Contributor Interview: Brennan LaFaro

What’s your favorite anti-capitalist book or film?     
When I think of anti-capitalist media, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the aspect of classism, tied directly to racism in many cases. Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer film is a brilliant post-apocalyptic take on classism and the masses rising up. Chris Evans is phenomenal in it, and also he’s Chris Evans. For literature, Chesya Burke’s collection, Let’s Play White was a fantastic collection, but the first story, “Walter and the Three-Legged King,” is powerful storytelling incarnate. Burke does a masterful job making the main character choose between poverty and sacrificing their identity.

What radicalized you? How did you first become critical of capitalism?   
I guess I’ve never thought of myself as radicalized, or even anti-capitalist for that matter, but the inequality between the have and have-nots is, I’d like to say, impossible to ignore. But there are a lot of people real good at closing their eyes to the troubles others are facing. I’ve seen a meme going around that says something along the lines of if scientists observed a monkey hoarding bananas while the rest of their group starved to death, they would study that animal to find out what its issue was. Switching monkey to human and banana for wealth, society places that figure on a pedestal.

Everyone has a ridiculous work story. What’s yours? 
I don’t think I’d consider it ridiculous, but during college I worked at a video rental chain right around the time they were all going under. We were liquidating the store, a three-week process, and all employees were given a mandate that we were not allowed to badmouth the company. Well, when the corporate overlords tell you you’re out of a job in less than a month, but you can only say nice things to the customers during that time, typically you’re going to ignore that edict. Long story short, warnings were issued and ignored, and about 75% of the staff was “fired” effective the day before the doors closed for good. We were told we would not be able to be hired back by this company that would cease to exist about six months later.

What inspired your story for ProleSCARYet? (Spoiler free)
I get real worked up when supervisors/administrators/what have you get power-drunk on their position, when really they aren’t any more qualified than the people assigned to report to them. I saw an article where it came to light that a board of directors for a major company, when reopening the factory after COVID first hit, were taking wagers about how many people would get sick in cramped working conditions that didn’t follow guidelines. “Snap” strays a little bit from this idea, putting us in more of an office setting, but the idea pissed me off so much that the rest of the story kind of wrote itself.

Interested in ProleSCARYet? Get your copy here.

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