Monday, September 01, 2014

In Praise of the Proletariat + Monday Humor with KATZ

The union hall is empty, the labor camps tore down.
And everything we worked for lies broken on the ground.
And I'll bet old Cesar Chavez,'d roll over in his grave.
If he could see the working man, how he's become a slave.
~ Larry Gardner Marina, del Rey, California

The Factory Workers 1907

In ancient Rome the proletariat (literally meaning “producers of offspring” because their only “wealth” was their children) consisted of the poor, landless freemen, artisans, and small tradesmen. In the theory of Karl Marx, the term proletariat designated the class of wage workers whose chief source of income was derived from the sale of their laboring power. In the modern world the proletariat can be defined as all of those wage earners who work for someone else. There is also a sub-proletariat (Lumpenproletariat), disenfranchised and oppressed, who we call the unemployed; their plight I must address a future blog post.

On this Labor Day I can think of no better way to recognize the proletariat than the songs that were written and sung as they fought for their and our rights. Much of what these working men and women won during the first three-fourths of the Twentieth Century—the 40 hour work week, health insurance, a retirement income and much more—has been lost in the last thirty or so years under successive Republican administrations.. However, the music continues and may some day re-awaken the labor movement and our freedom from the oppression of the 1% (including the huge, multinationals corporations.
Joe Hill
October 7, 1879 – November 19, 1915

Joe Hill became famous around the world after a Utah court convicted him of murder. Even before the international campaign to have his conviction reversed, however, Joe Hill was well known in hobo jungles, on picket lines and at workers' rallies as the author of popular labor songs and as an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) agitator. Thanks in large part to his songs and to his stirring, well—publicized call to his fellow workers on the eve of his execution—"Don't waste time mourning, organize!"—Hill became, and he has remained, the best—known IWW martyr and labor folk hero.

The Preacher and the Slaves ~ Joe Hill

I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night ~ Alfred Hayes/Earl Robinson—1936 

Woody Guthrie 
July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967

I took a bath this morning in six war speeches, and a sprinkle of peace. Looks like ever body is declaring war against the forces of force. That's what you get for building up a big war machine. It scares your neighbors into jumping on you, and then of course they them selves have to use force, so you are against their force, and they're aginst yours. Look like the ring has been drawed and the marbles are all in. The millionaires has throwed their silk hats and our last set of drawers in the ring. The fuse is lit and the cannon is set, and somebody is in for a frailin. I would like to see everysingle soldier on every single side, just take off your helmet, unbuckle your kit, lay down your rifle, and set down at the side of some shady lane, and say, nope, I aint a gonna kill nobody. Plenty of rich folks wants to fight. Give them the guns. ~ Woody Guthrie

Ludlow Massacre ~ Woody Guthrie

Deportee ~ Woody Guthrie and Cisco Huston

Once upon a time, wasn’t singing a part of everyday life as much as talking, physical exercise, and religion? Our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang while pounding grain, paddling canoes, or walking long journeys. Can we begin to make our lives once more all of a piece? Finding the right songs and singing them over and over is a way to start. And when one person taps out a beat, while another leads into the melody, or when three people discover a harmony they never knew existed, or a crowd joins in on a chorus as though to raise the ceiling a few feet higher, then they also know there is hope for the world ~ Pete Seeger

Talking Union ~ Pete Seeger and The Almanac Singers

Now it's time for the laughs! Let's go get 'em!

Late Night Laughs

David Letterman:
It's Labor Day weekend. Labor Day, of course, is a holiday where people take three days off from being unemployed. 

Jimmy Kimmel:
You know, it's hard to believe. But it's almost time for a new season of "Dancing with the Stars." According to TMZ, the producers have a dream list. I have my dream for the next "Dancing with the stars." His name is Rob Ford, Toronto mayor. If Rob Ford doesn't win re-election, I'm going to try to book him to perform at our office holiday party.

Jimmy Fallon:
A new study found that having a big wedding boosts your chance of having a good marriage. While having a destination wedding boosts your chance of having friends who hate you.

Conan O’Brien:
Yesterday a fight broke out between the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys during a joint practice. Referees told them there's a proper way for NFL players to settle their disputes. It's called murder.

Seth Meyers

The Kardashians are refusing to start filming their 10th season until the people who burglarized their homes over the past few months have been caught. So let that be a message to those burglars. Stay hidden! Trust nobody! You're our only hope!

`Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Corporate America

1. Indecision is the key to flexibility.
2. You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
3. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.
4. Happiness is merely the remission of pain.
5. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
6. Sometimes too much to drink is not enough.
7. The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.
8. The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.
9. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.
10. Things are more like they are today than they ever were before.
11. Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.
12. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
13. Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
14. I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.
15. Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism.
16. If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.
17. All things being equal, fat people use more soap.
18. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
19. One seventh of your life is spent on Monday.
20. By the time you make ends meet, they move the ends.
21. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
22. The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.
23. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
24. This is as bad as it can get, but don't count on it.
25. Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
26. The trouble with life is, you're halfway through it before you realize it's a do-it-yourself thing.
27. Youth and skill are no match for experience and treachery.
28. No amount of advance planning will ever replace dumb luck.
29. Anything you do can get you fired; this includes doing nothing.
30. Money can't buy happiness; it can, however, rent it.
31. Never pass a snow plow on the right.

For a couple of years I’ve been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason: I’m tired because I’m overworked.

The population of this country is 237 million. 104 million are retired. That leaves 133 million to do the work.

There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.

Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.

2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.

Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.

At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work. You and me.

And you’re sitting at your computer reading jokes!

Always self conscious of his lack of ears, whenever Bob would interview a future employee, he would as him “what do you notice different about me?”. If the employee would mention his lack of ears (which often they did), it would be a for sure “no” for the job. However if the employee would mention something else, he would hire the guy. 

One year, at the yearly Holiday business party, Bob approached his most recent hireling and asked him if he remembered the last question he had asked him when interviewing him for the job. “Sure I do” was his reply. “You asked me what was different about you and I said that you were wearing contact lenses.” “Of all things to answer”, Bob questioned curiously, “why was that the thing you noticed?” “Well, to be honest, it was quite simple. How could you possibly be wearing glasses if you don’t have any ears!”

While waiting for a bus, the blind man's dog decided to go to the bathroom all over the blind man's legs.

A passerby commented to the blind man, "What! That dog just went to the bathroom all over your legs, and you are petting him? Why?"

To which the blind man replied, "Madam, I am not petting him, I am feeling for his bottom, so I can kick him."


Sometimes Saintly Nick highly recommends these:

I'm havin' a grand Labor Day

1 comment:

  1. There have only been a handful of times when I've cried when someone I'd never met died, and one of those times was when we lost Pete Seeger.

    Quotes like the one you posted are the reason why.