Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
Certain experiences will always force a reevaluation of life’s priorities. The birth of a child, a near-death experience — or getting fired. The latest episode of Salon’s video series on unemployment in America begins with Theresa Iacovo, a laid-off truck dispatcher, reminiscing on all of the Christmases she missed during her 20-year career. “Why did I give up that time with my family that I can never give back?” she asks.
Several recent submissions to Open Salon on the topic of unemployment also question the relationship between personal fulfillment and work. Homeless Scribe aptly sums up the source of much frustration: “Fresh out of college, I expected job security in exchange for hard work. I expected fairness in exchange for loyalty. And I expected respect in exchange for respect. I lived up to my side of the bargain. It’s the other side that failed.”
While challenging the myth that unemployment equals a meaningless existence, Livia Gershon explains how the freedom of not having a job can come with more benefits than the meager compensation of, for example, a part-time shift at Wal-Mart. She writes, “An unemployed father might create a more stable home for a little while, so his wife doesn’t have to take a day off if a kid gets sick. He might also be able to watch a neighbor’s child after school, or help his parents fix their roof.”
The trick, of course, is finding balance. We would all love to chase our passions, but we can’t just ignore those pesky bills. The former employee of a Chicago law firm captures this conflict in his cathartic piece “My Unintended Vacation.” He writes, “Between temp jobs, I started spending a lot more time volunteering for a few nonprofits and found it much more rewarding than the old job — except for the money, of course.”
Immy Humes, a NYC documentary filmmaker, has produced stories for PBS, NBC News, and Michael Moore. Her short film, "A Little Vicious," was nominated for an Oscar. Her latest feature, "Doc," is a saga of the post-war generation of New York writers and of madness. Her web site is http://www.thedoctank.com/More Immy Humes.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.
“F**ked: The United States of Unemployment” is Salon’s new video documentary series exploring the lives of the long-term unemployed and their struggle to survive and fight back. In “F**ked,” Academy Award-Nominated director Immy Humes follows a diverse group of New York City-area residents from food pantries to marches to tense
confrontations at Occupy Wall Street. Salon’s goal with this series is not only to show the human impact of our nation’s deteriorating social safety net, but to also share the inspiring story of those who are organizing to fight for better living conditions on behalf of all Americans who continue to suffer through “the Great Recession.”