remember bill haley and the comets? no? oh... that’s because the height of their fame came just before the boomers were turning 14. prime music-consuming age. and so since they were never really a boomer band, despite being massively popular in their time, they never had a massive spread in rolling stone. or a GRAMMY-sponsored tribute night where SZA sings one of their songs with shawn mendes. and they never appeared on letterman. and they never did a reunion tour. apart from at their local carnival. just below the zipper. and next to a deep friend funnel cake. or, if they were lucky, a cevapcici.
it’s remarkable how much boomers shaped, and continue to shape, our culture. since the 60s, when they started consuming pop culture, and voting, we’ve been subject to their preferences and whims. their sitcoms on CBS. their CBS radio. their... CBS. their justin-timberlake-too-late-he’s-boring-now specials on NBC. their maddening love for jimmy fallon. their views on abortion. their disgust of war. then their embrace of war. their embrace of the worker. then their dismissal of the worker.
which brings me back to may. funny how much the boomer generation benefitted from the struggle of the worker against the capital owner. but how they shunned the worker when they became the owner.
may 1st. earlier this week. is a very important day in world history. and world contemporaneity. it’s may day. the day that weird europeans celebrate by dancing around a maypole. and by crowning someone the may *QUEEN*. and the day that communists and socialists celebrate the worker. and memorialize the haymarket riots that took place on the south side of chicago.
does anyone know what... actually, scratch that, i’m gonna start this paragraph the way donald trump would: very few people know what the haymarket riots were. they started as a peaceful rally for the eight-hour workday. the rally was organized as a response to the killing of some workers by cops or pinkertons a few days earlier at *another* rally for the eight-hour workday. if that doesn’t give you a sense of how much effort it took by labor activists to give you enough time to coach your daughter’s t-ball team, ask yourself when you last remember a strike or protest effecting policy or political change. it was a real fucking struggle. a fight. rich people were willing to kill to avoid giving you the eight hour workday. and they did. ... anyway, the cops and the pinkertons were out there at the strike defending big money. the capitalists. the owners. and some anarchists thew bombs at the law and injured and killed some of them. and then the law retaliated and killed some workers. it was all pretty ugly and messy.
so back to it... this month of may is for laborers. and the boomers in power, despite benefitting enormously from workers’ efforts throughout the 20th century, have so depriortized the working class that .......... they now consider donald trump a working class hero? once they had stable jobs in the late 70s and early 80s, they started voting for politicians who prioritized profitability for the ownership class over living standards for the middle and working classes. they voted for free trade and for tax cuts. they decimated budgets for programs that give 20th century workers 21st century skills. they voted against the guarantee of basic health care at an affordable rate. they voted to make it easier to dump hexavelant chromium into the great lakes. the working class hero’s ocean. they laugh off teachers who are striking in wisconsin or arizona or oklahoma or west virginia as entitled. or as part of some public union cabal. they praise millennials who work 14-hour days to make rent. ....... in essence, they’ve completely forsaken the conditions and policies that allowed them to flourish. they’ve gotten greedy.
this month of may, remember the worker. while you’re drinking a *QUEEN*.