Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tonight I have been looking for old junk to sell to computer exchange and I found my old e-reader from 5 years ago, which would get £10 if I sold it. Once upon a time it costed me £350 however with technology these days, tablets and even mobile phones make my e-reader look like a primitive stone tablet. It is astounding how out of date technology gets. I used to have a conversation with my dad in the mid 90s about how stuff in the 70s is still usable but going to eventually be phased out, like vinyls and hi-fis. Now its stuff from 4-5 years ago that's horridly out of date. I feel like I am being part of the extremely wasteful society of today.

Lately I've been watching 'benefits street'? Have you heard of it? I think lots of people have opinions about the show without actually having watched it. There's a term that I read about called 'poverty porn', which is this idea that certain TV is made to show conditions of people living in poverty as a way of just purposely trying to either anger people or revel in some sense of grief. There are aspects to the show that sort of lean to that, but there are other aspects to the show that really portrays a human story of people living in communities and circumstances, with their own set of desires and hopes. I've been thinking about it because my facebook feed is all about food banks. As you might know I am involved with a community garden and part of being involved with it means following what goes on in my local area, much of it shows increasing division between rich and poor. Despite my own woes and problems with career limbo and not making enough money, I can't ignore reading about other things that are going on.

It is definitely a party political issue about the whole 'austerity' thing - where governments are urged to cut spending in local government and central departments. My brother-in-law is a solicitor and he is barely making much money because of something called 'legal aid' has not risen along with inflation for over 5-10 years. This is an issue which affects him as a solicitor, but for his clients it also affects the quality of their representation when people get arrested or need legal representation for some other purpose. All of these economic and social things affect other things - where I work at high profile events you can see how certain companies don't spend too much on their parties, or that the tips are less. I am thinking about all this because Higher Education funding is not getting any easier and my hopes of doing a PhD become increasingly difficult in a tax-payer funded education system.

No comments: