Homework for April 2nd

Response to Food Chain:

Well let me begin by saying, la vida no es facil compadre. I knew people at the bottom of the economical chain had it bad, but I never really explored what the context of bad really is. The documentary was very informative, and I felt a bit of, warmth, due to the fact that half of it was Spanish (a language I grew up speaking at home), so their words hit home a lot harder than it probably did for a lot of my classmates.

 

I couldn’t really empathize first hand with anything the employees experienced, because I don’t really work to eat/survive in general (I’m still young/living at home). However there was a time where I (think I?) was pretty poor, so poor that even though I had a roof over my head, we couldn’t afford actual furniture. We slept on cardboard, literally. But even that wasn’t as bad as the living conditions some people had to go through (like the homeless people who lived right outside the grape/wine farm they worked at (I believe the place was called Napa Valley). And around then one person said (in Spanish I think): “Uno es pobre porque el es que hace el rico lo que es.” (or something like that). Which is basically “one is poor because they’re the ones responsible for the rich being rich, and I found that really impactful, because of another line one worker said. Which was something along the lines of “in our line of work, you’re either low lower class or you’re screwed.”

 

Didn’t really think about there being a class below the lower class, and I think it’s due to the media. Media rarely talks about the lower class, and unfortunately the media is our only way of knowing what’s going on with the world….

 

I made a small chart while watching the documentary that listed the economical ranking…status…whatever as the following (I’m sleepy bear with me):

 

Consumers → Supermarkets → Distributors → Farmers → Field Workers

 

I have no clue if that’s at all accurate, but it’s what I remember hearing and it’s what I have in my notes so I’m gonna roll with it. Basically the money comes from the consumer (us), directly to the supermarket, where they keep a mass quantity of the money earned, and then they send a small portion to the next man, and so on and so on until we reach the unnamed, unvoiced hands on field workers, who make like a penny’s worth in comparison to the markets. Which is dumb, especially when these people work for hours and then “inconsistent payments”..

 

Another point was one made early in the documentary, where someone said “my father once told me it’s okay to spend a little extra to eat nicely… there’s no point in working if you still end up hungry.” Which was what completely caught my attention (could even be considered a thesis if the whole documentary were treated like a report).

Response to Fast Food Nations:

“Cynics need to be in some other industry” — guy who said something that offended me as a cynical skeptic 😡

 

I had a harder time reading this piece. It had a very slow start for me, and I didn’t really get into it right away. However, looking back on the documentary we saw, I was able to get a better grasp of the actual issue, and thus I found it much easier to dive into. I vaguely knew most of what was said, but I never really bothered looking into the matter. I don’t eat too much fast food outside of Taco Bell (because I love me some burritos), but when I do purchase something, or use some kind of service, I try to act as respectful as possible, as a way to thank the person. For example, just thanking the bus driver as I get off the bus, or not complaining to the cashier when something’s wrong with my order (because they don’t control what happens behind them). Especially with minimum wage jobs, since I know that no one ever makes their job any easier, so best way to thank them would be to pay for your food, get it, leave, without any troublesome interruptions (maybe I’ll add a joke like “where’s the bell of tacos?” or something).

 

The documentary definitely helped me fill in some context about the “big deal” in this except. Though I still don’t get much about what they’re saying (except up until the point where they talk about how students who don’t like a job in Colorado just quit and find another). I’m pretty stubborn and convinced I’m gonna end up as a bum because I’m pretty rebellious when it comes to doing something I don’t want to do (because I still prioritize myself over money or social status or whatever). So I don’t have much to say over this, minus where I could agree and why. For example, the part about crimes in Fast Food places.

 

The small part about Jose taking initiative in his own hands should someone ever point a gun at him was the most relatable part of the whole piece (in fact I was just commenting to myself how annoying I found it to be when a massive herd of people run and cower instead of making a human stampede and crushing the living daylights of whomever is pointing a gun. They’re all so individually afraid of death that they selfishly just run and let the slower weaker humans be killed by the big scary man with the weapon. It’s really ridiculous, especially that story about the six(?) employees who hid in the freezer whilst the robber took anything he wanted right upstairs. six against one? REALLY? Most thugs these days aren’t even GOOD with handling guns (at least the ones I’ve encountered in my neighborhood(s)). Many more arrogantly think a gun is a game ender, and don’t even have a plan for rebellion–assuming they don’t even want to kill.

 

The teenagers working under the horrible conditions also irritated me. I’m assuming most people work because they want to get paid, so why would I willingly work for free if I’m only there for the money? Why would I work unpaid extra hours? Knowing myself, I probably would stay til midnight to help the manager (and maybe to binge on the leftovers), but to waste my time doing something I don’t want? Those Colorado kids have the right idea in quitting when things aren’t going their way.

 

One last thing was how they mentioned that they occasionally close McDonalds and reopen, literally, blocks form the last store just to get rid of Unionizing workers. I’ve already been boycotting McDonalds due to its unhealthy selection, so I think that’s really what many Americans will have to do if they want to see any change. I know that’s not gonna happen any time soon though (before Hurricane Sandy, I once saw a McDonalds PACKED with people trying to buy themselves some burgers or something for the storm–people are OBSESSED).

 

Also… I’ve never really noticed McDonalds being constructed… they always just… appear…. Has anyone actually SEEN a McDonalds being built from the ground up? Haven’t they just, popped up like literally overnight? I’m convinced they have some kind of McSeedling that sprouts a restaurant if you bury it and add enough Coca Cola to the dirt.

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