98.3 CFLY-FM Kingston from Decemgber 1986 with unidentified anncr giving time as 11:24 and brief weather forecast.
102.1 CFNY-FM Toronto from January 1986 with anncr JR finishing his shift, mentioning James Scott would be taking over. Later pre-recorded liner for M+M at the Copa on February 3. Later James Scott with break where he gave time as 2:12 p.m., talked about weather, announced upcoming contest "The Wheel of Torture." Then into pre-recorded promo for another contest, "Catch Us If You Can", where if you heard the station play the same song twice in one day you could win 102 dollars.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017
The hospital ward. Megan is lying in a hospital bed. There are other women lying in beds, each separated by curtains. A nurse enters, pushing a cart with two bundles on it.
Nurse: Morning. Here come the babies! Baby Boyle and baby Warrell.
Megan: Baby Warrell’s mine.
Nurse: (Turns to the woman in the bed next to Megan) And this must be your baby then, Mrs. Boyle.
(She hands Mrs. Boyle a bundle.)
Mrs. Boyle: Actually, this is a cantilope.
Nurse: Oh darn. (Turning to Megan) Breast or bottle-feeding? (Megan doesn’t answer) Breast or bottle-feeding?
Megan: Bottle. I’m on a low income and it’ll be more expensive that way.
Nurse: Well, we always like to see the poor suffer unnecessarily. Aren’t you getting him up?
Megan: He looks so peaceful.
Nurse: He wasn’t peaceful in the night. Little monkey! He kept screeching and screeching to be fed. But, as Winnie Churchill said, “Never give in.”
(Megan tries to sit up but winces) Mind your stitches. All the surgeons are busy and fixing you up again would really be a bother. Besides, NHS doesn’t cover that sort of thing. I’ll get him up for you, shall I? (She lifts the baby and places him in Megan’s arms) Look at you! Anyone would think you’d never held a baby before.
Megan: I’m part Scottish. We don’t believe in tactile stimulation of any kind.
Nurse: It’s okay. We all have to learn. I’ll be back to show you how to feed him whenever I feel like it.
Mrs. Boyle: Nurse, my cantilope…
(The nurse exits.)
The hospital ward. The nurse enters. Mrs. Boyle is cuddling her cantilope. The nurse walks over to Megan’s bed where Megan is examining her baby’s toes. Megan begins to wrap him up again.
Nurse: That’s okay. That’s what you’re supposed to do. He’s your baby. You must play with him and talk to him and love him as much as you can. Alternatively, you could just sit him in front of the TV in his car seat.
Megan: That sounds like a plan.
Nurse: I brought your lunch. It’s today’s special, cold spaghetti in a plastic bag. Enjoy.
Megan: Wait, aren’t you going to show me how to give a bottle and get a baby’s wind up and that sort of thing?
Nurse: No. (Megan starts crying) That’s okay, too.
(She hands Megan the bag and exits.)
The hospital ward. Debs, a different nurse from the previous nurse enters. Mrs. Boyle is eating her cantilope. Debs walks over to Megan’s bed.
Debs: And how are we doing?
Megan: Good. I’ve been thinking really hard about a name, but I just can’t seem to think of one. I’d only just made up my mind to keep the baby when I’d had him.
Debs: Hardly any unmarried girls give their babies up now. The girls’ parents nearly always allow the girls to bring their babies home. I’m sure you’re mum will be okay.
Megan: Doubt it. You don’t know what she’s like. She’s one of those women who’re always worried about what the neighbours will say.
Debs: Oh, she shouldn’t worry about that. Once the neighbours see how ugly your baby is, they’ll close their drapes.
(Megan starts crying.)
The hospital ward. Luke enters, carrying a bunch of flowers in a basket shaped like a cradle.
Luke: These are for you, Megan, unless she’s left already and been replaced with an exact double with a baby that looks sorta like me.
Megan: (Laughs) No, honey, it’s me. Here, why don’t you hold him. (Megan picks the baby up and hands him to Luke. Luke holds him awkwardly.) So how did your parents take the news?
Luke: They read me the riot act when they found out-when you and your mum came round that time. Afterwords I asked what does an act governing rules for public demonstrations got to do with me getting a girl pregnant. Anyway, I was thinking, why don’t you and me get a flat together and raise the baby together. We can get married later or somthin.
Megan: Oh Luke!
She and Luke are in a perfectly appointed apartment with Eikea furniture.
Luke: Darling, did you put the baby to bed?
Megan: No, honey. In fact, I can’t remember when I last saw him.
Luke: That’s all right. Everything will work out because we’ve got a lovely-looking house.
Anncr: This week at Eikea, save on bedroom and living room sets. Half off the regular price.
End dream sequence
Megan: But how will we afford it.
Luke: Don’t worry, babe. I got connections. There’s drugs, extortion, gambling, any number of careers that will allow us to live comfortably in wedded bliss.
Megan: Oh, I love you!
(She gives him a big kiss.)
The hospital ward. Josie and Claire enter.
Claire: That baby is so ugly it looks like Hans Moleman.
Josie: Now, Claire, that’s not true. I’d say he looks more like Moe Syzelack.
Megan: Have you two come to bring me a present or look at the baby or are you just here to torment me?
Claire: Here to torment you, obviously.
Megan: I thought you were my best friends. At any rate, I thought you were my best friend, Claire. I never cared for Josie at all, actually.
Josie: So I recall.
Claire: Look, Megan, I’m sorry. I didn’t come all the way here just to be mean to you.
Megan: Oh Claire, I knew—
Claire: I came to tell you Luke’s been seen going round with every girl in town.
Claire: It’s true.
Megan: Well, I’ll expect he’ll change that once we get married.
Claire: You are. Oooooh.
Megan: What is with you, Claire. When I was pregnant you said when the baby came you’d be there with me every step of the way. You said you’d be like the baby’s second mother.
Claire: Yeah, but that was when you were pregnant. I was thinking of the baby in an, I don’t know, abstract kind of way. Now that it’s actually arrived… Megan, could you make your baby abstract, please?
The hospital ward. Mrs. Warrell Is standing beside Megan’s bed.
Megan: You are being such a hypocrite.
Mrs. Warrell: How am I being a hypocrite? I didn’t get pregnant at fifteen.
Megan: I don’t know. That’s just what daughters always say to their mothers when their having an argument.
Mrs. Warrell: Look, I don’t want to get you upset, love, but it’s really not on. It’s a terrible idea. Even the best, most suitable marriages are downright difficult, and as for this: two bits of kids bringing up a baby with no money and no prospects! Well, you stand no chance at all.
Megan: The impossible can happen, you know. Look at Royal Rumble 99 when Stonecold got really beat up, and then at the end he returned driving the ambulance.
Mrs. Warrell: Honey, professional wrestling isn’t real.
(Megan begins to cry harder.)
The hospital gift shop. Izzy, her runny-nosed toddler in tow, comes up to Megan. Izzy is pregnant.
Izzy: Cor, by jum, it’s Megan Warrell. How are you?
Megan: Izzy, hi. Hi Delpheen.
(The toddler runs away in fright.)
Izzy: So, what did you have?
Megan: A boy. He’s upstairs.
Izzy: Whatcha gonna call ‘im?
Megan: I don’t know.
Izzy: Oh. So, what do you plan to do with yourself now that it’s here?
Megan: I don’t know. What do you do with yourself all day?
Izzy: What’s there to do except watch telly and neglect her all day. So, your fella scarpered yet?
Izzy: They will sooner or later. My last one ran off the second I told him I was pregnant.
Megan: Do you … have you been out with anyone since?
Izzy: You’re joking, aren’t you? With one here and one on the way?
Megan: That never stopped you before.
Izzy: Good point. (She looks over at the counter where Delpheen is being fed buns by one of the cashiers) Delpheen! (She runs over to the counter) I hope she wasn’t too much trouble.
Cashier: Not a bit.
Megan: I think it’s wonderful this hospital feeds hungry children.
Cashier: Oh, it’s no bother, really. These are the buns the drug companies use to inject drugs in for experimentation, then send them back to us.
The hospital ward. Megan enters. There is a very posh-looking young woman in the bed next to Megan’s.
Girl: Are you visiting a friend?
Megan: No, just returning to my baby.
Girl: How old are you?
Megan: Nearly sixteen.
Girl: Didn’t you have lessons about contraception at school?
Megan: I must have been off that day.
Girl: I would say you were. (Shrugs) I keep telling the members of my eugenics society we should have the poor sterilized.
(Megan’s mother enters.)
Megan: Oh, Mother, I have good news. I’ve decided on what I’m going to call the baby.
Mrs. Warrell: What, dear?
Megan: It came to me just as I was riding in the elevator up from the gift shop. I’m going to call him Jack.
Mrs. Warrell: After your father?
Megan: Yes. I know he left us, but I feel we should still honour him in some way.
Mrs. Warrell: Well, it’s nice to know he’s already got one strike against him.
Mothercare. Megan and her mother are walking around the store. Megan is balancing Jack in the crook of her arm. She is holding a pair of girls shorts and a girl’s top.
Mrs. Warrell: Megan, hold that baby more carefully. You’re going to drop him. And why are you buying those clothes? Those are for a girl.
Megan: I’m thinking ahead to the possibility that Jack might turn into a girl some day.
(Jack begins to cry. Megan sticks her little finger in his mouth.)
Mrs. Warrell: Are your hands clean?
Megan: Yes, they are.
(Megan walks away from her mother. An older woman comes up to her.)
Older Woman: Give him a cigarillo, dear. That’s the safer way to smoke.
(Megan grabs a stroller off one of the shelves and brings it to the cash register where her mother is waiting.)
Mrs. Warrell: It’s a false economy. That is a quality pram.
The apartment. Jack is crying. Ellie, Megan and Mrs. Warrell are standing there confused.
Mrs. Warrell: We’ve tried everything. We’ve fed him, undressed him, put more clothes on him, and we’ve tried tiring him out.
Ellie: We sure have tried tiring him out. At first I didn’t even think he’d fit on the exercise bicycle.
Mrs. Warrell: I just don’t know what’s wrong.
Megan: Maybe I should try giving him a bath.
Mrs. Warrell: Good idea. (The phone rings) I’ll get it.
Mrs. Warrell: Sure, shove all the responsibilities on to me already, eh Megan?
Megan: Yes, I made the phone ring the second after I said I’d bathe Jack. I have that power. (She picks up the phone) Hello.
Claire: (Drunk) Hey, it’s your old buddy Aloysius McFadden.
Claire: Yes it’s Claire.
Josie: (Also drunk) And Josie.
Claire: And Claire.
Josie: We’ve been having our little drinky … drinky … winkies.
Megan: What do you two want?
Josie: I want a big piece of meat loaf with mashed and corn with that as well as a bit of rhubarb custard and I want brown gravy on everything.
Claire: We got the results of our A levels today.
Claire: We failed everything.
Claire and Josie: Wooooo hooooo.
The bathroom. Megan is in the bathtub.
Dream sequence …
Megan and Claire are at the movies. Megan turns to a boy sitting behind her.
Megan: That was a great movie, wasn’t it?
Boy: Oh, brilliant.
Megan: He’s one of my favourite actors.
Boy: Mine, too. Listen, you busy later?
Shift to Megan and the boy in a house with a crying baby.
Dream sequence …
Megan and Claire are on an interrail train, traveling through Europe. Megan turns to a boy sitting across the aisle.
Megan: Hello there.
Jacques: Salut. My name is Jacques.
Megan: My name is Megan. I’m really enjoying your lovely country.
Jacques: Merci. Listen, where are you staying tonight?
Shift to Jacques and Megan in a house with a crying baby. Striking nanny’s have set up picket lines outside their door.
Dream sequence …
Anncr: And that was another flash in the pan pop star who was way to expensive for the quality of their music and the amount of time their fame will last. We’ll have a short break then back to more music.
Movie Mogul: Hi, I’m a famous movie producer. I think you’d be just perfect for my next film.
Megan: Your kidding right?
Movie Mogul: No, I’m not.
Shift to Megan alone in a huge mansion with the baby and her divorce lawyer.
Divorce Lawyer: Now, you’ve had a lot of work done on the house so I think you should ask for at least ten thousand more than you’ve stated here.
Megan: Cool, could you help me feed him his cereal, please?
The apartment. Claire and Josie knock at the door. Ellie answers the door.
Ellie: Hi Claire. Hi whoever you are. Megan will be down in just a minute.
(Claire and Josie enter. Megan comes into the front hall.)
Claire: Are you ready for some excitement?
Megan: Sure am. Cascades here we come.
Josie: You’re leaking.
(Megan looks down at her shirt.)
Megan: Oh my gosh, what is this white stuff all over my blouse?
Claire: It’s breast milk.
Megan: Well how is a person supposed to prevent this sort of thing from happening?
Claire: By breastfeeding.
Megan: That’s just bloody stupid.
Cascades. Megan, Claire and Josie are dancing together.
Josie: I’m just not sure what it is I love most about this place. I wonder, is it the excellent deejay, the wonderful atmosphere, all the cute blokes?
Claire: Could it possibly be the fact the bar doesn’t check for IDs?
Josie: Oh yes, that’s it.
Megan: Look, a guy’s checking me out.
Josie: A guy check you out. This I have to see.
(Mark comes over to Megan.)
Mark: Hello there, I’m Mark.
Megan: My name’s Megan.
Josie: She just had a baby.
Mark: That’s no problem.
Megan: You mean the fact that I’m a teenager with a baby doesn’t put you off me?
Mark: No. Sure, I can barely keep it together to handle the few responsibilities I’ve got now, having a totally helpless being to look after shouldn’t be too much of a hardship.
Megan: Oh, that’s so wonderful.
Mark: Yeah, right. See you round.
(He walks away quickly.)
The apartment. Susie enters.
Susie: Hi there. How are we doing today?
Megan: All right. How are you?
Susie: I’m fine. So, how’ve things been going?
Megan: Okay, I guess.
Susie: So, what do you do specifically, in the way of parenting, I mean?
Megan: How d’you mean?
Susie: Well, for instance, what kind of nappies do you use?
Susie: Good. You don’t have a lot of money, so you’re right to have to keep buying something that’s really expensive over and over again as opposed to spending some of the money your father sent you on something that’ll last your baby till he’s trained and can be used in the future if you decide to have any more children.
Megan: Oh, and I let Jack cry, also.
Susie: Oh good. These are the formative months when he’s forming the basis of relationships, so letting him cry and showing that his mother won’t be there for him will give him a healthy start in life.
Megan: One thing, though.
Megan: It’s just that, well, there aren’t a lot of mothers in my, uh, situation around here that I can talk to and relate to. Have you any suggestions?
Susie: How the ‘eck should I know what you should do. Why don’t you go visit that girl at your school that got pregnant or something.
Megan: You mean Izzy?
Susie: Whatever. Well, I must be on my way.
The hallway outside Izzy’s apartment. Megan stands in front of the door, holding Jack. She knocks. Izzy answers.
Izzy: Oh, it’s you. Well, come in if you’re coming in.
(Megan enters the apartment. There is a man sitting on the floor. The place is a dump.)
Megan: Who’s that?
Izzy: That’s Armand, me new man, he is. Works as a philosopher. Says he’ll make a bloody livin at it someday. Believe it when I see it.
(Someone knocks at the door. Izzy answers. A man stands there holding an envelope.)
Man: Does Armand Dahurian live here?
Izzy: Yeah, who wants to know?
Man: Oh, nobody special. Just tell him I appreciate the work he does, and please accept this large sum of money as a token of my appreciation.
(Izzy takes the envelope and closes the door abruptly.)
The street. Megan is walking along the street, away from Izzy’s apartment. Mark appears and walks toward her.
Mark: Hey, aren’t you that girl I met at Cascades the other night? Sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.
Megan: My name’s Megan.
Mark: Nice seeing you again. Where are you off too this fine day?
Megan: Oh, just going home after visiting a friend. What about you?
Mark: Oh, got to go to a flower show.
Megan: Flower show?
Mark: Yeah, I work for the newspaper. I cover flower shows and library board meetings and awards for local dignitaries and … anything else they want me to cover.
Megan: Oh, that’s, uh, great. Well, I guess I’ll see you around.
Mark: See you round.
The apartment. Megan is in her room, alone with Jack. Jack won’t stop crying.
Megan: I’ve tried everything. Bathing, feeding, dressing, undressing, walking around, every toy you’ve got, and you still keep crying, you bloody baby. You’re driving me batty.
(She picks Jack up and shakes him. Child Services enters.)
Child Service Agent 1: Miss Warrell, we’re here to take you’re child away.
Child Services Agent 2: He’ll be removed from you’re custody and placed in a home that might possibly perhaps be slightly marginally safer than this one.
(Child Services exits with Jack. Megan runs to the phone.)
Megan: Mark, it’s Megan. They’ve taken Jack away. He wouldn’t stop crying and I shook him and they came and took him away.
Mark: Hold on. I’ll be right with you.
Megan: Oh, I really appreciate this Mark. I could really use a listening ear right now, you know.
Mark: Oh, I’ll do better than be a listening ear. Just you wait and see.
Outside the Child Services offices. Megan and Mark stand in front of the doors. Behind them is an army of mercenaries, equipped with high-powered automatic weapons.
Mark: Let’s go in.
Megan: Oh honey. (Gives him a peck on the cheek. They storm the front doors of the office. They are met by Child Services, who also have an army of well-equipped mercenaries. The two armies fight. Eventually, Megan and Mark manage to get to where the babies are kept.) Oh Jack, I’m so sorry. I’ll never shake you again, and I’ll love and care for you better than any mother ever.
Child Services Agent 3: That’s nice. Unfortunately, you’re kid’s retarded now.
(Megan and Mark exit the building hand in hand.)
Mark: You know, I’m really glad we did this. You see, my mother gave me up for adoption and it was so horrible. I would much rather have been raised by a struggling single teenage mother than by my loving adoptive family.
(They hug. Jack falls out of Megan’s arms and lands on the floor on his back.)
The future. Megan and Mark, horribly mutated, are walking around a pond of nuclear waste. Jack, severely retarded and also horribly mutated, walks behind them.
Mark: Oh, sweetheart, I love you.
Megan: Oh, honey, I love you, too. We have the life I’d always wanted.
Images of them walking around the pond over the closing credits.
Based on”(megan) 2” by Mary Hooper.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Just picked up WCHM Norwich.
Wow, John Tesh was actually talking about a couple interesting things last night.
Anyone know where I can find recordings either of FM subcarriers, HD radio stations, or digital television subchannels?
Wow, John Tesh was actually talking about a couple interesting things last night.
Anyone know where I can find recordings either of FM subcarriers, HD radio stations, or digital television subchannels?
Friday, May 12, 2017
The classroom. Mr. Kumar is standing at the front of the class. Megan and Claire are passing notes back and forth.
Megan: Oh, brilliant, top ten signs you’ve hired the wrong kid to shovel your walk.
Claire: Your’s is great, too. Top ten things over heard at this year’s Country Music Awards.
Mr. Kumar: Of course it is possible to be pregnant and still have periods.
Claire: OK, now top ten songs with the word love in the title.
(Megan takes the note and writes: November, December, January, February, March.)
Mr. Kumar: Claire, Megan, what are you doing? Give me that note. (He makes his way to Megan’s desk and picks up the piece of paper. He then walks back to the front of the classroom and begins to read) Top ten songs with the word love in the title. (Glances down the list) November, December, January, February, March. Ah come on, you can’t forget “Whole Lotta Love”, man.
Claire: There you are!
The last place I ever would have expected to find you would be in the library. What are you doing in here anyway?
Megan: Oh, just looking up stuff.
Claire: Why are you in the Pregnancy And Parenting section?
Megan: Oh, I meant to take out an encyclopedia.
(She goes over to a shelf of encyclopedias and picks one up. She and Claire exit the library. Vinnie, the library monitor and Megan and Claire’s classmate, blocks there way.)
Vinny: Hey dere. Yous know your not sposda take encyclopedias out of de library. What de heck is wrong wit you.
She takes a toy hammer out of her backpack and smacks their kneecaps.) OK, yous can go now.
(Megan and Claire walk out of the library with the encyclopedia.)
The apartment. Megan and her mom are standing in the kitchen.
Mrs. Warrell: Well, honestly, I don’t know what’s wrong with you lately, I really don’t. I only have to say the slightest thing for you to go off the handle.
Megan: Well, that’s because I’m pregnant.
Mrs. Warrell: For goodness sake, I thought I raised you better than that.
Megan: Actually, you didn’t. You and Dad fought for the mahjority of my childhood. Then after he left, you were so ticked off at the world you hardly even talked to Ellie or me. When it came to talking about sex, you just gave me a book.
Mrs. Warrell: Oh lots of parents give their children books and they know not to get pregnant.
Megan: True, but you gave me a book on the history of blacktop pavement.
The principal’s office. Principal Springer and vice principal Polvich are seated at their desks. Megan and her mother are sitting in chairs in front of the desks.
Principal Springer: So, Mrs. Warrell, tell me how you felt when Megan first told you she was pregnant.
Mrs. Warrell: Well, I felt disillusioned as well as a certain amount of responsibility on my part because (Her words are drowned out by the beeper)
Megan: Well, Mom, I take responsibility, too, but I know if we pull together we can (her next words are also drowned out by the beeper)
(Megan and her mother begin hitting each other with their chairs.)
Screen Crawl: Megan’s coma lasted for the remainder of her pregnancy. Thus, her baby was delivered by caesarean.
Based on “(megan)” by Mary Hooper.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
LISTEN TO US: THE WORLD’S WORKING CHILDREN
The following over the opening credits:
Scenes from the funeral procession of Amil Masai.
Amil Masai was sold to a carpet factory at four years old for twelve dollars. After six years of toiling in said carpet factory, Masai escaped and went to live with his mother and sister in Lahore.
“I went up to the apartment door and my mom answered and she said, “Screw it anyhow, you can stay.”
Being in a new city and back with his family opened up a world of opportunities to Amil Masai.
“Before I would have to work in the carpet factory six days a week for thirteen hours a day, but when I moved back with my mother and sister, I found this other carpet factory where the guy let me work only twelve and a half hours a day. I was so overjoyed because this meant I could attend school covertly for a few minutes a day.”
In 1994, Masai received the Rheboc Human Service Award. This was really special for Amil since the Rheboc factory down the road employed many of his schoolmates.
“I was tight with a guy who worked there and he’d slip me an extra pair of shoes when he could.”
A week before he received the award, Amil spoke at Senor Huesos Junior High. Amanda Luze remembers that visit well.
“We were all twelve but his hands were like a four year old’s. He sat on a chair in our classroom and his feet didn’t even touch the floor cause of all the stuff that had happened in the firecracker factory or wherever. We all made fun of him to his face afterwords.”
What is child labour? I thought this would be a good question to ask before I set about making a documentary on this subject. I travelled to the home of Bertha Hardwick, a prominent figure in the United Nations.
“Child labour is any labour that involves children.”
“So we’re not just talking about what we typically think of as child labour that goes on in third world countries?”
“No. Any form of children working is child labour. If parents expect a child to do chores around the house, for example.”
“But aren’t chores a necessary part of a child’s development, teaching them responsibility and helping them to care about others?”
“Well, how do you define “child”, then?”
“A child is anyone under eighteen.”
“So a teenager working in a fast food restaurant is child labour?”
“Yes, and what makes it worse is the restaurant or whatever business it is is exploiting that teenager because they pay them less.”
“Well, yes, a teenager working in a fast food restaurant is payed less than an adult but a teenager doesn’t have the expenses an adult has.”
“It doesn’t matter; it’s still child labour.”
“I said it’s child labour!”
(Henry enters, slamming the door behind him and heading immediately for the stairs.)
“This is my son Henry”
“Henry, would you please pick your backpack up off the floor, please.”
Henry: “F*** off.”
Traditionally, most child labour in the developing world was done by men, but this is changing. I spoke to the owner of a carpet factory.
“I had been reading the works of Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinam, people like that, and their books really got me thinking. I made a commitment to hire more little girls, get them out of the house and show them they are just as capable of being exploited as boys. In fact, I think their fingers are even more nimble than the boys are.”
“By the way, do you happen to know anything about the death of Amil Massai?”
(The fire alarm goes off.)
“OK kiddies, fire drill. Make your way out of my factory in a somewhat orderly fashion.”
In the developed world, unions are an important way of ensuring workers are treated fairly. However, there are other ways of getting what you deserve. Tony “The Bat” Moneno explains.
“This guy came to us and said the workers at his place of employment hadn’t had their pay in weeks. I sent one of my guys in to negotiate. The guy goes into the owner’s office and says, “You like bein able to walk?” and just like that the employees get their paychecks.”
Immigration to the first world can also help with the plight of labourers in the developing world, giving them new opportunities and a better life. Bertha Hardwick:
“Immigration is a great thing. Moving to the West can improve the lives and the job prospects for so many people. Granted, we can’t find jobs for a percentage of people who are already here so logically we shouldn’t be letting so many more people in but who cares about logic.”
Now let’s take a look at specific work children do.
As we have already shown, many children work in factories sewing jeans or weaving carpets.
“It’s not so bad here. The boss has instituted formal Friday. Every Friday we get to dress up in our school uniforms. Kind of gives us the feeling of being there, you know.”
Other children work in match factories.
“Well, unlike many factories of this nature we managed to form a union. The hours are still long, we still get beaten regularly, we’re still treated like animals, but now we’ve won the right to smoke cigarettes on the job.”
(Child drops cigarette onto pile of matches. The factory blows up.)
Many girl children are employed as domestic servants. An anonymous former child domestic dared to come forward to me.
“I was expected to work eighteen hours a day seven days a week for the family. I was beaten every day and the children hated me. The thing that was really horrible, though, was the family insisted on calling me “Mr. Belvadeer.”
Sadly, many young girls around the world are employed in the sex industry. Bertha Hardwick:
“I think one of the main things that would help prevent girls around the world, especially in third world nations, from getting into the sex industry would be if they were given an equal place with boys at home and in the workplace.”
“What about the fact that in the West we’ve had feminism and equality for women for decades and girls are more exploited sexually than ever before?”
“I’m not sure I follow.”
“I mean you see the sexualisation of women everywhere here in North America from the 13 billion dollar porn industry to legitimate movies to advertisements to packaging to the evening news, how would increased equality for girls in developing countries keep young females from being exploited sexually?”
“Not to mention the increased sexualisation of young girls in the industrialized world, from lingerie for ten year olds to advertising to music aimed at preadolescents.”
“Henry, get the gun which I pretend I don’t have because people knowing I had it would get me kicked off the UN gun control committee.”
“Get it your f***ing self, Mom.”
Now let’s return to how youth in the industrialized world are exploited. We spoke to one youth at a popular fast food restaurant. Darren wished to remain anonymous and we respect his privacy.
“Yeah, I work behind the counter at Burger Express here in Newberg, Ontario Canada. It’s really hard because you have to put the food in the boxes and that’s really hard. Also, you have to stand here for, like, two hours without a break so you’re standing here staring at the same thing for two hours and that freaks me out. Oh, and also I don’t get long enough smoke breaks.”
“What is your pay like?”
“Well, I get minimum wage which sucks because even though I’m young I have a lot of expenses, important expenses like Doritoes and video games and stuff. And, I mean, living in my parents’ basement isn’t free. Well, actually it is.”
“And just how old are you, young man?”
Fortunately, some young people are taking steps to end their exploitation. We spoke to a couple of prominent young labour activists:
(Reads from a piece of paper)
“Well, we were working in this fast food restaurant. They were employing a lot of teenagers part-time so they didn’t have to give them breaks. Also, we were concerned about the quality of the food. We had concerns about the impact the restaurant had on the environment because it served it’s food in cardboard boxes on styrofoam dishes. Of course, styrofoam just goes in the garbage.”
“Actually, styrofoam is recyclable now.”
“Yes. It isn’t recyclable everywhere, but some towns take it and probably more will follow in the future.”
A bunch of us marched into the manager’s office and demanded he make changes. He pointed out that he could offer food made from higher quality ingredients and using real dishes. He also said he could pay us more, so we demanded he do so. Surprisingly, he acquiesced to all our demands. Now, what with offering real dishes and high quality food and paying us workers more the manager had to charge more for the food. A lot of the customers were teenagers and when the food got more expensive they stopped coming into the restaurant because they couldn’t afford the increased prices. This led to a decrease in customers which eventually led to the restaurant closing and all of us loosing our jobs, but we proved our point.”
One of the activists also faced another problem in the workplace:
“Once I was standing around gabbing to my friend instead of doing my job and I mentioned I didn’t have enough money for a trip to Toronto I was gonna take. One of the assistant managers overheard me and suggested I stand on the street corner and make a couple extra bucks. At first I thought, “Oh my gosh, he’s sexually harassing me.” I was shocked. I asked around about what the guy had said and fortunately it turned out he was just a jerk.”
The activists have sparked off something of a grass roots movement.
“Yeha, we’ve inspired people to do this at restaurants across the country. The same thing has kinda happened that happened to where we worked at. Mostly local teen hangouts, too. Kind of a shame.”
“Yeah, eh. It’s apparently led to a big increase in teens hanging out on street corners, doing drugs and beating up old people.”
“But we’re gonna start a group to get that problem fixed, too. Then we’ll have a perfect world.”
“Yeah, these towns should, like, open up some, like, places where teenagers can work and be useful, some restaurants, maybe.”
The UN has decreed that primary schools in developing countries must teach children basic and useful skills. A delegation of representatives from developing countries responded that it would implement this proposal right after primary schools in developed countries did.
It occurred to me it might actually be a good idea to travel to the third world and talk to child labourers about what they wanted.
(A Pakistani carpet factory)
“Well, it would be nice to have a big water cooler. Maybe even a coffee machine.”
(The factory owner enters.)
“Hey everyone, someone in here is having a birthday. Is it Ahmed?”
“And how old is he?”
“Well, Ahmed, in celebration of your birthday, I have a muffin basket here, from which I have eaten all the muffins. You are seven, correct?”
“Yes, I’m seven years old today.”
“Then I will hit you in the head seven times with this basket.”
(The factory owner hits Ahmed in the head seven times with the basket. A child comes up to the factory owner.)
“Boss, I am going to need next week off because I am going to a conference on child labour to talk about how you mistreat us and exploit us. Would I be able to have that time off, please?”
“I don’t see why not.”
I then traveled down the road to a soccer ball factory to get the opinions of a different group of children.
(Talking to a three year old girl seated at a loom)
“Do you want fair working conditions?”
“Do you want the chance to go to school?”
“If these demands couldn’t be met through arbitration would you be willing to have an appointed party negotiate for reduced hours and a reduced but adequate education payed for by your employers?”
One effective way to help end child labour is to put pressure on companies that employ child labour or whose suppliers use child labour. Several years ago a clothing chain was lobbied to stop using children in its factories. People threatened to stop shopping at the company’s stores if it continued to use children to sew it’s clothing. The chain didn’t want people to stop shopping at it’s franchises so it promised to stop using child labour. Now, the factory employs girls who have graduated from school. These girls have come to the city to better their lives. They work eighteen hours a day for five cents an hour and have their pay suspended if they take a break. The important thing though is, the factory doesn’t employ children anymore.
(During the following, a clock is shown making it’s way to 11:00.)
There are other solutions to the problem of child labour. However, little Timmy, my cameraman has to get to bed, and the Child Cameraperson’s Union only allows me to keep him until 11:00 p.m. on a school night anyway. However, I would encourage you to search for solutions to the exploitation of children yours…
Based on “Listen to Us: the world’s working children” by Jane Springer.