Eugene Cho

“all i need” by radiohead

Check out this music video for “All I Need” by Radiohead.  Haunting and compelling as it highlights exploitation and trafficking.  And before some of you freak out, I am not insituating that the global economy is about slavery.  Of course not.  But, it’s possible to make a case for a level of exploitation.   Exploitation and enablement/empowerment looks different, no?.

“All I Need”, quite possibly the sexiest song Radiohead has ever written, just became a hell of a lot less sexy…and a lot more important. For the video for the In Rainbows standout, Radiohead has partnered with MTV’s EXIT (end exploitation and trafficking) campaign to create a clip that raises awareness of issues of forced labor and abuse around the world. [read article]

And if you think human slavery and trafficking is an afterthought, you’re dead wrong.  This is one of the informative articles about the grave situation of human trafficking and slavery [LA Times].

Many people are surprised to learn that there are still slaves. Many imagined that slavery died along with the 360,000 Union soldiers whose blood fertilized the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment. Many thought that slavery was brought to an end around the world when most countries outlawed it in the 19th century.

But, in fact, there are more slaves today than at any point in history. Although a precise census is impossible, as most masters keep their slaves hidden, baseline estimates from United Nations and other international researchers range from 12 million to 27 million slaves worldwide. The U.S. State Department estimates that from 600,000 to 800,000 people — primarily women and children — are trafficked across national borders each year, and that doesn’t count the millions of slaves who are held in bondage within their own countries. [read full article]

And these folks are all doing substantive work in the area [h/t charles lee]:

  • Free the Slaves (Free the Slaves liberates slaves around the world, helps them rebuild their lives and researches real world solutions to eradicate slavery forever.)
  • International Justice Mission (Legal Advocates for Justice Around the World)
  • JustOne (Foundation for Relief & Development on Issues of Poverty, Orphans, and Human Trafficking)
  • Stop the Traffik (Abolitionists Coalition of Over 900 Organizations)
  • Not For Sale – Campaign to End Slavery
  • Love 146 – Love146 works toward the abolition of child sex trafficking and exploitation through aftercare, prevention and advocacy.

Filed under: entertainment, , , ,

17 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    I love Radiohead! This is an incredible video. Can’t stop watching it actually.

  2. dreamxchaser says:

    radio head is awesome. but the fact that there is still salves…thats just disturbing.

  3. Kim says:

    I’m just in tears right now.

  4. Eugene,

    You’ve been tagged.

    Grace and Peace.

  5. Kacie says:

    I clicked on the link nonchalantly, ready to watch an intentionally heart tugging video. It hit home when the woman was speaking Indo-Malay that I can understand. Just that much closer to home for me.

  6. Jeff Lam says:

    i’m very conflicted over the issue of sweatshop labor because — let’s face it — the vast majority of everything i own is linked to the exploitation exposed in that video. i can’t get dressed in the morning or but a pair of decent tennis shoes without contributing to the problem.

    but then… there’s jeffrey sachs (the end of poverty) and nicholas kristoff (uber liberal at the ny times) telling me that sweatshops are the key to jumpstarting economic growth in poor countries. so does that mean i should, or shouldn’t buy nikes?

    http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/20000924mag-sweatshops.html

  7. […] and Human Trafficking 14 05 2008 I just read a great blog entry by Eugene Cho about Radiohead’s new video (”All I Need”), in collaboration with MTV’s […]

  8. charlestlee says:

    thanks eugene for writing this entry!

    orgs like us (www.just4one.org) really appreciate people like you who take time to communicate the reality of such social injustices.

    thanks friend.

  9. katie says:

    i was listening to this cd on the way into work today…
    i’m always happy when folks use their celebrity for good/change…in a strange way, it gives me hope.

    slavery is very much still alive in all parts of the world. even the US. 12,000 people a year trafficked into the states. scary. enraging.

    i just went to a conference on the global slave trade in April at Multnomah Bible College (through New Wine, New Wineskins), which opened my eyes further to the atrocities going on in the world today and the best ways to help.

    Check out:
    Shared Hope International (http://www.sharedhope.org/)
    The Daywalka Foundation (http://www.daywalka.org/)
    Transitions Cambodia, Inc (http://www.transitionscambodia.org/)

  10. Melanie says:

    Wow.

    I think I’ll stick it on my blog. Thanks for sharing.

  11. o1hc says:

    this is a powerful video. i’ve never been much a radiohead fan, merely because i just never found myself that much interested in their music. this video has definitely made me a fan.

    on topic: it’s heartfelt to see those who advocate for social justice, especially those who are in the spotlight like famous celebs or artist, they give many of us a voice in a world that seems like no one is listening.

    thanks

  12. aaron says:

    Thanks for posting this!

    This video sure makes me think. It is so hard to know what products to buy… what is good for our brothers and sisters across the globe and what is good for our environment.

    Along similar lines I recommend the Flobots… sort of an interesting mix of hip hop/ rock/ violin. Anyways, they have a couple of songs about injustice… “Rise” and “Stand Up” are good songs. The intro to their most recent CD is good too, titled “There’s A War Going On For Your Mind.” I could not find an official music video of either on YouTube.

  13. spinachflame says:

    You’ve got to love Radiohead. I really like the tracking shot in one of the first sequences where you’ve got the people who awake to a living prison in one shot and there’s a depiction of a cartoon character in a cartoon jail cell in the affluent person’s house. Totally awesome juxtaposition! Says volumes about the level of awareness in the affluent community about those folks who their wealth crushes.

    New cartoons here: http://spinachflame.wordpress.com/

  14. […] campaign.  The cost of what we consume goes a little deeper than amount of money we pay.  Visit Eugene Cho’s blog for more information and for ways you can […]

  15. chad says:

    wow, what a strange mix of emotions – from looking at the programming schedule for MTV last night to watching this video backed by a branch of MTV, how confusing. i feel first like just hanging my head in shame (after reading the article article) that we can’t seem to get anything right here in our country and nothing seems to make any coherent sense and yet, in the same breath we have two media powerhouses producing this heart-wrenching window into the brutal truth of our consumer supply-chain. i want to cry, i want to go fix it. and then i realize i have no idea where to even start.

  16. david k says:

    thanks for posting this – the videos really powerful, but the links to the LA Times article and the various organisations are particularly good.

    cheers,
    d

  17. […] just read a great blog entry by Eugene Cho about Radiohead’s new video (”All I Need”), in collaboration with MTV’s […]

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One Day’s Wages

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People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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