Tuesday, April 19, 2011



1848

"Look, employment is basically when you walk up to the ruling class, bend over, grab your ankles and say 'enjoy me,'" I told this guy. "A union is just a prophylactic."

Oh, the look on his face. You could just see the images click into place, the significance of them. But actually I didn't really say that. I said that to myself afterward, when I thought of it, which is when I come up with my most clever lines, the ones that please me, anyway, when I'm in a perfect world where we sit around a campfire under the moonlight and roast jet fighters on a spit like you'd roast a duck or a pigeon or a wild goose.

But what is it with these people, the working class, this Middle Class they like to call themselves, I mean people who work for a living, where is the disconnect? These tea baggers being led around by the nose by big money Republican operatives? The rich are screwing us, so let's let them screw us better. Let's help them out. How is it that the working class in the United States buys this? I can think of only two reasons. Either they're stupid, or they're stupid.

This guy. He'd been giving me that standard line that Conservatism talk radio and Fox News provides for members of the working class who start to wake up, about how unions started out as a good idea but then this or that happened and then they plug in some anecdote about how unions came in and the factory closed down, and that finalizes it in their minds, or like the guy the other day who was ranting about Obamacare and then launched into an anecdote about the illegal immigrant he ran into in the waiting room who was going to have over $35,000 in bills after his wife got out of the hospital and he would just not pay it, and that one anecdote explains the whole thing. It had nothing to do with Obamacare but it explained Obamacare, to him. It gave him somewhere to direct his anger and his fear, and his stupidity.

My Mom is third generation German immigrant. Her grandparents came over in 1850. They were what are called 48ers, really. There was revolution in 1848, and a potato famine at the same time. She grew up in the countryside outside a small town in northern Indiana, around relatives who were all farmers. She still uses expletives that are German, like ach der lieber, which means oh my heavens, or says sayings that have German in them and have the kind of linguistic construct a non native speaker would use, like "Too soon old and too late smart." I like that saying. It explains a lot of things. It doesn't exactly explain why the working class supports this blood thirsty Capitalism that is consuming us day by day, but it gives me something do with my fear and my anger, and my stupidity.





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