The premise of minimum wage, when it was introduced, was that a single wage earner should be able to own a home and support a family. That was what it was based on; a full time job, any job, should be able to accomplish this.
The fact people scoff at this idea if presented nowadays, as though the people that ring up your groceries or hand you your burgers don’t deserve the luxury of a home and a family, is disgusting.
“We can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean, because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag.”—
Jeremy Glass, We Can’t Get Lost Anymore
i’m so sick of seeing people trash this generation for no other reason than that things aren’t the way they used to be. there’s this constant vitriolic stream of people snarling that selfies, check-ins and blogs are the death of culture, and i am bored of it.
the human desire to record and document experience is hardly new. without that urge we wouldn’t have art, music, dance, theatre. the world of electronics evolving around that to give us an even broader scope of options to preserve our unique view of the world and share it with others is a beautiful thing. despite a legion of cynical naysayers constantly shouting otherwise, i’ve not actually become immune to earth’s beauty or my own experiences in it. stop being terrified of change and development and calling it profound.
Additionally, I’m not losing my sense of adventure every time I Google something, I’m feeding my thrist for knowledge. I have easy access to the most information that humanity has ever amassed, and you want me to not use that? Because let’s be real, my ancestors who had a “sense of adventure” were actually far more restricted in their travel. I can travel more widely and more cheaply than any point in human history, and you’re trying to imply that my “sense of adventure” has died because of the very technology that has made that possible?
Actually, how about this: my “sense of adventure” is tempered by the responsibilities and anxieties I carry far more than Google or check-ins or hashtags. My “sense of adventure” is tempered by the money I have (or rather don’t have) in my bank account. My “sense of adventure” is tempered by what society has taught me about traveling alone at night. My “sense of adventure” is tempered by the fact that a girl from my high school went on an adventure and ended up murdered, and whose family is still seeking justice because of the negligence of the local police department. My “sense of adventure” is the same as my ancestors’ “sense of adventure,” and it not this nostalgic retelling of history.
And how many of these naysayers have actually taken a trip like Steinbeck or William Least Heat-Moon? How many of them have jumped off a bridge? How many of them feel free to benefit from iPhones and Google and cell service and Instagram, but then criticize younger generations for taking full advantage of the world around them?
We can’t jump off bridges anymore because it’s against laws passed by older generations. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean because it’s against laws passed by older generations, and adventures aren’t a reality for us because they often cost more money than we have. Technology has made travel more cheap and widespread than ever, and we helped destroy it when we weighed an entire generation down with the responsibilities of another.
The basic plot, which cannot be ignored even in the films, is that Harry, Hermione and Ron give up everything for their political struggle. They drop out of high school, they go illegal, defy the government, belong to an underground organization [The Order of the Phoenix], operate out of safe houses and forests and even raid offices of the government and banking offices. This is all done in principled opposition to the Dark Wizard Voldemort and a corrupt bureaucratized government that has been heavily infiltrated with his evil minions. This is revolutionary activity. But the movie version does not present it as such or emphasize these radical aspects of the plot, thereby entirely missing the dramatic sweep and action present in the first half of the last novel.
The novels recognize the importance of alternative media for political struggle. The mainstream press [The Daily Prophet] is shown as unreliable and unprincipled, eventually deteriorating into a fear-mongering propaganda machine for the Voldemort-controlled bureaucracy. For a while the alternative but above ground media [The Quibbler] publishes the real news, but it ceases to print after the daughter of the publisher is kidnapped. In the book, friends of Harry [Lee Jordan, with Fred and George Weasley as frequent guests] start broadcasting the real news from an underground radio station, encrypted with a password. This radio station becomes a critical link for the resistance, which is scattered and weak. Although we are treated to some radio broadcast updates in the movie, they are delivered by a disembodied and professional sounding voice, not our friends the Weasleys. This undermines the important message - a guiding principle behind the media coop - that in a serious situation it becomes necessary to produce your own media and not to rely on ‘professionals’.
The novel makes it clear that in this phase of the struggle the characters romantic lives take a backseat to their political activity, as Harry breaks up with the love of his life [Ginny Weasley] so as to avoid making her a target for Voldemort’s forces, who are known to use torture and kidnapping as tactics. The ‘love triangle’ that becomes the focus of the movie isn’t even really present in the books. In the books, the relationship between Harry and Hermione is totally platonic - Ron is shown as jealous, but the feeling is entirely without foundation. In the book Harry says to Ron: “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew” (pg 378, DH US Hardback). This conveys that men and women can be close comrades and friends without being involved romantically. But in the film, Harry and Hermione are shown dancing romantically, and Harry’s line to Ron about his brotherly feeling towards Hermione does not even make it into the film. This completely undermines the important message that jealousy is counter-productive and has toxic effects, which is an important feminist message for young people.