So I missed a post today. I’m sure all ten of you who subscribe to me were just terribly disappointed. What’s going to disappoint you even more is that today’s post isn’t even about a book!
Alright, it’s about 1 AM, and I’ve still got the same cough I’ve had for a week and a half. I had a doctor’s appointment earlier and got a prescription to help with my sinuses draining. I’m still coughing, so I’m up watching my favorite show on Netflix: Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.
Bourdain is a veritable rock star of the food world, a man who will tell you flat out what he thinks of the food, openly mock political correctness (especially vegetarian/vegan culture), and explore cultures most American’s would hold up their fingers in a cross shape at. I know he’s full of himself. I know he cusses like a sailor, smokes like a chimney (pre-2007; he quit when his daughter was born) and drinks like a fish. I know he’s a lot of things that many of you blogger snobs probably don’t like, but I think he’s awesome, at the very least because he gets to travel the world, eat all the time, and write about it. In no way do I get to claim the title of writer just because I blog about random crap, but I dare say I would KILL for a job like that.
On that note, here’s the thing I like the most about Tony: he appreciates the working man. Frankly, I don’t think many people appreciate the working man at all anymore, or even appreciate that they are working class, but Tony can say he’s been there. I’m watching the episode where he picks up a double as a line cook at his old restaurant, and having had a brief stint in the food service industry myself, I have a tiny grasp of the pain cooks experience. In other episodes, he’s remarked that there is something beautiful about those of us who go to our jobs every day that we might hate, but press on anyway. Every single one of us, as that moron John Lennon used to sing, is a working class hero.
I want to change that last word, though. I believe every single person who wakes up every day, ignores the urge to hurt himself (or someone else), and slogs on anyway, praying for purpose and hope, is indeed extraordinary. We may not always feel extraordinary, but when we live to play another day, it’s an accomplishment that no one can take away from us. I think, at one point, you could have been a working class hero, and that the working class was indeed appreciated in America, but not anymore.
We’re not heroes anymore. In an America where small businesses can’t last more than two years tops, where mega-marts and franchises suck us into propping up their ladders, then kick them away from the wall when they hit the top, there are no working class heroes anymore. Corporate America has killed the true heroes by turning the working class against itself by luring it into allegiance with cheap products hot off the conveyor belt, calling it “progress,” and deterring us from the quality of the sweat-crafted, hand made beauty of the local man, calling it “antiquated.” As a result, we carry these moguls on our backs, breaking and tiring every day, believing we couldn’t wipe our very noses without them, and they are apt to remind us that we’d surely perish in their absence. With the government in bed with them, how could they possibly lose?
If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I am. I might not have much room to talk; I do work in healthcare, but I am bitter. I am angry. I have had enough of the lying, the cheating, and the oppression, but what’s more, I’ve had enough of the submission and the buying of the bullshit. We really believe we need them. Even if we’re unhappy, the best we can do is “occupy” some place. I’m fed up. I’m pissed. I’m through with it all. We will NOT get anywhere, we will not be heroes, until we take it back, and we can only take it back by rejecting wholeheartedly whats been served to us in a big steaming pile.
What would I change that last word to? Hopeful, at best, but hero? Hell no. We’ve lost that title.