Thursday, December 27, 2012

Message in a Gravestone

An Oregon woman bought some fake gravestones at K-Mart in 2011. The Halloween decorations were put into storage unopened.

A year later, she opened them to put them up for the October holiday and found something far scarier than the cold embrace of the grave: a note allegedly written by a Chinese laborer at the factory where the disposable-income item was manufactured. It's a plea for help, detailing the harsh working conditions in which the item was made.

The note sets of The Typing Monkey's baloney detector, though it's entirely possible that it's legitimate. We don't deny that many things we buy -- including the computer used to write and post this information -- are crafted and assembled in conditions our well-fed and generally secure selves would find deplorable and unimaginably cruel.

Yet the note seems a little too good to be true in terms of human rights-riling. Why is this making news two months after the note was discovered? The timing seems off, given that many Westerners have recently spent millions (billions) buying things we don't need to celebrate Christmas.

Read it and draw your own conclusions.