Just Off The Top Of My Head, Here…

…You know what I don’t get?

Here in the U.S., we seem to applaud other countries when the people in other countries stand up for their rights, and fight back and get all angry and shit.  We sit back and mildly yell, “Right On!” from our sofas.

We love the underdogs.

We love to see Mister Smith going to Washington and Luke and Leia getting laid (but not with each other) and everyone fighting for their rights (but getting along and fighting the good fight, sister and brother, before learning that Darth Vader is their father and sort of killed their mother).  We love to see the kicked-in-the-sand guy standing up to the muscle man on the beach.  Archie beats Reggie and gets BOTH Veronica and Betty.  Shaggy and Scooby solve the mystery AND get a snack.

We LOVE this sort of thing.

But we continually throw up our hands when it comes to trying to change our government, no matter whether we stand by it or not.  Whether we vote Republican or Dem.  No matter if we’re happy or not.

We vote, yeah, and some of us are active in local politics or just pretend to be and talk loud.  But none of us tries to save our unions or pool our income and help one another and start small from the ground up and be one another’s brothers and sisters enough to care about each other to the point where we would boycott the Defense Industry or Dick Cheney’s house (one and the same, if you ask me, but that’s beside the point).

The point is…we should be thinking about union workers and stop loving WalMart and remember On the Waterfront and what it’s like to be new in this country and scared but proud and trying to carve out a living and maybe a home and a family one can be proud of.  The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness should not be tied down by our own fellow country-men forming judgments and trying to take away rights just to make this country seem safe and familiar and known.

We came here, from other countries that fought hard through centuries to see people treated fairly and to see that no one goes hungry, and we suddenly forget our roots and no longer care about sweatshops and hunger.  Now it’s, “Pull yourselves up by your boot straps, you lazy ‘git!”.

Hey, I have boots.  They may be ballet flats or sneakers, but they’re my working shoes.  I work.  I work hard.  I only work part time at the moment and I only make $8.25 but I work damn hard and I’m proud.  I am pulling myself up and I will pull myself up until I die.  I doubt I will see retirement.

And I’ll be damned if I let any person judge anyone who is trying to make ends meet, and taking a job that could have a future, by joining a union or any other society or club that might help them get ahead.

Our forefathers were a union of sorts, and they took the time to help form a bigger union, and to make carefully considered laws that would ensure we’d all have the freedom to continue to be a union and make carefully considered laws (or NOT to, as the case may be – which is an excellent point but not one I’m willing to go into at the moment)…

And, and…I’m giving up my soap box now because it’s after 11PM and I’ve been drinking beer and am getting sleepy and have two hard days of work ahead, so, I’ll shut up in a second, but….seems to me that killing off — or simply disliking  — unions is a weird thing, seeing as how America was built by unions.

But, maybe that’s just me.

So, from the top of my head, to the bottom of my tired feet, I remain,

Your hard working, hard drinking friend, who doesn’t understand the way some people think, but will continue to try anyway,





One thought on “Just Off The Top Of My Head, Here…

  1. Remember there is a whole generation that is young and hurting. There will be some fine leaders and activists that is beginning to work on the mess that they have been handed. OWS was the beginning of this move toward changing years of disrespect for workers. I used to think change comes slowly but with the internet we now have, it could happen quickly in just a few years. I used to have to sit and put up with someone butting into conversations with far right taking points. Or a couple of people would yell we don’t talk about politics when something would come up about a local issue like schools. It was like the GOP was reaching into personal social friendships. I was never quite sure if I was the only one who was still a progressive liberal that cared about making a better place for all. I was shocked at the revisionism of history. History is a hobby of mine and I enjoy reading books by historians. When my oldest grandson came home with history books in middle and high school, I would help him study. We would always end up in Wikipedia because he thought I was wrong. He soon learned that the south was in denial. All because of the internet. Just think of all that has happened to change the conversation in politics within the past year. Women who have never exerted themselves as a political voting block took on healthcare for women and took Rush Limbaugh to the wood shed. By the way Rush is not doing too well these days. He has lost listeners and advertisers. Who would of thought. That happened because people like me could use the internet to rally around an isssue. Twenty years a go all I could do was bite my tongue and watch the far right dominate the media and education. Now I can sign petitions, support groups and politicians with small donations that I like and find local groups and pizzas to protesters across the country. I now know people feel like I do because I read their blogs and comments. I couldn’t do that until the end of the 20th century and it took me a few years to figure out that I could. I read all kinds of news papers and articles by real experts when I have time and can find a wifi connection. Lots of us watched Moyers on PBS last week interview the head of the Nurses Union who organized a rally in Chicago last weekend and explained the issues that union was workng on. I know viewers were thinking “good for you and keep giving them hell.” Cheer up Liz…there the smell of change in the air.

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