Saturday, December 24, 2011

To the elves

On this Christmas day i would like to thank all of the people who made this celebration possible.

i know none of them and probably never will. They made the clothes i wear, the computer i type this on, and most of the things i give and take as gifts.

It is astonishing to think i owe them so much of my life.

They are the people who took over from us in making and storing and transporting things. There was a time when we did that ourselves. Even fifty years ago there was manufacturing in this country.

Now, the makers and storers and movers are from China and the Phillipines and India and wherever labour is cheapest. The mega-companies that employ them know no national boundaries. i hear terrible things about the conditions they work in, but i don't know for sure. i do know that without them the consumer culture we have now would probably not exist.

So thank you to the real elves, who made the iPhone and the X-Box Kinect and the tinsel and the socks and the crockery we used, and the real reindeer who brought it to us and took it away again, and i wish all of you rest, and silence, and friendship, and justice.

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