Message to the Masses… Don’t Give Up ~ Vid of the Day

Let’s examine the synergy among [1] The literary masterpiece Grapes of Wrath authored by John Steinbeck, [2] the dust-bowl, Depression-era, poverty-stricken people pics snapped by photographer Dorothea Lange and [3] this post’s Vid of the Day song, Don’t Give Up composed by Peter Gabriel.

These three distinct forms of human communication interacted thusly. Gabriel drew inspiration for his song from Lange and I drew inspiration for this post from Steinbeck, Lange and Gabriel.

And while our avenues of creative expression have differed… in this instance, all roads do lead to the same destination… i.e. our concurrence that the devastating Haves vs. Have Nots socioeconomic schism has been plaguing civilization, practically, from time immemorial.

From there, I travel onward to point out how [1] this class war has been dramatically intensifying ever since Inauguration Day 2017 and [2] commoners (such as yours truly) could NEITHER expect the ethics and empathy barren fake prez to ever stand down in that war NOR depend on him to even deliver any commiserating, reassuring, “nothing to fear but fear itself”, folksy, FDR-esque Fireside Chats.

NOPE, not when fearmongering and fomenting misery within the masses is the entire Trumpian shtick… not when he’s too damned preoccupied with burning down America and too intent upon Tweeting 7+ billion souls into an early, irradiated, mass grave.

Considering that Black Hole of Republican leadership, where not one photon of common sense and compassion can ever escape outward, there can be no help from DC. We’ll have to deal with our profound despair / depression… all on our own.

That’s where motivational music such as Gabriel’s Don’t Give Up can come to our rescue. And that’s precisely what Gabriel had in mind when he penned and performed his duet with Kate Bush.

That’s where the video’s imagery… the embracing couple, slow dancing beneath our Moon as it eclipses the Sun… enlightens us… suggests that when we turn to and stand by each other… unite to face down the dark days of despair… we can emerge re-energized / revitalized at the moment the sunlight begins to reappear… that… since total eclipses are relatively rare… maybe… just maybe our dark days will be few?

Even if we have yet to find a kindred spirit to validate us / commiserate with us… trust me when I say that such people do still exist. I am speaking from my recent, almost jaw dropping, personal experience and do plan to blog more about it soon… likely later this week.

There is one more song interpretation worthy of mention. That Don’t Give Up resolve can also serve as a rallying cry for us to vote… i.e., cast our ballots to cast out our sworn, political enemies from office…. ASAP!

 

In the event that YouTube issuess ever cause the above vid to vanish, Peter Gabriel’s sentiments appear below…

 

Peter: “In this proud land we grew up strong… We were wanted all along… I was taught to fight, taught to win… I never thought I could fail. No fight left or so it seems… I am a man whose dreams have all deserted… I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name… But no-one wants you when you lose.”

Kate: “Don’t give up ’cause you have friends… Don’t give up you’re not beaten yet… Don’t give up I know you can make it good.”

Peter: “Though I saw it all around… Never thought that I could be affected… Thought that we’d be last to go… It is so strange the way things turn… Drove the night toward my home… The place that I was born, on the lakeside… As daylight broke, I saw the earth… The trees had burned down to the ground.”

Kate: “Don’t give up you still have us… Don’t give up we don’t need much of anything… Don’t give up ’cause somewhere there’s a place where we belong… Rest your head… You worry too much… It’s going to be alright… When times get rough… You can fall back on us… Don’t give up… Please don’t give up.”

Peter: “Got to walk out of here… I can’t take anymore… Going to stand on that bridge… Keep my eyes down below… Whatever may come… and whatever may go… That river’s flowing… That river’s flowing. Moved on to another town… Tried hard to settle down… For every job, so many men… So many men no-one needs”

Kate: “Don’t give up ’cause you have friends… Don’t give up you’re not the only one… Don’t give up no reason to be ashamed… Don’t give up you still have us… Don’t give up now we’re proud of who you are… Don’t give up you know it’s never been easy… Don’t give up ’cause I believe there’s a place… There’s a place Where we belong…

Kate & Peter: (Repeat 4 times) “Don’t give up… Don’t give up… Don’t give up.”

 

 

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There’s Still So Much More of Our Work to be Done

 

Once again, it’s Labor Day in America… a “holiday” which:

  1. Ushers in the unofficial end of summer.
  2. Reminds students it’s time to return to their classrooms.
  3. Supposedly honors all industrious workers who’ve ever opted in to the once upon a time, time honored, time for money trade-off.

Well, I suppose, two out of three ain’t bad. To elaborate…

Oh, what an inequitable trade off item #3 usually involves.

Oh, what an utterly meaningless holiday this has become. How so?

Well, workers (who can still think for themselves) have become painfully aware of how, typically, their big bosses wallow in their own astronomical, wildly disproportional salaries and perks… how management feels no obligation to pay a living wage, provide job security and offer a comprehensive benefits package (inclusive of health insurance, paid sick / vacation days and pension plans). In some cases, these big shots even shirk their responsibility of providing a hazard-free work environment.

Without a doubt, such woes are closely related to that bloodsucker, who fronts the present-day DC régime (a foul, fetid, festering government / corporate mash-up). Throughout his pathetic, parasitic career, he has, personally, screwed over labor… e.g., stiffed them on paydays, outsourced their jobs and engaged in union busting.

Yet, hypocritically, he feigns outrage over his very own deplorable business tactics… has successfully suckered in his low information, gullible supporters into bogusly believing he’s the “good guy” who will fight to prevent immigrants from “stealing” their jobs.

To emphasize here, he does ALL OF THAT in spite of the fact that immigrants are NOT actually displacing all that many American workers.

You see, what he has failed to mention is how these jobs oft involve FIELDS most Americans would find unappealing. In fact, these jobs LITERALLY CAN INVOLVE FIELDS… the harvesting of fruit and vegetable crops (oft under horrific working conditions). Similar workplace hellholes shackle slave labor to sweatshop sewing machines. Either way, workers toil overtime and work their fingers to the bone while beastly taskmasters (literally?) crack the whip.

SO folks, unless you view these as attractive career opportunities, don’t ever blame immigrants for your having a tough time finding a new job. We should not be envious OF them… we should feel sorrow FOR them. If our society’s priorities weren’t so totally F’d up, instead of ICE agents rounding up and deporting immigrants, federal agents would be driving the reprehensible, slave driver bosses out of America.

I’m sure many of my international readers would concur that my abovementioned woes are hardly unique to America.

I’m sure we, the readers of John Steinbeck’s literary masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath, would agree his plot presages the horrific, present-day dismal working conditions, crappy wages, workplace violence and societal upheaval.

So what’s a working stiff to do, huh?

Well, the problem solving must begin with a truly enlightened president / world leader, who would NEVER embrace wretched, low road tactics such as fanning the flames of racism. To get totally real here… most joblessness is actually caused by corporate greed, union busting, outsourcing, automation and workers’ lack of training / marketable skills.

No learned leader would ever fight to preserve the abysmal status quo of today’s undereducated and unskilled workforce. Allocating tax dollars to pay unemployed workers, of course, would be still be a necessity BUT how much better life would eventually get were he to also funnel additional funds into programs designed to educate and train his out of work compatriots. Education also must be ongoing… i.e., keep up with each and every new technological advance. In other words, our education does not end until the day each of us dies. For all we know, it doesn’t end even then.

Folks, I saw, first hand, how President Lyndon B. Johnson’s progressively minded government functioned. For four summers (spanning 1963 – 66) my own father, a public school teacher, had applied for and received a generous U.S. government stipend to attend college classes and wound up earning his Masters Degree in Chemistry. Bettering himself resulted in his earning a substantially bigger paycheck… of course, not before teachers had also won the rights to organize labor unions… to collectively bargain for a living wage, benefits and smaller class sizes… to go on strike whenever necessary.

Folks, a strong, healthy, happy, unionized productive workforce plays a major role in making America… indeed, every other nation… great!

This Labor Day… and for as many future Labor Days as it may take… we must remind ourselves that there’s still so much more of our work to be done… and that begins with educating / changing attitudes of governments, management and labor.

Meaningful work, which fully enriches our lives, cannot be ours until governments… not only in America but worldwide… cease and desist from devastating workers’ pay and rights.

Labor Day must, once again, become a true holiday… one, where the powers-that-be wholeheartedly honor each and every trainable person in possession of a strong work ethic… ensure every one of them a living wage, comprehensive benefits package, job security and a hazard free workplace.