To Blog or not To Blog
Various rantings, thoughts and points of view from a 29 yr old father living in Canberra.
Friday, October 14, 2005
A night of surprising TV quality..
Morgan Spurlock, better known for his 30 day Maccas binge in Supersize Me, has returned with a new show called 30 Days.
I watch it last night (ok, I drafted this on Friday, so it was last night then) as he locked his credit cards away (a Paypal card too??) and moved to Columbus, Ohio for a month to work, live and breathe on America's (pathetic) minimum wage. ($USD5.15 an hour which is $AUD6.85 an hour. It has not changed in 8 years.) Australia's minimum wage is $12.30 an hour ($USD9.25) and has been applied to move up to $13.00/hour
I like Spurlock. He manages to portray the subject he is attacking with poise and clarity, even though he has to be frustrated and pissed off with a lot of things that he sees and experiences.
So, he and his fiancee Alex, managed to find an apartment in a dingy part of town, (just upstairs from a former crack house!) and with no furniture and no money, they go searching for jobs.
At least they both had jobs pretty much straight away, even though washing dishes and sanding walls are not what you would call career paths.
The interesting thing was, that for those 30 days, their lives pretty much consisted of working, eating, sleeping and commuting. There was barely time (or money) for play or for any entertainment.
Of course, the show was probably editted in such a way as to make the viewer believe this. It worked though, because the main thing I got out of the 60 minute show was a) I am so glad I don't live in America and work a minimum wage job and b) I am so glad that Australia has Medicare!
It cost Both Morgan and his fiancee $300 + to walk into an Emergency Room to get their ailments checked out. The bill of about $1000 for 2 people to visit a emergency room shocked the crap outta me. This is what the temporary and casual workers get for not having a cushy job that includes Health Insurance. So after rent, bond, electricity, food, a little bit of entertainment and then the medical bills, they ended up around $1200 in debt after a month.
Bloody crazy stuff!
It really makes me appreciate what I have, and what I have had for most of my life.Too often we all just take our lives for granted, but I think it would take something like a 30 day experiment, or even a 12 month experiment on minimum wage with nothing, to really understand what it's like to live without luxuries.
Anyway, good on Ten for showing this show, along with the 30 minute drama, The Surgeon, that was on before it. Another quality Australian show that will probably get buried and axed within a year, but at least we get to see them for a short period.
I'm still seething over Channel Seven's decision to axe Last Man Standing, which has been one of my favourite shows of the year and one of the only reasons I turn the TV on lately. I still wish that someone else would pick it up and continue the show, but I guess that's pretty unlikely....
TV that I like to watch?
Last Man Standing
Merrick & Rosso
Graphics and design by Ann Stretton 2001