Today I spent a great deal of time delving into the future of China. This was primarily due to the opening celebrations of the 2008 Olympics. Not that I don’t think about China every time I put on a pair of jeans or buy groceries or drink my jasmine infixed earl grey tea. I suppose if I had special product origin goggles I would find its palpates scattered throughout everyday occurrences or concurrences of sorts. But the truth is I am partly to blame for China’s rise to power. For one I consistently buy sweat shop infused garments, some of which can be found at our ever consumer pleasing name brand store. I realize this and yet I am bound I believe systematically to the task of shopping there. For one I used to be one of those smiling, “Oh, how can I help you buy more useless but necessary for our economy products!” sales people. Having worked at two major clothing stores I also realize that our income was directly related to the amount of clothes we could get the public to ingest. So I ask how do we help these trying to get by on minimum wage students and semi-retirees working at these name brand chains when we refuse to consume? First to clear my name- I must say I have taken the liberty of shopping at thrift stores lately to lower my consumer footprint. Yet I wonder what will happen to Jessy, behind the over flowing clutter of jeans and shirts in the fitting room? Will she somehow bellow out the injustices of working in a Women Gone Consumer Wild store or simply take the pink slip straight to the unemployment line? China is currently controlling the American economy just as much as America is controlling China’s economy, this is evidenced by the need for president Bush to attend the Olympics ceremony while criticizing them on outside soil. As the Chinese would tell him, and now the many Olympians getting ready to show their strength- “Shut up and play!”. I imagine Chinese president Hu Jintao looking out at former Sudanese refugee Lopez Lomong and wondering how far he is in the game and whether he’s wearing a Chinese made Olympic garment not realizing the distance activism travels to find justice. Through the smog inculcated streets of Beijing these athletes will have to choose which games to concentrate on, and with that what history to leave behind for the 2008 Olympics.
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