The ‘feel-good’ horror of late-stage capitalism
Fairy tale or American horror story: Could be either, who can say?
[ JESSICA M. GOLDSTEIN | AUG 2, 2018 | via ThinkProgress ]
Have you heard the one about this guy in California? He’s unemployed right now, and he’s currently homeless. But instead of asking people for money, he’s out there on the street handing out copies of his resume. The takeaway from this story, according to Channel 7 News: #NeverGiveUp.
ART BY DIANA OFOSU
How about this one, from Good Morning America: “The new trend is to give a pregnant coworker some of your own vacation time to add days to her maternity leave.”
We don’t have federally-mandated maternity leave in the United States, making us one of the only nations on the face of the Earth to deny our citizens this basic and vital thing.
But that is not the focus here.
The point is not the broken system that created the need for this collective, self-sacrificing workaround. The point is that a woman’s colleagues are so, so generous. The point is that Kansas City’s Angela Hughes did not take off a single day of her entire pregnancy just to save her own vacation time for after her baby was born. Then her boss was like, “…what the hell are we making this woman do?” (paraphrasing here) and donated 80 hours of her vacation time, and then Hughes’ coworkers followed suit, until Hughes amassed a grand total of eight weeks of paid leave.
Stories like this keep popping up on Twitter like zits on a prepubescent forehead: The sunshiney announcement about the GoFundMe for the guy with leukemia who can’t pay for his own medical costs. (He is employed by an organization whose owner has a net worth of $5.2 billion.) The dad who works three jobs to support his family saving up to buy his 14-year-old daughter a dress for an eighth grade dance. The college student who ran 20 miles to work after his car broke down and whose boss rewarded him for this effort by giving him his own car.
Do you get a sinking feeling when you read these stories? This feeling like, while of course you are impressed by the tenacity and generosity on display, you still want to vomit?
Behold, the rise of the feel-good feel-bad story.
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