Monday, December 6, 2010

Soylent Blitzen: What Goes On In The Workshop

I'm not going to use my name. I fear reprisals. Many of you might recognize me, or think you do. All I ask is that you don't speculate about my identity. I am taking a risk by telling you what goes on in the workshop. But the truth must come out.

You know my boss as a cheery, jolly old man with rosy cheeks who loves all the children of the world. What you don't know is that he has hired the same law firm that represented Blackwater/Xe, and they have successfully argued that the North Pole is free from the laws of any government. Management has turned this place into a kind of legal limbo, where the company can do anything it likes to us without restriction. Occasionally Amnesty sends a delegation of observers, but they're a bunch of punk college kids. The big guy shines them on, gives them some cocoa, and everyone goes away happy.

You know how you make toys for all the children of the world at cut-rate prices? Same way the Chinese government does it: You keep people in unventilated sweatshops, work them 15 hours a day, and shoot anyone who complains. The lighting is sparse, and the floors are slippery with oil and eggnog. Industrial accidents are brutally frequent and unreported. We're forced to practice elaborate choreographed musical numbers. Most of us are so exhausted from the hours and sick from the plastic fumes that we simply don't have strength to resist.

And we're fed reindeer. Yes. Those reindeer. You probably thought they had magically-long lives, or that they were fed special food to keep the same team of eight plus one in business all these years. No. A third of the team is culled every year, and the new ones take the old names. They give us the meat to save money, and it's contaminated with all the anabolics they use to make them fly. Elves as young as seven are growing breasts, for chrissakes. You have no idea what it's like to bite into a piece of food, and find a chunk of slightly glowing red snout.

The boss knows what's happening, but he doesn't care. The fat bastard spends all day in his office watching Glenn Beck and downloading swimsuit pictures of Sarah Palin. Sometimes he gets drunk and issues bizarre threats over the intercom system, telling us he's going to get rid of us all and import Oompa Loompas who have smaller fingers, so fewer of them get caught in the Stitcher.

I may be punished for saying these things. But I don't care anymore. I'm not afraid to die. Because in Christmastown, every one of us is already dead.

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