If you think about it, every day we receive countless services from complete strangers — the newspaper delivered to your door, the trash picked up at the crack of dawn, the fresh fruit for sale at the supermarket. There's a whole army of invisible workers powering our economy who we rarely get to hear about. From the warehouse workers who fill out our online orders, to the migrant laborers who pick our food, even down to the unpaid office intern, this hour we're talking about the hidden workers who make it all happen.
A few years ago, journalist Mac McClelland went undercover to find out what really happens when you order something online from a site like Amazon. As it turns out, all that ecommerce is still largely driven by humans, many of whom work backbreaking temporary jobs in massive warehouses.
For two years, medical anthropologist Seth Holmes followed and worked alongside migrant farm laborers all along the west coast. As part of his research, he even snuck in to the U.S. from Mexico, all in order to find out what life is like for an agricultural worker.
In 2009, Eric Glatt did the unthinkable for an unpaid intern — he sued his employer, Fox Searchlight Pictures, alleging that they violated the Labor Department's standards for internships. He describes why he believes unpaid internships threaten workers everywhere.
There was a time when others bagged your groceries, planned your trips and pumped your gas, but now they're just another part of our daily routines. Craig Lambert says these are a few examples of the "shadow work" we've unwittingly taken on in service of companies and other organizations. He warns that it's chipping away at our leisure time, and turning us all into middle class serfs.
Christie Watson's latest novel, "Where Women Are Kings," tells the story of a couple who adopt a seven-year old Nigerian boy named Elijah. The young child has a history of child abuse and violent behavior, and also believes he's possessed by a wizard.
American children grow up playing Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. As adults, they line up for the latest anime movies and hang out in karaoke bars. In other words -- Japanese culture is serious business. So serious that Japan's Prime Minister appointed a "Cool Japan" minister to oversee a multi-million-dollar "Cool Japan" campaign. The goal -- to make Japan one of the world's leading cultural forces. But wait...Isn't it already? In this hour, we explore why we crave Japanese pop culture as we delve into Japan's G.N.C. -- Gross National Cool.
Japanese comics, manga, and animation, anime, are among Japan's most popular cultural exports. Fred Schodt is the guy to talk to about Japan's contemporary graphic arts explosion. He talks about the "God of Manga," Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy.
When you talk about Japanese popular culture, there's one name that towers above all others. Literally. Godzilla. The giant green lizard recently became an official Japanese citizen. William Tsutsui knows all there is to know about this larger-than-life movie star; he's the author of "Godzilla on My Mind."
A Japanese woman was found dead in a Minnesota field in November 2001. Then word got out that she died while trying to find the missing money hidden by Steve Buscemi's character in the movie, "Fargo." Why should she have thought that money was real? Maybe because it says at the beginning of "Fargo" that this is a true story. But that was just one of the Coen brothers' jokes. This whole weird story has now inspired another pair of filmmaking brothers, Nathan and David Zellner, to make the new indie film, "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter."
One of this summer's hot new reads is Dean Bakopoulos' new novel, "Summerlong." It's the story of Claire and Don Lowry. They've been married for a long time. And they're now back in the college town where they met -- Grinnell, Iowa. Claire wanted to be a writer but wound up a stay-at-home mom, while Don is a real estate agent. When we meet them, they're deeply in debt and unbeknownst to Claire, they're also behind on their mortgage. And then everything begins to fall apart.