Where is Charles Dickens when you need him?


Charles_dickensIpad Newstory this week about the ipad cut through the hype. 14 suicide attempts at the factory where the ipad is being assembled. 10 successful. The workers live in dormitories – and are working all sorts of shifts to try and satisfy demand. A sordid story underneath the glamour of the technology. Actually it can't be a lot different for those millions of workers assembling switches, servers and all sorts of paraphernalia which is 'essential' to keep our entertainment economy on the move. They have given them a big payrise which is designed to  keep them alive. Wish I had been a fly on the wall to hear that strategy conversation.

Two hundred years ago the UK had a writer big and bold enough to take the task on in a newspaper serial. Charles Dickens may be an institution in the literary establishment now. But part of me wonders if there is another Dickens in the wings. Who could use fiction to make a connection between the sweatshops in China and the geeks posing with their new iware. But if there was a Dickens then what media channel would post his stories? Our media are firmly in the pockets of the corporates – devoted to branded entertainment.

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