And once in a while I write here to vent my pointless rage. Today's topic will be one I've touched on briefly before but in keeping with the latest vein of this blog... I got pics!
Last year in Thailand I purchased a few golf shirts. They were so ridiculously cheap and golfing in Thailand was so ridiculously sweaty, I had to buy like about 6. I bought Ping, Taylor Made and Titleist. Nice golf shirts for about 5 bucks apiece. If I remember correctly.
Recently on one of my frequent subway journeys to Seoul I saw a subway salesman hawking headbands and wristbands with NBA logos on them. The funny thing was the package had the NFL logo on it. Since it was so funny, (and since 2 wristbands and 2 headbands were a buck), I bought three packs.
See the NFL label on the NBA gear? Hee hee hee. Don't I look like I could keep the key clear? I'll Danny Ainge your ass you step up into MY house!
Anyways, it's hard for me to get mad at obvious copywright infringement like this because it's often funny, (some of the grammar mistakes are hilarious), and I figure if you are vain, ignorant and brainwashed enough to believe a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt is worth 200 dollars then you DESERVE to be fleeced. A guy sees a customer who is not so smart and has lots of disposable cash and caters to him/her. The Emperor's New Clothes. They are almost heroes. Almost.
Unfortunately, I been to some of the places where they make this knockoff crap and the people who do all the work sewing, bagging, stapling, shipping etc. are making next to nothing. Slave wages is NOT an overstatement. The people who buy 100 golf shirts for 5 bucks each, bring them back to Korea in their luggage, claim they are originals then sell them for 50 bucks each, THOSE are the creeps who are making the profit. And it's not heroic. Although in Korea if you can afford to golf, and need name brand golf shirts to do it in, well maybe you might fall into the not so smart with disposable income category. Golfing is about 200 bucks a round on average here in Korea. And it's like that to keep the riff raff like us off the course. So sure, sell those jerks phony shirts. Make money off their superiority complexes. While you're in Thailand mail another thousand shirts back to Korea and make 50,000. That'll cover your costs, wages and you get a nice trip to Thailand out of it. But the Thai workers really should be paid more.
Anyway, that's not the pointless rage. My pointless rage will be directed toward the Koreans who brought back the headbands and wristbands. And the Chinese businessmen they deal with.
Look at this label for the love of GOD! Do you suppose they got the "expressed written consent" of all the sports leagues to use their logos? No bar code. Interesting. And Made in Korea my ass! You can't make this kind of stuff and sell it for a buck in Korea. Workers here are too expensive. These were made in China. Sold to a scumbag Korean businessman by an even bigger scumbag Chinese businessman. And the price, ($1), is more than the workers will make for a 12 hour shift. And they'll think they're lucky to be working.
Somebody went to America and bought a pair of socks or something that was made by For Bare Feet just so they could copy the label and use the good name for their product. If you look closely you'll see the signiture grammar mistakes that are included on most bad Chinese knockoffs that make them so funny. These are being sold for a dollar, (for a profit!), only because they're bad knockoffs. What would they sell the GOOD knockoffs for?
One of the guys at work told me he bought a Gucci or Chanel or whatever tie for 50 bucks. Another teacher told him that there hasn't been a genuine piece of that kind of clothing in Korea for a couple of years. Imagine how he felt.
I looked at that For Bare Feet website, THAT IS ON THE LABEL OF THE WRIST/HEADBANDS, and went to the history section. I suddenly felt worse about buying them. Some people worked very hard to establish that company.
Then I thought about my last year of work in Korea. I was working for one of these scumbags who make lots of money using the good names people have worked very hard to acquire to sell watered down, cheap, immitation shit to their unsuspecting customers. My degree took a lot of hard work to earn. I have worked for several years honing my teaching skills. The owner of Seojeong College used my sweat and suffering as selling points for his "college" where he just gives away phony diplomas. And he's gotten filthy rich doing so. The program almost doubled this year.
Not only that but if I ever let people know I worked for that shit college whose business is academic fraud I could be turned down for, or even LOSE a job. Likewise when people wear the knockoff sweatbands and they fall apart at halftime of their first basketball game, the people might not want to buy anything else from For Bare Feet again.
But if you close down the whole business then the Chinese workers who made the sweatbands will be the ones to suffer most. Their jobs were crap but better than nothing. And you can't tell the businessmen to pay the workers more. That's the government's job and they're just happy to see all the income the company is providing for the country.
So what do we do? Eat the rich. Not the rich who earned their money. They don't have enough fat and their meat isn't soft and juicy. The people who have taken the fat of the land off the workers and packed it onto their own self-important, priveleged bodies because of their lofty senses of entitlement. MMmmmmmmm sounds delicious doesn't it? Maybe I'll write a cookbook.