Academics, Politicos, Faux-Proles and the like

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Academics, Politicos, Faux-Proles and the like

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Bearbeitet: Apr. 29, 2008, 1:06am

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Apr. 29, 2008, 11:46pm

I guess I straddle a few categories. I grew up in a working-class family and in a micro-town, and I've worked as a laborer (carpenter's helper, hod-carrier, etc.). But I became an academic, eventually. My politics have always been progressive, and I'm a begrudging (to say the least) member of the Democratic Party. I'm an English professor but have some amateur interest in labor-history, and I'm a very late-in-the game convert to Catholicism, belong to social-justice-oriented parish, and am interested in the Catholic Worker movement.

Apr. 30, 2008, 8:37am

I don’t have a feeling of solidarity with labor. I am labor. I started shoveling manure when I was 12 years old for 25 cents an hour. That worked out to three hours for a Tarzan paperback. I still think of myself as a mechanic even though I have not turned a wrench (for pay) since 1993.

My wife does all right but I would be putting on airs if I called myself middle-class.

I voted independent until Regan kicked off his presidential campaign on the graves of Chaney, Goodman & Schwerner, the murdered civil rights workers in Philadelphia Mississippi and Newt Gingrich taught the republican party scorched earth politics. After Nixon, Regan and Bush the Second I vote strictly an any thing except republican.

The thought of Gingrich writing the history of the last twenty years scared the hell out of me so now I am back in collage, majoring in history and working on my writing.

It could just be me, I know I can be defensive about this, but I think I detect in your question the implication that no one in the working class could be here. Hopefully I am wrong. Remember MENSA admits 1 in 50 people but there are a lot fewer than 1 in 50 that can fix your computer controlled automobile correctly. A competent mechanic can make $80,000 a year. I sometimes want to kick myself for giving it up just because I got tired of being dismissed as ignorant.

ostrom: I grew up catholic, the priest in the little church I attended was a great man, and I really respected him. After he died I learned that he had been a graduate student in physics and had worked on the Manhattan Project at the Oak Ridge center. I often wonder if Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused him to become a man of God.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 30, 2008, 9:47pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Apr. 30, 2008, 11:53pm

TL, interesting question about your priest.... BGP--no worries; it's a big tent here. Your question has invited us all to say a bit how we came to or from labor--or are or were in it.

Mai 1, 2008, 8:46am

Like ostrom said it is a big tent here you are more than welcome to join in the discussion here. I know I am very touchy about any perceived slight to my intelligence. I used to say “and the intelligence of the people I work with” but the older I get the more I have to admit it is more my vanity than anything else. I really did leave a job that I enjoyed and made good money at because I felt people looked down on me because of my calloused and grease stained hands. Since I quit working as an auto mechanic I have made more money in three years than I did the last year I worked as a mechanic,1992. The feeling of accomplishment when you take a machine that is broken, decipher the problem and put it right is great. Some day over a beer let me tell you about the noise that my entire team thought was an obvious wheel-bearing problem and how wonderful we all felt when we finally fixed it. The only thing I have felt like it since then was last semester when a history professor mentioned my final essay in an email to tell the class about our grades.