Thursday, November 8, 2012

Steady and Solid gets trumped by Shallow, Stupid, and Stubborn.

A million years ago I was a kid spending long hot summers with my maternal grandparents in Oklahoma. At 5, 6, or 7 years old, the world was my oyster even if that world was confined to red sandy dirt, goat head stickers hiding in the grass, waiting for  the bare feet of a young boy, and a sweetly eccentric grandma who smoked Lark cigarettes in a chicken coop. Those were good days. Plenty of bad shit would weave it's way in and out of the ensuing years, but for a few summers things were good. Innocent. My Grandfather was typical Okie stock. Honest, hard working, quiet, solid. Big Smith bib overalls , a denim shirt, wellington boots, a hat outdoors and a bald pate untouched by the sun indoors. He read the paper, watched the news, and on Sundays it was Lawrence Welk and maybe Ed Sullivan. He was the first man I recall admiring,was in awe of. By the time I was 13 or so, a few years prior to his death, well on my way to wild,  my grandpa seemed boring, dull, my admiration dead and done. Most of you know the rest of the story. Reformatories, prisons, wasted years. I haven't set foot in that red Oklahoma dirt in 25 years or better.

Fast forward to now.

If you were to look around you at any given moment of the day chances are you wouldnt see guys cut from the same cloth as my Grandfather.  They aren't standing in line at Starbucks or Panera waiting for their bean sprout and free range chicken panini. They are busy plowing a field or shaping a piece of wood into something useful. The rest of the world is busy trying to keep up with the latest trend or pissing themselves at the effete vision of what passes for the modern, according to Hoyle man. Today its all style, flash, and bullshit.  Steady and solid is looked upon with disdain and derision. Somehow we lost our way. What once mattered when taking the measure of a man has changed.

I'm probably going to ramble too long, but stick with me and I'll get where I'm going.

My Grandfather was a commercial roofer. Hot tar, hot enough to burn you to the bone, mopped onto flat roofs in oppressive Oklahoma summer heat. He employed about a half dozen men cut from the same cloth as himself. Steady. Solid. None of them, including my Grandfather Delbert, graduated high school. They grew up during the depression, school was a luxury their families could ill afford. Everyone worked or everyone starved. Delbert left behind his childhood before it had run it's course. He built a small business. He supported 4 children and a wife. He employed those other like minded men who in turn supported families of their own. I guess you could say Delbert was a hero of sorts, at least that's how I see him in retrospect. In reality he was the rule of his time rather than the exception.

Delbert has been dead and gone for more than 35 years. If he were alive today he would be a minority. a working class white man who believed in God, family, his country. He believed a mans worth hinged on his usefulness, his contribution, his labor. Values that are mocked by the ruling class today. His values, lack of proper education, his anglo roots, his home in fly over country, all would brand him as a hick and probably a racist one to boot. Liberal shit heels from the east and west coasts, along with their lesser lap dog compatriots here in the midwest, hold nothing but contempt, fear, and loathing for men like Delbert.

And here is where I was heading, like it or not. And some of you won't.

The country made a decision a couple of days ago. Try to rebuild what once made this country strong, or stick with the newest new deal. Hard often painful sacrifice, or a giant nest of  angry little birds with their beaks open, demanding to be fed and cared for long after they should have left the nest. Over half the country chose the latter. The media and liberal Americans derided and villified the candidate who built a fortune, saved businesses, cared for his family and complete strangers. A good and decent man. Steady. Solid. Boring by todays standards. They chose instead a modern day definition of a man. Vain, arrogant, lacking humility when it was called for, and full of it when it was least required. This country and a good share of it's people, chose style and bullshit over steady and solid. We lost. We ALL lost.

Now the arm chair quarterbacks, political pundits, and more than a few Tea Party zealots have begun to pick through the bones. Romney was just Obama in white face. He wasn't far right enough. The proof is in his loss. Or so they say.  I say the loss was inevitable because the standard by which we measure and admire a man has become two polar opposites. One the one hand is the weak spined metrosexual who believes we are a country that needs to pay for it's success. Offering alms for the sin of being a great nation.  On the other hand is an uncompromising and angry rabble who stupidly believe that they can bend a majority to capitulate to their all or nothing mentality. Steady and solid have left the building. Stupid and stubborn have taken up residency.


  1. Good to great writing. Thanks.

    It's unfortunate you're mistaken--so very mistaken--both about the man who won and the one who lost as well as what the guy who won wants for America but at least you got the writing so right.

  2. Hold onto that view, Mo Rage. May it be the last thought that passes through you mind when the government's icepick is being pushed into your ear.

  3. Orphan of the RoadThursday, November 08, 2012

    Romney, like John McCain, sold his soul to run for the presidency. To stand any chance of winning the nomination, a Republican has to bow down and kiss the ring of the American Taliban and Tea Party.

    Had he been able to run and win the nomination on his true beliefs, he would have defeated a sitting President.

    The Democrats have as many nut jobs in their ranks as the Republicans. But they are so fractured one faction cannot dominate.

    I think you echo the position of George Carlin and keep it relevant today.

    MAYBE it isn't the candidates who are fucked up but the American people.

    And in the wisdom of Van Brunt Recreation, the first liar ain't got a chance.

    If we would all just listen to harley.

  4. I agree with MO. You are simply wrong. HATE & ignorance were rejected. I bet your grandfather didn't hate gays, blacks, Mexicans, women, etc. My father was blue collar - he never missed a day of work. But, he wouldn't join the American Legion, because he said they discriminated against blacks. He simply didn't get racism. My mother wouldn't join the Daughters of the American Revolution, because she said they discriminated against blacks. In fairness, I don't think these organizations are racist today. They have moved on.

  5. Maniak ProductionsThursday, November 08, 2012

    I cast my vote for a man I knew would lose-Gary Johnson.

    Dems and repubs have had waaaaay too many chances serve us, but have chosen to serve themselves instead, and in grand fashion I might add.

    By voting for the Libertarian candidate, I woke up Wednesday with a clear conscience.

  6. And to vanderleun, above, I have to say, great paranoia you got going there but then you're not alone. Far from it.

    And way to rip off Orwell.

  7. I will join with the people who disagree. Obama is a bad president, but for different reasons than most people would like you to believe. But Romney has nothing in common with your grandpa. He didn't built shit. You can probably still find the roofs tarred by your grandpa. You will be hard pressed to find anything created by Romney and his business. He builds pretty much how Carl Icann "built" TWA. He is not an honest, religious, straightforward guy. If republicans had one of those, he would've been a president today. And having morons with 16th century ideas about the world doesn't help any party's credibility.

  8. Also, you got to do something about spam. I am still getting emails on your old posts selling shit.

  9. Your Grandfather, rest his soul, didn't change what he believed in to suit the moment. Mitt was an intellectual chameleon ... blending in to the electorate he was addressing... running for it all and standing for nothing.

  10. Increasingly, sad to say, John Lennon got it right 40 years ago:

    As soon as you're born they make you feel small
    By giving you no time instead of it all
    Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
    A working class hero is something to be

    They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
    They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
    Till you're so ****ing crazy you can't follow their rules
    A working class hero is something to be

    When they've tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
    Then they expect you to pick a career
    When you can't really function you're so full of fear
    A working class hero is something to be

    Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
    And you think you're so clever and classless and free
    But you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see
    A working class hero is something to be

    There's room at the top they're telling you still
    But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
    If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    A working class hero is something to be
    If you want to be a hero well just follow me

  11. All the politicians I've seen are rich, powerful people who have no idea what it's like to survive on $28,000 a year. They are all crooks and they are in it for the money.

  12. Orphan of the RoadThursday, November 08, 2012

    Lincoln said it best about the business world. Labor is superior to capital. Or at least it was.

    I remember as a child, Mr Brooks. He was the president of M&M bank on Independence Avenue by Sheffield. Lived across the street. All the neighborhood had accounts there. He came to them and said to take their money out as something wasn't adding up right. He didn't want them to lose anything.

    Can't imagine many bankers doing that for a working-class man today.

  13. Brilliant piece MM. It's also illuminating to see how perfectly your commenters miss the point. I expect that it's because they have never seen what you've described here, either in themselves or in others close to them. Hint to commenters: it's not just showing up for work.

  14. Midtown - I agree with you. No money in my family, but it was a FAMILY. Mother, father, six kids, me the eldest. Mother made sure we went to Sunday School and got our homework done. Dad managed to keep working despite his alcoholism fueled by severe PTSD after WW II. We all had chores either in the garden or washing everything spotless in the house. There was no money for decent clothes but what we had were clean, patched. No - it wasn't the depression - it was the 50's-60's-70's.

    Now, the government has become the FAMILY for everyone or at least they're trying damn hard. But, the government family doesn't believe in making their kids clean the house or tend the garden. They hand out cookies instead and little Johnnie and Mary love those cookies and all they have to do is eat them and give momma and daddy big kisses every couple of years.

    I am depressed and I'm angry but most of all I'm sad for my grandchildren. There won't be any cookies left in the cookie jar for them and I am really afraid there won't even be any gardens to tend or houses to clean by the time they grow up. All you have to do is look across the ocean to see the fires burning. People aren't working in the gardens. They're not working at all and there are no cookie jars to be found.

  15. You know, I am so tired of hearing people cast Obama as a "Vain elitist liberal" who wants to take care of everyone or who is a socialist. As someone who just mentioned, Romney doesn't have anything in common with your Grandfather. Like you, I grew up with a Grandfather who built things, wore overalls, and who is still the first man (and smartest man I ever met)that I have been in awe of. And my Grandfather (prob like yours) would not have something in common with a man who was given his riches.

    Barack, like my Grandfather (and prob yours) came from humble circumstances. He was a community organizer, working in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Chicago. BO went to Harvard (which calling him stupid is insane, but whatever), became a US Senator, ran against one of the most prominent political dynasties today in the primary, and was elected president by providing a vision of hope and unity.

    Now while he was not perfect, BO has done a lot of great things. Reaching out to the Muslim world (which alone is great), starting the auto bailout, establishing universal healthcare, taking on the banks, lowering the unemployment rate, ending the war on Iraq and giving our troops a date to come home, ending DADT, embracing Gay Marriage, and of course eliminating Osama Bin Laden. So why would anyone vote for this guy right?

    On the other hand, you could have voted for a candidate that wants to ban abortions, does not view equal pay for women an important issue, cut funding to Planned Parenthood, discriminates against Gays, possibly acting hostile to other countries, wanting to let Detroit's auto industry to go bankrupt, cut funding to PBS, and last but not least, refer to you (and probably I) as the 47% Yeah I can see how one would want to vote for him.

    You see, as a White male I can see how you feel. There used to be a time that being White really "meant something." You were first at everything and could do anything you wanted to, without consequences. Other races, women, and sexual preferences were the other and you didn't really care what happened to them. Yeah sure you would be entertained when one dunked a ball, sung a song, or cooked your meal, but be on the same level as you? Nah, not at all. But, it is not then, it is now. And in todays age and time, the leaders and most prominent people in the country don't look like you. They don't talk or sound like you either. They have funny names and different accents and that scares you. I could tell in your piece, wanting to return America to this time of The White Man being the number one. Well sir, that time is almost passed. Wouldn't it be better for all of us to be on the same level playing field? To get the same chance that you and your folks got? Nah, thats not America, thats some socialist country.

    Wake up dude, The Black Man won and guess what? So many white people voted for him. Novel concept right? So the America you knew is no more and your gonna have to get used to it.

  16. Guess you hit a nerve there, Homer!

    I have to laugh reading the responses...Barack Obama coming "from humble roots"?!?!?!? That man never worked a day in his life. Community organizer? Is that a job? Who hired him? Who paid him? He modeled himself on Jesse Jackson and set out to become another great shakedown artist, and guess what, he got there!

    As a native Chicagoan, I can pretty safely say the outside of his little circle of radical friends, no one knew who Barack Obama was before he was manicured in to the candidate he was at the democratic partei convention four years ago.

    Money? Obama has a larger pension than Romney, more money in off-shore accounts, and all the backing he will ever need, and you think he feels ANYONE'S pain?!?!?!?!

    As far as the idea that Obama "won" the presidential election, well, sure he did! He won it the old-fashioned Chicago way-HE STOLE IT.

    With both hands. There are so many stories and proven incidents of vote-fraud, ballot-destruction, etc., that you would need an entire website to begin documenting them.

    Even if, by some stretch of the imagination, you allowed that he actually won by that huge, 2.4% margin, where did it come from?

    Let's see...we have an invasion force on the ground of somewhere betwixt 12 and 18 MILLION people, and these people were promised a shot at staying here legally if Obama got a vote from them. Now, I'm SURE these nice people wouldn't do something illegal like vote, right? Of course not...and they wouldn't do something illegal like sneak into our country, either.

    Any Black that thinks Obama is a good thing is going to be in for a rude surprise. Obama is in it for Obama, and for the Oligarchs that support him.

    Sommething on the order of a third of ALL new jobs that have been created during his reign have been taken by illegal aliens. Guess that helped the poor, oppressed Black man.

    Enjoy, kids. The Collectivists brought out the big guns to get Obama back in power, and now they are going to exploit that to the hilt...and it's going to get bumpy.

    Take care, Mark, and if I were you, I'd start watching my six, make sure you're house is all squared-away and like that. Once you come out and say the emperor has no clothes, the Alphabet-Soup Terror agencies tend to take an interest.

    Dan / Chicago

  17. beautiful writing. i just checked in after about a year. i seem to remember that you had been doubting your ability....but let me tell've still got it!