Tuesday, September 4, 2012

which side are you on?

tattoo tuesday is BACK!

i planned on posting this photo yesterday in honor of the labor day holiday, but then the activities of the day got in the way and i never found the time! pretty much what has been happening to me with blogging all summer!

i took the photo sunday. we came home from a wonderful day out to find two electric company trucks in front of the house. curious mouse that i am went up to one of the trucks to find out what was up. while talking to kyle and getting the 4-1-1 on the electrical situation, i couldn't help but notice his wonderful tattoo in praise of the working class.

kyle has had  this tat for about four years - he told me the name of the artist who did it, of course i didn't write the name down so i forgot it, but i do remember he said the guy worked out of the gen x tattoo studio in willoughby (a town in the greater cleveland area) . i found the inner arm ink as interesting as the outer - here's a snap of that side:

since it is heavy duty election season we are hearing a lot about "working americans" and the "middle class" by both the democrats and the republicans.   although i take issue with how both parties exploit the terms and the issues, i really take umbrage with the republicans trying to portray themselves as the people's party.  oh yeah - how much money did the romneys make over the last few years?  oh yeah, we don't really know since working-man mitt refuses to release multiple years of tax returns, but we do know that estimates of his net-worth range from $190,000,000 to $250,000,000.  (and seriously this guy thinks he knows about what its like to be an average working american!)

at the recent republican convention, and in a large percentage of republican political advertisements, they are trying to convince the electorate that they are the party for working, middle america.  oh yeah, if you believe that, let me tell you about this bridge i have for sale!

cleveland's own nationally syndicated columnist connie schultz most recent column does a great job revealing the disconnect in the walk and talk of the republican party.   i particularly appreciate this passage:
So, here's the thing about all those Republicans bragging about their working-class roots:
 Either they're exaggerating about their meager beginnings or, worse, they're betraying the people they come from.
If you want to destroy unions, you are not a champion of the working class.

If you won't stand up to China, you aren't fighting for American workers.

If you support cuts to education that make it impossible for poor and middle-class kids to go to college, you're defiling the America that changed your life.
 If you want to force women to have babies they cannot afford to raise, you are condemning another generation of children to a life of poverty.
If you don't think every American has the same right as you to affordable health care, I don't know the God you claim is on your side.

pete seeger performing the folk and labor-organizing standard which side are you on? the song was written in 1931 by florence reese, florence was the wife of sam reese a united mine workers union organizer in harlan county, kentucky. florence wrote the song, during the harlan county war of 1931-1932 when mineworkers were engaged in a particularly long and bloody struggle with mine owners.

like every good folk song, musicians have taken the song to fit new times and new situations. one of my favorite versions of the song is one that traveled across the pond.  while holding on to the message, the song was reworked by billy bragg who added a bunch of new lyrics to reflect a british miners strike of 1984-1985. billy's version may be found on his back to basics album (1987).

 in addition to billy's version, i also love natalie merchant version. what's not to love with a voice like natalie's - here's natalie's cover which accompanied by a terrific set of images of past and present union and class struggles.


Steve Reed said...

Interesting tattoo. There's a lot going on there!

I love that Connie Schultz column. Posted it to Facebook!

Watson said...

YEA! You're back!

Ironpusher said...

Thanks Kimy, That's my arm there! Hope to run into you again around the neighborhood. -Kyle