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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Do You Want To Keep Your Job?

Well, then keep your mouth shut, at least when it comes to politics. That was the lesson Glen Hiller learned when he voiced his disagreements with the Bush administration policies at a rally where Bush was present. According to this CNN report,
Hiller was ushered out of Hedgesville High School on Tuesday after shouting his disagreement with Bush's comments about the war in Iraq and the search for weapons of mass destruction. The crowd had easily drowned out Hiller with its chant: "Four more years."
That Hiller was ushered out of the venue as soon as it became clear that he was not a supporter of our President comes as no surprise to me. His employer's actions are also not entirely surprising. Yours truly has never lost a job for expressing his views on state politics, but he has lost jobs for criticizing on-the-job politics. For my general political views I have at times been shunned by many colleagues but it was their right to do so. However, the general trend appears to be that being different from the mainstream on issues such as material pursuit, subservience to authority and non-critical acceptance of the social order is tolerated less and less in all spheres of the American life. And that, of course, affects employment matters.

Now, I am not going to call the actions of Octavo Designs political oppression as, at least formally, that was a legitimate decision taken by a private business. However, in a country where the gap between the rich and the poor is so wide the threat of being deprived of one's income and an attendant plunge into poverty may be an argument strong enough to rule in many,- and effectively that pressure can effectively be used as a tool of political intimidation and oppression.

And before I sign off here,- I have said time and again that wherever politics is what matters most, professionalism vanishes. That certainly appears to be the case with Octavo Designs. I just tried to see their webpage, and all I got loaded into my browser's window was an orange screen. Well, that is not a very interesting read, nor is orange my favorite color. So it looks like Octavo Designs may not be around for much longer if that is the quality of their output.

And if you think I only bash the mainstream media,- not so, at least not all of the time. I am really grateful to the CNN for publishing their story about Hiller.

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