I will be the first to admit that I am an avid Apple user. I can honestly only pinpoint a few times during a given day when I am not actively using my MacBook, iPad, or iPhone. Like Mr. Daisey, I had never stopped to think about how the products I rely so heavily upon were being produced. Yes, I knew they were being manufactured in China, but I too preferred the image of shiny robots assembling my gadgets. By establishing himself as a relatable narrator, Daisey immediately gleans the attention of his audience, presenting a rather grim story in such a way that audience members even let out a quick laugh.
The label “Made in China” has become so prevalent in our lives, that I now accept it as commonplace and am unmoved by its presence on products. Despite knowing the terrible working conditions associated with this ubiquitous label, I never stop to think about what is truly behind the products I am constantly using. I would be hard-pressed to say that I was unaware of the working conditions and factory life that Mr. Daisey exposes his listeners to. Despite my prior knowledge of the lackluster conditions found in these factories, Mr. Daisey caught my attention by presenting the factory in such a militaristic fashion. Guards equipped with guns flank the entranceway, the factory floors are completely silent, and dormitory rooms are packed so tight that entering a bed is compared to slipping into a coffin. When listening to this I could not help but draw a connection to a work camp, something I certainly do not want to associate with my iPhone.
At the conclusion of the podcast, the question “should we feel weird?” is posed. We are told we should not. Reporters cite all the good factory life has done for the region, creating jobs that would have been otherwise unavailable, which in turn led to the hinting of a middle class. I am unsure as to if I agree with the statement that these factories can be considered good; I certainly will need to learn more before taking a side. However, as I sit here typing on my MacBook it is safe to say that this issue is truly out of sight out of mind for me. The closing song choice was truly an appropriate one.