Belabor Monday

September 1, 2014

Picasso_bird_goat_dancingIn an unusual natural display, apparently there will be a real sun-up this Monday on California’s north coast — the eastern sky is clear-as-glass with an orange glow forming on the horizon.
Instead of deep, misty fog as been the constant nearly all summer, the sun has a Kipling mystic: ‘An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

Insert Humboldt Bay, maybe, or something, because sunrise-sunshine does have a clear sound if you don’t see it very often. Maybe, too, it’s all in that peculiar-like mind’s eye.

Yet, wait! Hold the iPhone — fog is already seeping into the picture and the sun might not be like thunder this morning after all, but looking now more like a whisper of a sigh’s worth of blazing glory. In the time it took to tap out a few words on my laptop keyboard, the wonder of life has been sucked back up into a formless gray.

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Musician, Dancer, Goat & Bird‘ found here).

An interested person might ask, what doesn’t suck?
Today for one — this day is a holiday for those who labor — and as a retiree now, I don’t won’t to belabor the point, but for me, there’s no longer the horror of a back-to-the-grind Monday morning (although some of you do have this particular Monday off — due to the specialness of the day) and there’s also a dancing goat in my imagination, which always makes for a fun time.
Consider this — it’s better than men who stare at goats, now that’s pure crazy.

Anyhow, this special holiday was born in strife, as all things work-related always do, and was a first stop-gap relating to the shitty behavior of employers — under the work til ya’ drop philosophy — and following the first Labor Day celebration Sept. 5. 1882, a working-person’s no-work holiday didn’t become official for another decade or so, until 1894 when Congress federalized  the day’s significance.
Early on, this particular day gained vast public traction — for years, there were events, rallies and big gatherings in support of the working guy/gal, such as ‘The Workingmen’s Picnic,’ from the St. Paul Daily Globe, Sep. 8, 1885:

“Two thousand men marched over the paved district of the city this morning — two thousand of the bone and sinew of Salt Lake.
From the advance guard of policemen to the last straggling laborer, a line of march stretching over nearly two miles, it was a magnificent showing of those who earn their bread by the sweat of their brows and the skill of their hands.”

And juxtaposition forward to last week and the bone and sinew of right-wing assholes — from Tom McCode, CEO of the shit-headed Freedom Foundation:

Rather than taking a day off on Sept. 1 to honor organized labor, we will mark the final weekend of the summer on the previous Friday, Aug. 29.
We’re calling it Right-to-Work Day.
If you’re going to pay tribute to something, why not the freedom to keep your job even when you choose not to join a union?
I can’t think of a problem in society that can’t be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor, and it would be hypocritical of us to take a day off on its behalf.

It’s one thing to honor work and workers, but it makes no sense to credit the organized labor movement, which relies on strong-arm tactics, influence-peddling and corruption to achieve its aims.

Yeah, that’s right, all you poor working stiffs — grab hold of Right to Work Day.

Apparently, top story at the New York Times this morning, all about work:

The lawsuit is part of a flood of recent cases — brought in California and across the nation — that accuse employers of violating minimum wage and overtime laws, erasing work hours and wrongfully taking employees’ tips.
Worker advocates call these practices “wage theft,” insisting it has become far too prevalent.
Some federal and state officials agree.
They assert that more companies are violating wage laws than ever before, pointing to the record number of enforcement actions they have pursued.
They complain that more employers — perhaps motivated by fierce competition or a desire for higher profits — are flouting wage laws.

Here in California, a federal appeals court ruled last week that FedEx had in effect committed wage theft by insisting that its drivers were independent contractors rather than employees.
FedEx orders many drivers to work 10 hours a day, but does not pay them overtime, which is required only for employees.
FedEx said it planned to appeal.

Business-advocate people are mostly full of shit, some even attempting to drag ‘unions‘ into the mix — while the reality of ‘business‘ is higher productivity from workers at low-low wages, and shut-the-fuck-up about it.
And the lede in another Labor-Day story this morning in The Atlantic:

Labor Day online specials at Walmart this year “celebrate hard work with big savings.”
For brick-and-mortar shoppers near my home in Chicago, several Walmart stores are open all 24 hours of Labor Day.
Remember, this is a company so famously anti-union that it shut down a Canadian store rather than countenance the union its workers had just voted in.
The fact that Walmart “celebrates” Labor Day should draw laughter, derision, or at least a few eye-rolls.

The piece a good account of the workman wars in America the past 100 years or so. And the decline into shitsville we see on this particular day.

And now about an hour or so after the opening graphs of this post, my outside environment on this bit of California coastline is immured within a thick, mist-filled blanket of gray. Smoking on the back patio just now, the wet had already retreated into deep-overcast. Normal.
A guy walked past my fence, talking on a cellphone, telling somebody about “…a DUI…alcohol…yeah…” misadventures most-likely from last night, the ‘real’ celebration-point for this holiday. A lot of people most-likely will awaken this morning with booze-related tales to tell.
Bad thunderous sunshine for them folks.

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