Contributor Interview: Tytus Zink

What’s your favorite anti-capitalist book or film?

At the moment, the film Sorry to Bother You. I got the delight of seeing it for the first time in a theater full of socialists, with Boots Riley doing a small interview after the fact. The comedic and surreal horror of the film only emphasizes, not masks, the very real horror of capitalist exploitation, especially for the Black working class.

What radicalized you? How did you first become critical of capitalism?

I wish I had something more interesting to say here. But in truth, it was a slow burn. A gradual unlearning of garbage I’ve been taught, replaced over time by more thoughtful, compassionate ideas from those I already considered to be thoughtful, compassionate people. There was no grand realization, no life-changing event. One day I called myself an anarchist, just because it felt like the right word for me and what I believed. And that was that.

Everyone has a ridiculous work story. What’s yours?

There is no shortage of ridiculous work stories after you’ve worked at a gas station. My favorite of them starts with this exchange between the other coworker at the front counter and a customer…

Customer: How much for a gas can?

Coworker: $15
Customer: Oh… how much for an empty large cup?
Coworker: Without a drink? You can have it for free.
It was not until the customer had already made it back out to the gas pump that my coworker realized their mistake. When confronted, the customer’s response was to pour out their gas-filled up into the nearest trash can.

What inspired your story for ProleSCARYet?

How futile and frustrating workplace discrimination laws are in a so-called “right to work” state. Someone can do everything right – be friendly, efficient, hardworking, the model employee – and still be fired just because their boss feels like it. Even if they were fired because of discriminatory reasons, the burden of proof is on them, not their boss. I suppose my story is wishful thinking on my part, considering what I think of those bosses who would exploit this.

It’s also loosely inspired by a song by They Might Be Giants.

Interested in reading Tytus’s story and eighteen others? Pick up ProleSCARYet here!

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