Monday, September 07, 2009
Love's Labour Lost
I have to admit that I do not know the jack hammering fellow above, but he and millions like him are the reason that I have the day off today to contemplate writing this blog post. Because today is Labour Day in my fair country. Of course this idea was stolen from Canada in 1882. Oregon was the first state to pass "Labour day into law, and in 1894 the Federal Government pushed through the legislation to make it a Federal holiday. This was done in an attempt to placate the working man after the Pullman strike of 1894. The law was passed through Congress is just six days, try that now days and see what happens. The president at the time, Grover Cleveland, was worried that a day to celebrate labour would be attached to the "May Day" celebrations of labour in Europe. That just smacked a little to "red" to good old Grover, so the first Monday in September was designated Labour Day. Still with all that political bullshit it is a day to celebrate the working class of the world, and to stop and think as you walk into that high rise to go to your 40th floor office about the nameless fellows who actually did all the heavy lifting during its construction. I have always had a bit of an allergic reaction to physical labour, and therefore need to remember to be especially mindful of the people for whom it was the only way to feed the family. My own paterfamilias was one of these people, and though he is far, far from being any sort of hero in my book, he still had to work his ass off to feed my fat ass. Granted he bitched and moaned about it on a daily basis, and found way too much solace in good, old American lagers when the workday was over, but he and millions like him, still managed to get the job done. So for ensuring that we have all those lovely buildings in which slackers like myself work, but not labour, and for all the other services that they provide, the "working class" (from the beginning of time-present), you are my heroes of the day.