OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

The monkey on our back

What do grapes, cucumbers, and monkeys have to do with justice?

Guest blog by Michael Aozasa, OneJustice Office Assistant and googler for justice

In 2012, it was discovered that looking at cute animal pics and videos positively affects productivity. Since that rigorously examined scientific breakthrough has come to light, cute animal videos have become a requisite part of every workday for me at OneJustice.  Last week, in order to properly stimulate my midday productivity, I watched this video.

(Watch it, it’s less than a minute long and science says that you’ll be more productive afterwards. Don’t resist science.)

Hilarious, right? 
I was amped, a video that cute would surely get me through the afternoon slump, but when I tried to get back to work I was more than distracted. I couldn’t get that monkey out of my head.  There was something more to that video and I was going to figure it out. So, I did what all twenty-somethings do when confronted with an unknown. I asked uncle Google about it. 
I watched the full TEDtalk and read a few articles about inequality aversion. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something important in those 58 seconds, and I spent another hour spiraling deeper and deeper into the wikihole.

Nothing it seemed, not even the great and mighty power of the information superhighway, could help me.
I left the office that evening with the special cocktail of dejection and angst that only an afternoon wasted on wikipedia can induce. There was only one thing left to do before I went home. I had to go grocery shopping.

And there, in the produce aisle, I had my archimedean “eureka!” moment.

What if people reacted more like the monkey to inequality?

Eureka moment in the produce aisle – what if people reacted to inequality more like the monkey?

Grapes cost $2.25 per pound and cucumbers cost $1.65 per pound. I know this is obvious, but let us apply these prices to the monkey-economy. The cucumber-monkey is receiving 73 cents for every dollar the grape-monkey receives. Now, I’m not sure that the experimenters intended a sub-textual argument about the gender pay gap, but I can’t help but think that, maybe, the world might be a better place if people reacted to inequality more like the monkey.


Michael Aozasa, OneJustice Office Assistant Michael Aozasa has had an on-again off-again relationship with OneJustice for three years in between his on-again off-again relationship with St. John’s College. In his current role as an administrative assistant he spends most days working with the operations team, googling around the interweb, and occasionally attending staff meetings. When not working or commuting up to the city, he enjoys listening to punk rock, playing ultimate frisbee, and writing autobiographies in the third person.

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