Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yabba Dabba Doo! It's Saturday Caffeine Rantin' Time!

I happened on a blog the other day that I meant to bookmark and revisit because it was a blog of good thoughts by a similarly left-leaning fellow Texan. But, dammit, I didn't. And now I can't even do a guy the good turn of name-checking or linking because he's lost in Alaska Ted's series of tubes. But, trust me, it was good.

I was much taken by a bit he did bemoaning the plight of the American working class. He raised good questions like... what is the American working class? To him, Fred Flintstone was the quintessential American working class hero. Funny but too true. Serious students may balk, but could you really go wrong looking for the archetypal American everyman in cartoons? Cartoons have long been our "mirror", our art form, the expression and reflection of our popular culture... a uniquely American art for a people too short on free time and interest to hang around galleries stroking their chins like homosexual Europeans. But I digress...

Go back to the Eisenhower (or Flintstones era) and there were guys rolling out of bed every weekday morning all over the country to make stuff with tools and machines. This really was the American Dream. It was a working class American Dream that had nothing to do with the Disneyfied version where hopeless po' folk get baptized by money and become William Randolph Hurst or Elvis Presley. Back then the working man, in all his surly, ass-scratching magnificence, was America.

Yes. There was a time when you worked for a living unencumbered by embarrassment. You limited your personal dreams to maybe bowling a 300 on the weekend or getting a color TV... and you were applauded for it. You were a real guy - a guy like Fred Flintstone not prone to pussyish self-loathing or getting suckered into "grassroots" political movements bankrolled by wealthy fascists hell-bent on destroying you... you just worked to keep America ticking along as the world's top economy.

But this stuff is now as stone-age as Bedrock's world of pterodactyl planes and foot-powered sedans. Now, thanks to the domination of our society by overprivileged parasites, hard work is seen as the exclusive purview of the sucker - while the scams and cons hatched on Wall Street are what we're supposed to look up to, what we're supposed to depend on to save our flailing economy. The rich have ripped the guts out of the dream.

Thanks to all this, we're now living in a country where collective bargaining has been re-zoned as a dirty word to make life easier for the parasites at the top of our heap. We're living in a country where goons like Maine governor Paul LePaige get to commit symbolic genocide on the working class by erasing pro-labor murals at the department of labor. And GE, the world's largest corporation, pays no taxes and gets a net tax benefit from the I.R.S. of $4.1 billion.

So if you work, reflect on this as you enjoy your union-won weekend. Reflect on this too when it's Monday and you roll back to work to perform whatever thankless task you do. There was a time when you would have been appreciated and not obliged to carry around festering inferiority complexes that metastatsize into teabagger anger... you were proud, corporations paid taxes and America didn't blow. Just ask Fred Flintstone.


1 comment:

  1. "Cartoons...a uniquely American art..."

    Really? I'd always thought they were invented by the staff at Punch Magazine, in between them buggering each other over the office desks. And the animated version were invented by the French, in between them buggering each other up against la cinématographe.


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