Labor Day: Am I Actually Expected to Celebrate This?

2 09 2013

Labor Day is the most befuddling day in the Western World.  It’s the day of the year we actually celebrate what we spend the other 364 denigrating.  What is so damn great about labor anyway, other than it keeps the lights on, the cable bill paid, and a modicum of peace on the street between 10 and 8? Umteenth cup of coffee and keep the boss off your neck so you won’t loose too much blood on any given day. Labor is hardly to be celebrated: It’s to be gotten over and forgotten in one too many barbecue beers.

We’re not supposed to complain, those of us who have jobs. Even if they do everything to drum us out, try to drive us to the brink to make room for their friends. It’s a good job, on paper.

But a job, even a good job, can at any time turn into a great white whale. It’s all you want in the world until you actually get it, and it beats the rest of your life into a splintered submission. Try floating around in that boat for a while, and just wait for the sharks to smell the chum.

When I hear people and politicians asking for “jobs,” that’s about the most ineffectual thing I’ve ever heard.  We don’t need these things called “jobs,” what we need to ask for and to have are lives — good, quality, happy lives. I would like to have a life, and not this sorry substitute.   A job is a subset of a life, and yes we need jobs — jobs that serve lives, not the other way around.

My grandmother could celebrate Labor, but it’s been one long backlash for workers since the New Deal.  I don’t see anything to celebrate about the Labor Movement, the state of labor, or the state of people’s lives.  That’s why I put all my biscuits in the future of the Working Cat.

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One response

2 09 2013
Invisible Mikey

You could celebrate getting a day off. That’s what I do. Don’t care what else it’s supposed to be about 🙂

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