Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bigger Hammers

America's White Underclass By JOE BAGEANT.

Not to pick on Joe in particular but some thoughts came to me when reading this piece of his mind. Joe talks about the usual "code" words and attempts to give definition to the words "underclass" and "middle class."

Joe: "For instance, for all practical purposes and to most Americans, regardless of race, the term "middle class" means "white." Plain and simple. We all know that, even members of the "black middle class."

Until now I personally had not thought of "middle class" as having a color, but just simply an income level, or the class of Mr. and Mrs. Keeping Up With The Jones. I missed that coding I guess and fell into the making assumptions people. According to the "left", I should have known middle class meant white folk.

According to Joe : "But this comes down to describing human beings solely in terms of their jobs in the capitalist labor marketplace, and assumptions about income and whether one takes their daily shower before they go to work or after they come home. By that definition, anyone of working age who doesn’t have a steady job of the right type, for whatever reason, is in some sort of “economic underclass.” In other words, they are the people that middle class folks feel should damned well be working, if they are over age 18 and have a pulse. (“If I gotta do time in this meaningless workhouse of a nation, you do too!”) This underclass includes any people of color seen on the street at midday during the week, single mothers, and paraplegics too, now that the middle class is paying taxes for handicap parking spaces and wheelchair access to the public shitters."

Again, personally I never gave much thought as to whether a person takes their shower before going to work or after coming home from work. However, husband and self have held jobs where we did the shower before and some after - never worried about the job being the "right type" as long as said job kept our boats afloat at the time.

I guess Joe's rant is about those pesky "bourgeois" folks who he thinks are looking down at everyone else as the "underclass." Does the "middle class" concern itself with why people of color are on the street midday? Single mothers, paraplegics? Although you know, most of those handicap spaces are not taken by paraplegics but by puffing 350+ pound younger people, usually in a new van or SUV, who manage to walk into the store to plop in one of those motorized carts at Wal-mart.

Joe goes on describing this hearty brand of "underclass": "Non-mainstreamers," in socio-demographic speak. Many of these are men who say, "Screw it, I ain’t gonna even bother to work my ass off and be treated like dirt for six bucks an hour. I’d rather shoot pool."

Yep, shoot pool and let the State support those 3 or 4 babies he's got. Maybe the guy can draw a check for that bad back sustained from leaning over the pool table so much. Is shooting pool now code for what real "men" do today?

And Joe goes on to rant about income disparity, his first-hand experience with being a member of the underclass, and the unfairness of the American system, blah blah blah. Boiling it down to his success came because he has real balls. Does that mean successful folks have real balls and the underclass has pool balls?

What struck me in this piece though is: "When it comes to the underclass, there is no arguing that some people are members because they are so damned uneducated they cannot count their toes or read well enough to fill out a job app, the causes of which are too deep and tangled to go into at the moment. Others just don’t care to do the smiling grammatically correct wimp assed customer service zombie thing. They prefer swinging a bigger hammer than that – doing real work, like America used to do."

A bigger hammer. Hmmm. Not too many years ago I remember when the so-called "left" or folks like Joe, were writing rants on that bigger hammer, those "real work" jobs. We were told by guys like Joe that those manufacturing jobs, mining jobs, shower-after-work jobs, although they paid well, were merely slave labor, physically destroying your mind and body, making zombies out of you with repetitive monotonous tedious and sometimes dangerous labor; sapping your soul and strength. They asked you, why should anyone have to put a widget in a widget on an assembly line all day? It's demeaning.

Well, the PTB heard the Joes and have rid the "underclass" or "middle class" of most of those big hammer jobs. And when men and women are offered "bigger hammer" jobs today, the jobs are too roughneck or too destructive to the green folks, or some group will complain and remind you that you should question why these jobs are of any use whatsoever - you could be playing pool or dealing drugs, getting a government check, or doing something easier all day.

And of course, Joe does the usual comparison to some foreign country that has it so much better. In this case Australia where he says a maid told him she makes $19/hour and was going to school with an assortment of public assistance programs. (I guess this means Aussie welfare is better than US welfare.)

According to Joe, if you're an old farty Wal-mart greeter or a Hooters waitress you are a member of the "humiliated and socially oppressed people." You might be a greeter for extra money to play bingo and that short hooter skirt doesn't compare to the sexting pics you send around - you're still mostly humiliated and oppressed by capitalism and the man.

I remember when it would have been humiliating to not work, regardless whether it was six dollars an hour or not. I remember when speaking good English didn't make you a "wimp assed" zombie but someone who was more employable. I remember when people were respected for working any job, period, not given excuses to hang around the pool hall and bitch about life instead of living it.

Guys like Joe, pretending to care while denigrating, and encouraging the ignorance and victimhood of all the "underclass" folks who should have everything and pay little to nothing for it instead of doing "time in this meaningless workhouse nation". Oh woe is us.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dizzney World

There is really nothing of importance to write about.

Tiger Woods skirt-chasing to fill his emotional pit with plastic skanks when he has a good woman at home? Didn't mama warn you about guys like this? Few ever "settle down" and then only because they can't get it up, but now with Viagra ... the old guy in the bar picking up whatever is left at closing time.

How about reaming Obamabush a new one for his peace prizing Afghanistan surge? Or praising him for finally doing something with the issue other than deliberating it.

Could write about the old man Berlusconi's smack in the face with an overpriced religious souvenir.

How about the ever present global cooling, warming, no wait... it's climate change now. It's been proven - it's colder, it's warmer, yep, it's climate change.

How about Governor Patterson's cutting money to schools and municipal funding? It's described as a "fiscal bind" and "budget gaps." When regular folks are in the same situation it's called not having a pot to piss in or a window to throw it from.

There's always the WSWS to pick on. "US firms lose out in bidding for Iraq oil fields." In a clear signal of the declining influence of American capitalism, even in a country conquered and occupied by the US military, companies from China, Russia, Malaysia and Angola, along with several European oil giants, won most of the rights for exploration and development of Iraq’s oil fields. The most aggressive bidder was the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), while Lukoil and Gazprom of Russia, and European firms like Royal Dutch Shell, ENI (Italy), British Petroleum, Statoil (Norway) and Total (France) all won bids. Petronas, the state-owned Malaysian oil company, won the most bids, three, while the Angolan state oil company Sonangol won two.

Duh. I told you 5 years ago - the US is just the muscle, the brains are elsewhere, although apparently some Americans had enough sense to know a good deal for selling out the US when they saw it. It's a clear signal for sure - of the influence of global capitalism mixed with feel-good fuzzy socialism.

But what the hay, we can always sing:

It's a world of laughter,
A world of tears.
It's a world of hopes,
And a world of fears.
There's so much that we share,
That it's time we're aware,
It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small, small world.
(Repeat ad nauseam until you have permanent white matter atrophy.)

Ho hum. I'm going to go out on a limb here and be politically incorrect: Merry Christmas, merry Christmas. Hohoho - for all the old guys, and gals, in the bar. May your pits be filled.

Content © 2005-2020 by Kate/A.