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.