Things We Saw Today: Our Dystopian Capitalist Hellfire Summed Up in Two Videos
A video of a halftime event at a junior hockey game in Sioux Falls, South Dakota went viral over the weekend. In the clip, ten teachers compete to shovel as much money as they can into their shirts, pockets, and anywhere else after $5,000 in $1 bills is dumped on the ground in front of them.
JUST IN: An arena in South Dakota is holding a “Dash for Cash” where teachers get on their knees and fight for one dollar bills that they can use for classroom supplies while spectators watch and cheer. (h/t @AnnieTodd96) pic.twitter.com/jIht84Ls9W
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) December 12, 2021
That’s one of the most crystal-clear distillations of our American hyper-capitalist dystopia that I’ve seen in a long time. The Washington Post writes:
Critics said the image of teachers on their hands and knees, scrambling for low-denomination bills, was “dehumanizing” and even “dystopian,” especially as teachers are paid relatively small salaries in South Dakota and nationwide. Some compared the spectacle to the popular Netflix series “Squid Game,” in which the show’s characters compete in deadly games to win a giant piggy bank full of cash.
The winner of the event was Barry Longden, who said he’ll be using the $616 he grabbed to help fund an esports program he runs for students. “Other teachers said they’d use their winnings on flexible seating, standing desks and document cameras to upload lessons online,” writes the Post.
As one state senator from South Dakota—which ranks second to last nationally in spending on education—told the paper, “Teachers should never have to go through something like this to be able to get the resources they need to meet the basic educational needs of our students — whether it’s here in Sioux Falls or anywhere in the United States.”
THERE’S TEN OF THEM!!! JUST GIVE THEM EACH…500$!!! THIS IS THE MOST AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THING I’VE EVER SEEN AND I HATE IT. https://t.co/9eeGAVlRsP
— Kwame Mbalia (@KSekouM) December 13, 2021
This wasn’t the only totally dystopian video to go viral this weekend. Twitter user @___inCANdescent posted a video from the TikTok account “Dumpster Diving Freegan,” which documents their experience dumpster diving in order to shine a light on extreme waste.
The video shows the haul taken in from one trip to a Whole Foods dumpster. The amount of food thrown out before its best-by date is staggering:
So in the middle of the night I got lost in this girl’s tik tok who dumpster dives at Whole Foods. She finds so much perfectly good food that didn’t even expire yet. pic.twitter.com/h7nWIT7gjE
— Muted. Argue with yourself. (@___inCANdescent) December 12, 2021
There are a lot more videos like that in the thread and on DDF’s TikTok. Everything about the video is infuriating (and this practice is by no means unique to this company) but probably the worst part is all the replies from people who work or have worked at Whole Foods, who are noting that the company used to donate or discount these kinds of items, but after Amazon bought the store, their policy changed and now they’re forced to throw them out.
Way to go, Jeff Bezos.
What else happened out there today?
- Congratulations to Megan Thee Stallion on her graduation from college! (via HuffPost)
- Shang-Chi star Meng’er Zhang was surprised by her own post-credits scene. (via ScreenRant)
- This is the only TIME cover we’re acknowledging today:
— TIME (@TIME) December 13, 2021
- USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee will pay $380 million to hundreds of gymnasts who were sexually abused by former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. (via NPR)
- Author, journalist, cultural critic, musician, activist, and professor Greg Tate, known as “the godfather of hip-hop journalism,” has passed away at 64. (via Publishers Weekly)
- Vulture asked a cardiologist if [redacted for spoilers] should have called 911 in And Just Like That. The answer: “He didn’t need to die. This is a goddamn travesty.” (via Vulture)
- Science says it’s fine to call your pets your babies. (via Slate)
What did you all see out there today?
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