Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Working Conditions in Meat Packing Factories
February 22, 2021 4:03 AM - Season 8, Episode 2 - Subscribe

This week, again from the White Void of Sad Facts: Winter storms caused problems nationwide, but especially in Texas, which suffered power outages due to Texas disconnecting itself from the national power grid to avoid regulation, or, according to Tucker Carlson and the rest of Fox News, wind turbines. Fallout was so severe that Ted Cruz, a man who has given Texas dozens of reasons to dump him, may actually, finally, face political repercussions for attempting to abandon the state during its hardship and go to Cancun. And Now: People Who Went to Harvard. The main story (19m) has to do with the terrible conditions meat packing workers face on the job, including production quotas so onerous that many workers feel like they have to pee beneath the line or wear diapers on the job to keep up. And Now, finally: Working Remotely Sucks For 'The People's Court," too.

Texas: The show's coverage of Texas's power grid problems (which have been deadly) is damning, showing how Texas had a similar storm ten years ago, with state officials warning that the state must prepare for the next storm, and then they just didn't. One Texas major was spotted saying on social media that "no one owes you are[sic] your family anything," and "nor is it the local government's responsibility to support you during trying times like this!" That man is Tim Boyd, of Colorado City, who resigned after posting it. The rest of his post is pretty awful too: "If you have no water you deal without and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family," and, "Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish[sic]."

The show informs us, if you want to help Texas through this, you can donate at

F. 37: "Redius Roverum," MARS PRESEVERANCE
posted by JHarris (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
See this story should have been the one last week to ease us back into the unrelenting comedy-horror of the show. Still grim meathook (more literally), but more 'capitalism is awful' than 'we are all going to die'.
posted by Marticus at 1:20 PM on February 22, 2021

Although I'm a big fan in general, i really don't like it when the main story is followed by another "And now this" episode. The best segments end with a punch, like a call to action, or a jokey song/ PSA. This week's main segment had no real ending, it just went "...aaaand that's all, bye!"
Maybe it's the pandemic but there is less and less humor and I really need a dose of humor to digest all those grim facts.
Looking forward to next week though.
posted by M. at 12:52 PM on February 23, 2021

It just...wasn’t funny?
There’s usually at least some humor injected into the horror of the main story but every swing was a miss for me.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 4:07 PM on February 25, 2021

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