Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Being There -OR- Walking Distance of History

I've spent a lot of time among the reasonable folk. More than enough to wonder if maybe somebody forgot to `splain something to me a long time ago? Or maybe I wasn't listening when I shoulda been? Maybe if I knew what they seem to know, I could be reasonable too?

As a result of this void in my understanding, I'm constantly at odds with "conventional wisdom". I've been blessed by loved ones who almost seem to appreciate me, or at least pretend to understand my curmudgeonly ways.

This Sunday I'll be hopefully attending the re-dedication of the Haymarket monument. That is to say, I WILL be attending, hoping to recharge my lagging spirit. I approach each May Day with the anticipation that this will be the start, or the re-start of a new consensus. That by strength of numbers and force of will, there will be a better way and better days ahead.

That our materialism will moderate and our humanism will ascend. That we will reclaim what has been lost. I'm fully prepared for disappointment. I'll take what comes, though I must say that the frontal assault on what the Haymarket Martyrs died for has brought a renewed interest in working conditions, workers in general and the scapegoated unions.

I doubt that the speeches will restore my faith. Not likely. Sure there will be nods to the past and promises by "leaders" to fight on, but I fully expect the dais to file off and head for the luncheon. I'll get my edge back from talking to the stragglers. Those who hang around to ask or answer questions. If this year holds to past gatherings, I'll meet a few of the descendents and people keenly interested in what this place represents.

The eight-hour day, the five-day week, access to health care and basic fairness. That these things put me out-of-step with the currently popular trends is a head scratcher. I'd thought we fought and won these battles a century ago. We signed treaties and contracts and everything. In my mind, there's nothing to renegotiate.

As a DFH, I'm all in favor of recycling USEFUL things. But fighting the same battles over and over and over again, when the price we all paid was so high seems absurd.
I guess that's what happens when you vote to transform from a MARKET economy to a CONSUMER economy? You do remember voting for that little altering of terms, right?

Pay no attention to the white knuckle ride your life has become. It had NOTHING to do with the not-so-silent encroachments and reversals bought and paid for with your CONSUMER dollars. When you see the shrugs and hear the concessions being made on your behalf, fully realize the price of your proxy and tacit acquiescence. It's timem to start actively supporting people and things that are actually interested in the day AFTER tomorrow and subsequent days.

Such people aren't that difficult to find. Just look to the fringes where they've been exiled. LISTEN TO THEM with an open mind. Compare/contrast the causes they represent to the shilling and distractions spewing forth from the best government money can buy. Your CONSUMER dollars, once again, at work against you.

Step out and up on May Day 2011. Eyes, ears and minds wide open. Pay attention.
You might just learn something.


Michelle Woe said...

Is this re-dedication happening AT the monument, then?

amber ladeira said...

Dear Watcher,

I wrote a post not too long ago that posits an answer to your question,"didn't we fight for and win these battles a century ago?"

The title, should you wish to check it out, is "Kicking the can down the road: As good as it gets". Really, no good practice or law is forever etched in stone. Often the battle must be fought again AND again. Lately I've asked others if they agree with my glum assessment, and they all have.

The other thing is that it wasn't a whole century ago, more like 75-80 years. (I know, I'm picky,

This world is absolutely no joke all the while WITHIN a joke.
Same stuff, different day.

What can we do but keep on pitchin'
while we keep on bitchin' ?

Best Wishes to you and yours,