You really shouldn’t have smoked that whole joint by yourself.
1. Before it really kicks in, you make big plans to be productive…
Which lasts about five minutes.
2. Like you actually can’t get off the couch.
3. Sleeping. Eating. Watching cartoons. This is your life now.
4. Seriously, you can’t stop eating.
5. Plus you make terrible dietary choices.
7. Except getting another bag of chips.
8. And the quality of the weed you’re smoking.
9. Nothing anyone says makes any sense.
10. Because it takes about 20 minutes to process a simple thought.
11. MeSource: biggaysteve666.tumblr.comanwhile you stop making sense to anyone else.
12. They can tell you’re stoned, and they’re JUDGING YOU.
13. You think you’re being really profound, but you’re not.
14. And everything becomes HILARIOUS.
15. Like, so ridic funny. Like, you may never stop laughing.
16. You’re easily entertained by the STUPIDEST things.
17. And believe me, NO ONE ELSE is amused.
18. Then you start to get really, really paranoid.
19. Like you’re no longer sure you remember how to breathe.
20. You don’t remember anything else either.
21. You start to feel like you’re incapable of doing anything that ISN’T getting high.
22. And, I mean, that’s kind of true.
23. But you somehow convince yourself that marijuana is a performance enhancer.
24. You forget how to behave sober.
25. All the while you hope for some once-in-a-lifetime stoned experience.
26. And instead you end up wasting hours on YouTube and staring off into space.
27. But let’s face it, you were going to do that, anyway.
The international clothing companies may not be directly liable; yet they cannot evade responsibility. Notably, Ireland’s Primark (with operations across Europe) and Canada’s Loblaw have been remarkably swift in offering compensation to victims and their families. But compensation can alleviate suffering only very partially as the industry thrives on exploitation. As it turns out, the collateral cost to meet the high-street’s appetite for cheap clothes ~ on either side of the Atlantic ~ can be hideously catastrophic.
THE scale of the garments factory disaster in Bangladesh is much too horrifying to contemplate, and will probably turn out to be much greater in the weeks ahead. Overall, it testifies to the scant regard for the working class in a booming industry with a literally readymade offshore clientele. The death toll had touched 1127 till last Monday afternoon. And the in-parallel decision of the country’s cabinet to dramatically revamp the labour laws, pre-eminently to ensure the legitimate rights of workers in the garments industry, is a horribly belated initiative for a country that attained nationhood four decades ago. It is more than obvious that the human factor was accorded a calculatedly minor rating as successive governments have oscillated between perceived secularism and fundamentalist design.
The essay towards the welfare of the worker has been announced in the aftermath of the worst industrial disaster in the subcontinent after the Bhopal gas leak in December 1984. Aside from a hike in salaries, garment workers will be allowed to form trade unions without permission from factory owners. This is quite the most critical feature of the government’s blueprint, which will have to be approved by parliament. Additionally, factories will have to be modernised and workers provided with direct deposits to bank accounts to guard against such “abuses” as withholding or delaying salaries as expressions of vindictiveness. Effectively, it amends the 2006 Labour Act by lifting restrictions on forming trade unions in most industries. The old law required workers to obtain permission before they could form unions. Not that the law enacted in 2006 disallowed trade unions; they do exist in many of Bangladesh’s other industries. Yet the owners of garment factories never did allow them; they remain an oddity both in terms of exploitation and human rights in a purported democracy.
The welfare handout is seemingly benevolent, but it will be hard for the Awami government to dispel the dominant impression that it is an afterthought after enough have died and many more incapacitated. It isn’t quite embedded in the Benthamite doctrine of the greatest good of the greatest number. If it were so, humane conditions would long ago have been in place, transcending seemingly secularist and decidedly fundamentalist blather. The government’s initiative, announced at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Hasina, is essentially a direly embarrassed administration’s response to one of the worst industrial disasters in South Asia in the year before the national elections. The war-cry at Shahbag Square against the Pakistan army’s repression in 1971, perfectly valid though it is, chimes oddly with the industrial oppression 40 years after freedom was attained.
The visuals almost defy belief. Reshma, the employee of a garment factory who was rescued after 17 days beneath the rubble, personifies the underbelly of a range of entities in Bangladesh ~ the booming real estate enterprise, the oppressive garment factories, the greedy Western clientele, and a largely impervious government. Collectively, they cannot evade responsibility. The collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka has been more than just a high-rise cave-in. This is much too palpable as the grim drudgery of digging bodies and rescuing the survivors would suggest. It has been a horrific disaster, the deadliest in the history of the clothing industry. Hence the international focus on the dangerous conditions in the factories that produce clothes for North America and Europe… and in the process showcase industrial exploitation at its worst. For a single day’s absence, the predominantly female workers suffer a pay-cut for three days; even women in an advanced stage of pregnancy had to report for duty when the building had started cracking up. Worried workers were threatened with the sack if they failed to turn up.
Given the enormous foreign exchange potential of the sweat-shops ~ a cruel irony if ever there was one ~ it was some time before the government eventually woke up to a grotesque trampling of human rights in this commercial complex, one that caters to the Western brands with the “made in Bangladesh” tag. Western companies happen to be major clients and this is the grim message from the rubble in Savar ~ one that we hope will cross oceans. The brands using these facilities must be named, and their goods boycotted. This is the only way to battle greed. The international clothing companies may not be directly liable; yet they cannot evade responsibility. Notably, Ireland’s Primark (with operations across Europe) and Canada’s Loblaw have been remarkably swift in offering compensation to victims and their families. But compensation can alleviate suffering only very partially as the industry thrives on exploitation. As it turns out, the collateral cost to meet the high-street’s appetite for cheap clothes ~ on either side of the Atlantic ~ can be hideously catastrophic.
The Savar tragedy places the Awami League government ~ now contending with an Islamist backlash ~ on test. It cannot evade its culpability for having failed to enforce town planning and building regulations, a failure that it shares with administrations on this side of the border as well. A prickly sense of nationhood alone explains why Dhaka has turned down offers of assistance in rescue operations from the international community. Arguably, more lives might have been saved and Reshma rescued long before she actually was. Having seen daylight after spending 17 days beneath the debris, she can only thank her destiny… and not the government or its disaster management wing, such as it exists.
Given the scale of the disaster, the amendment to the labour laws must of necessity conform to international standards. The government will have to contend with the grim working conditions of the $ 20 billion industry that covers 5,000 factories across the country and 3.6 million garment workers. There must be a Rana Plaza too many dotting the Bangladesh landscape. The exploitation, therefore, has been overwhelming. Altogether a lethal cocktail of official corruption and ineptitude, desperation for jobs matched with desperately cheap labour, and the industry’s negligent nonchalance. Over time, Bangladesh has emerged as the world’s third largest exporter after China and Italy. Theoretically, this might testify to the resilience of the garments industry, one of the major props of the national economy. Yet the collateral cost ~ appalling at any given point of time ~ can turn out to be still more devastating as the tragedy has unfolded since 24 April.
The writer is a Senior Editor, The Statesman
via special article.
via special article.
The plight of the homeless in Ireland.
What is a day in the life of people living in Ireland today? If we’re lucky we awake to the stress of travelling to work, breakfast and getting the children ready for school. What of those who do not have this luck?
“Last night my phone was stolen, together with my shoes and my unclean shirt. Today I sit crying, lonely, the music in my phone is gone. There is no longer the option to escape through those sounds to a place where this life is forgotten.
On cold nights, I phone the council help line seeking a warm place to stay. I realise that in so seeking it is only physical warmth that may be my right. Expect no compassion, the staff are tired, some mean but mostly tired. Expect no cleanliness, the budget for these places it appears does not extend to removing the urine stained and smelling sheets from the weeks of use. When I’m informed that without the €4.50 with me there will be no place, I know then that I would rather sleep rough, for that pittance will buy danger, dirt and stolen things. My new boots, the donated phone, another old shirt will be stuffed into my pillow. While laying there awake, insomnia brought on by the shouting of drug users and alcoholics in loud debate about the merits and rights that they have lost. With a fight there is the removal of the loudest but not the worst. Another man has a heart attack in the next bed. This with the smell of stale urine from the sheets on which I lie has me lie awake awaiting the next day and my forced exit with warm porridge and a half cooked egg, if I’m lucky.
It is then that I begin again the seeking of that same €4.50 for the next tortuous night. My tooth aches. The dentist caring for those of us homeless examines me and says that I need a root canal treatment to the affected molar. This he says will cost 250. I look at him and say that’s fine, I’ve got €3.25. He looks at me with heavy eyes admitting the irony and proceeds with his assistant to remove the mountain in my mouth. Like a volcano removing a mountain there remains after the forty minutes violent struggle a gaping hole. It pains me for days.
If you’re listening I won’t stop talking for it is so seldom that anyone pays attention.”
These are not my sentiments nor my words, patiently listened to over a coffee with a well spoken man who finds himself in this lonely planet. Not the loneliness of holidays travelling but it seems more expensive, not only in money terms but in the sacrifice of dignity.
Like those few that I knew who worked alone their talks molested those listening like the shout of loneliness. I know that this scream from the homeless is not the want to be heard or listened to but to be respected. The tired abuse from the help line and the disregard offered in stained sheets both combine to create a feeling of being unwanted. The valueless feeling some believe true, but the truth is we are all born naked and in need, the same and equal!
As if the pain were not enough, each hostel place is subsidised by the state, that is in addition to the €4.50 sought. I’m informed that the state pays €35 per bed space per night. There are hotels in Dublin that charge less than the €39.50 for bed spaces, with en-suite showers and full hot breakfasts included. Holiday hostels are cheaper again. How can the dire level of accommodation offered to these vulnerable people be so expensive?
Lee Halpin dies trying to expose the pain and danger of this life.
via Boots in my pillow!.
The China Connection
The problem with our country is we don’t manufacture anything anymore,” Donald Trump told Fox News a year ago. “The stuff that’s been sent over from China,” he complained, “falls apart after a year and a half. It’s crap.” That very same Donald Trump has his own line of clothing, and it’s made in … China. (O.K., O.K. — not all of it. Salon, which reported this intriguing, head-scratching fact, notes that some of his apparel is from Mexico and Bangladesh.)