair martyr. His honesty does come with an agenda. He will serve as a spokesman for Leonard, which includes appearing in TV, radio and print advertisements.

Oh, Oh, Oh, so there is some payoff involved.  What a surprise.  And what’s with the “hair martyr” phrase?  As I see it, a martyr is someone who sacrifices themselves for a cause they believes in.  So he sacrificed himself to the general public’s ridicule by getting a hair restoration?  First of all, as she said, it was a business decision and he is going to be starring in advertisements, so I hardly think that he was worried about being a martyr to the public.  Second of all, the general public should be very insulted by Jemele Hill, to think that we are so mind numbingly shallow and don’t have anything better to do than to make fun of an athlete for wanting to put hair on his bald head.  I’m very confused by her thought process, to say the least.  But, this quote, I scoff at.

But there is something endearing about an athlete who isn’t afraid to acknowledge something that contradicts the stereotype that he’s impervious to imperfections.

You bash them every day.  You print things about them in the media that no one cares about, just to make big hay out of it.  You blow things out of proportion all the time.  You speculate.  You have controversial and absurd opinions about them just for the sake of it.  You make mince-meat out of their interviews for the sake of promoting mind-numbing controversy that would otherwise not have existed.  You are attention-whores more so than the athletes you write about.  You need to get over yourselves more so than the athletes you write about.  You are the sports media.  You are imperfect.  The athletes you write about are imperfect.  We are all imperfect.  I had no preconceptions that Wes Welker was a god before reading your column, and you are not a saint for writing this column, supposedly for the purpose of revealing his “human” side.  I am assuming that you wanted me to read this article and go, “WOW, Wes Welker is just a regular dude because he can get hair transplants and not be embarrassed to talk about it just like the rest of us. .  Give us a break.   How many garbage touchy-feely articles and columns, in the world of sports journalism, do we intelligent readers have to continue to see like this?    The public is not stupid.  We do not live with blinders on.

On a side note

And I know that by writing this post and linking to her article I am giving her column more attention.  But the fact is that there is no other way to draw attention to poor journalism and if she has any ounce of journalistic integrity (lacking in today’s world) and respect for the readership of ESPN, she should not take negative attention as license to write more of the same.

P.S.: Read the public’s reaction your column, do some reflective thinking, and come back with something better.  PLEASE!