Featuring Mr. Daisey in this Podcast was an excellent way to add entertainment to a tale of a very popular company and their exploitative tendencies. For the nearly forty-five minutes where Mr. Daisey was recounting his trip to China to explore the Foxconn factory conditions I was engaged and listening closely. Many of us have heard at one point or another that a most important quality to have is to be able to tell good stories. Mr. Daisey was able to add animation and humor to a very serious matter which allowed to the audience to be enraptured by his words. His words were funny and his ability to incorporate humor throughout a solemn matter is commendable. The piece was also moving. Hearing Mr. Daisey recount conversations he had with ‘Cathy,’ his translator and various factory workers made the situation much more depressing yet real. Matching real conversations and descriptions to the rumored conditions infuriated me as a listener.
Throughout the past academic year I have read many articles about the conditions of Foxconn and different factories that Apple uses to do manufacture their products. It is highly disappointing that such a well-off, inspirational company is funding such poor working conditions and exploitation. If this company wasn’t so popular though, I doubt the scrutiny would be so harsh. Many other companies which we depend just as heavily on may be responsible for similar situations but since Apple is at the top of the technology food chain, Apple is targeted. Personally, I researched Disney for a paper and noted similar factory conditions to those of Foxconn.
One of the most moving points of the story in my opinion when was the factory worker saw Mr. Daisey’s iPad ‘on’ for the first time. He spent a plethora of hours manufacturing this product yet had never seen the finished product. When he finally turned it on, he described the device as ‘magical.’ To many Americans, iPods/iPhones/iPads are seen as ordinary but the people who actually put the devices together aren’t able to enjoy the finished product. His reaction reminded me of the first time I used my iPhone and I would wonder constantly how someone could possibly create this. Learning about the workers and the working conditions these workers face, makes my perception of the company take on a much more negative light.
Something that would be interesting to look at now after hearing the Podcast would be how Apple customers view the company after gaining full knowledge about the factory conditions in China. Would more elusive knowledge and understanding change the desire for Apple products? Unfortunately, I am not sure that it would. Our (current American society) relationships with products is so essential in our day-to-day lives that our reliance on these products may not be changed by the truth, even if the truth is putting the lives of others in danger.