Thanks, Mike. I'd missed that NPR segment. My favorite rendition is by Judy Collins. Haunting.Sis in Sleepy Hollow
Is there an unreal Joe the Plumber?
Those of us who grew up in small, workingclass towns have all known the local blowhard whose head is full of dreams and whose mailbox is full of past-due notices, and who, if he put the amount of energy into showing up for work and doing his job that he puts into yakking about his grandiose plans and what he's going to do tomorrow and how he could reform the system, he'd ... well, maybe he'd still be married, his bills would be paid and he'd have some seniority at his workplace. I don't dislike this guy -- Oddly enough, these characters are generally well-liked and viewed as harmless bits of local color.But that's not the person I think of as being victimized by a bad economy because, in the best of all possible economies, he would still find a way to screw it up. And he'd find an excuse for why it wasn't his fault, and a prediction for how great everything was going to be as soon as he put his next plan into action.But I do resent when he is conflated with the guy who punches the time clock, does his work, pays his bills, tends to his family, and maybe serves as a volunteer firefighter or on some town board, coaches some youth sports and who has a boat and maybe a hunting camp, but mostly has practical plans for how his life is going to play out and puts a daily effort into making that happen.That's the "real" Joe the Plumber I was referring to.(And the election's over.)
Yesterday we had a rather impressive conflagration that brought together about 120 volunteer firefighters. When we were at rehab (yes Dad, another term that means something entirely different to me...) there were more than a few deals being brokered for venison. None of the 4 or 5 I heard were cash deals either, all guys who needed this done or that done and had some, ummm.. "extra" deer meat on hand.I get the feeling my circles would be pretty adept at the transition to a barter economy, and in fact might be just the guys to hang with when this gets all Mad Max. Joe the Plumber, regardless of licensure or tax status, can fix stuff. He can fix stuff so you don't have to go outside to pee...Joe-the-MBA may have a tougher adjustment to make, however...
But I do resent when he is conflated with the guy who punches the time clock, does his work, pays his bills, tends to his family, and maybe serves as a volunteer firefighter or on some town board, coaches some youth sports and who has a boat and maybe a hunting camp, but mostly has practical plans for how his life is going to play out and puts a daily effort into making that happen.This grandson of a machine-gang foreman in Syracuse during the depression, this grandson of a ward-level reformer in depression Atlanta, this son of a poverty-riddled area's school principal and bus driver and janitor applauds you, sir.Stands up and applauds.
All political persuasion aside.....this scares the HELL out of me.Brother can you spare a microphone?Joe the Voice Over Artist-(Adam Harrington)
Not to worry, Adam. I've seen a lot of those newsreels from the Depression, and every dang one of them is narrated by somebody.
As for Jed's comment, it occurs to me that the barter system works better in the country, where it's easier to add food into the mix. I remember a time when you and your brother were quite young and we stumbled over the butchered remains of a jacked deer, and I had to explain to you that, with the mines closed, people did things that weren't legal but were, under the circumstances, necessary. Now, a Maine warden remarked to me that he had no tolerance for that, and that, if people were hungry, he could access venison for them and was willing to -- from seizures and other legal sources. There's even a hunter's charity that donates game to food shelters. But when the wheels come off the economic cart, that big green grocery store is going to have a lot of customers. And I don't know what the city folks will do -- I can repair your car in exchange for you fixing my hot water heater, but the baby will still be hungry.
Thanks Mike. I feel a little better now. And when things do get all Mad Max, I suppose my father and I can trade equations for disclaimers.Son of an astrophysicist-
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