bad language,creating new jobs, unemployment pt 1

So there I was sitting in a coffee shop in Lisburn with one of those silent flat screen TV’s stuck on Sky News and ‘headlines’ scrolling across the bottom minding my own business when my eye caught this headline

Subway to Create 6000 Jobs Over the next Three Years’

which I filed away alongside the announcements over the past couple of days of

Asda to Create 5000  Jobs in 2012′

and

McDonald’s says 2,500 new jobs a lifeline for young unemployed’

Bloody hell, that’s great news isn’t it?

New jobs in a time of recession for the young unemployed who are fighting for jobs! A spark of hope in a time of gloom! All hail McDonalds, Asda and Subway!

Well not quite. At the same time I was reading this bit in Colossians Remixed

‘If we want to find abusive language and identify the discourse of violence of our time, we are terribly short-sighted if we don’t look beyond the obscenities of the street or the schoolyard. It is in the double-speak of corporate executives, the spin of politicians, the come-on of the advertisers, the cultural lies of the pharmaceutical companies and the biotech firms…’

That’s just it isn’t it?
We’ve a very short sighted view of what makes abusive language.

For instance a good Christian man or woman will probably not like my use of ‘bloody hell’ a few sentences up and would like it even less if I said ‘shit’ or fuck’. It’s bad,violent, offensive language, unclean and rude and a sin by all accounts so cut it out

It’s also a classic when you’re watching a film at home and your parents walk into the living room just the point the F-bomb is being dropped all over the show during some violent scene.

We don’t like hearing violent language on a personal,intimate level.

Yet so much violent language just slips past our sensors and worse than that is thought of as normal, good language.

I was thinking about this with relation to the  ‘_____ create thousands of new jobs in 2012’  headlines from the media and PR departments.

Yes, I’ve no doubt that McDonald’s, Asda and Subway will create new jobs but at what expense?
Are the creation of these jobs an unquestioned good or is there violence in what they say as well?
Is the phrase ‘____ creates a 100o new jobs’ an unquestioned good?

For instance McDonald’s might create loads of new jobs for young people but many of those jobs have been created by young teens eating in McDonald’s. (‘McDonald’s UK does not publish like-for-like revenues, but it posted underlying sales growth in the “low teens” in its fourth quarter after an “outstanding Christmas” – The Independent.’)

Creating new jobs ‘good’.
Younger teens eating junk food more often in McDonald’s maybe not so good?

I’m not saying kids shouldn’t enjoy a McDonald’s every so often like we did,
it’s just the language of  ‘creating new jobs’ mightn’t be the unquestioned good it sounds like on Sky News with some politician grinning on a podium saying it’s brilliant news.

What about the types of jobs created? Or is this even worthy of consideration?
Will they be good, healthy jobs or will young people be homogenized and  turned into McDrones with some spin coming out about the qualifications they have earned?

My mum works for one of these companies by the way and it hurts me to see the way that she is treated by managers and the systems. You’re really just commodity or a resource to be used to earn maximum profit for the company. But if you’ve worked somewhere like that you probably don’t need me to tell you that.

When you say jobs do you mean full time jobs or do you mean part time, flexible jobs? What kind of jobs do you mean?

Also, what about all the jobs that will be uncreated by one of those three stores moving into a locality?
Do you expect me to believe that if an Asda moves into a community it won’t have knock on effects for other retailers in the area?

Maybe a more accurate headline would be  ‘____ creates 1000 new jobs but wipes out ____ old jobs’

What about the uniqueness and character of a community being obliterated under the wheels of  ‘well that’s just the way things go..’?

Anyway, that’s the way it goes I guess.
It feels almost pointless mentioning this stuff as I know that I’m very much in the minority and people need jobs and money to work (me included) and part of me wonders if I’m just finding ways to justify laziness or sloth. What I should really be doing is going out and sending my CV to McDonald’s, Asda and Subway and competing to get one of these jobs.

But another part of me doesn’t think it’s pointless at all.
We don’t have to live under the Roman Empire but we not stupid enough the think that there isn’t some type of ‘Empire’ over us and sucking us into it’s hole?
The Bible would probably call it ‘the World’.
A phrase I heard once heard to describe it was ‘corporate evil

Why have we assummed for so long that we don’t live under some type of  system that blinds us and bind us to the way things really are?
And do we just have to suck it up and get a job with companies we fundamentally disagree with just to earn enough money to put bread on the table?

I’ll finish this later, I’m starving!

gardening seasonal eating theology

To be honest I’m not really sure there is such a thing as a theology of seasonal eating. It just sounded cool in my head.

Perhaps the fact that all of us reading this can probably afford to not eat seasonally if  we so choose is a sign that we take more from the world than we need.
We live in an oil dependent 24-7  full on culture, and if we want asparagus we can dander out to our cars, drive to Tesco’s and buy asparagus from Peru, drive home again and eat it.

But do we need as a society need to consume so wildly or with so little regard to the natural resources we are using (such as oil), especially if we believe that the material world is created and ‘matter matters’?

As Wendell Berry writes in The Gift of Good Land

‘Atomic reactors and other big-technological solutions, on the other hand, convey an overwhelming suggestion of the poverty of the world and the scarcity of goods. Thats is because their actuating principle is excessive consumption. The obscure and destroy the vital distinction between abundance and extravagance. The ideal of  “unlimited economic growth” is based on the obsessive and fearful conviction that more is always needed. The growth is maintained by the consumers’ panic-stricken suspicion, since they always want more, that they will never have enough’

It seems to me that we have a responsibility to use things wisely and without waste, and that flying asparagus over from Peru is not a wise use of resources if we could eat carrots from Co Down or in season cauliflower.
Or why freight in strawberries from Spain if you could grow some rhubarb in your garden?

We’ve been so indoctrinated by corporations that it’s our right as a free, enlightened, economically strong society to consume when we like, what we like, and that it is fact good for the world and us to consume whatever we like.
We have accepted that it can’t be changed and this is the best way to proceed.
We in the West especially have been living like its an orgy,we like the comfort and we’re unwilling to change.

Like our total dependence on cars to get us from A to B. Or computers.

But perhaps the biggest problem is that we can’t imagine what change might look like, or how we would even go about changing things around for the better. Our imaginations are so tired that few people can hold up the possibilites of what a better, fairer world could actually look like in an actual real world.
The economic empires of our time, the systems and corporations have us completely wrapped up and believing that things can’t be different, we’re powerless to stop them and that if we don’t join the race we’ll be left behind and suffer.

And because we find it hard to imagine beautiful, real life possibilities that replace old bad habits and sins we are burdened and tired.
Lets dream!