|The American Land
||[Feb. 24th, 2008|04:27 pm]
Years ago, when I was growing up while watching my parents toil through their working class jobs, I used to tell myself that it would never be me. I figured, like many kids I'm sure, that the answer to all my problems was some high-profile job after years of going to school, because that's where happiness is, right? For a long time, I wanted to play baseball, or be involved in the business of baseball. Not that there's anything wrong with that business for someone who wants to get involved, but working a thankless job for 80-100 hours a week and never having time for anything else isn't really a situation that I'd categorize as happiness. |
About a year ago, my interest in Bruce Springsteen of course led me to start listening to the music that influenced him, which led me straight through to Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and Leadbelly, amongst many others. What the old time guys did years back, in the 20s, and into the 40s, was just write about what they saw. I'm talking about the old time folk singers and songwriters, the kind that dragged their instruments across the country just to write and sing about what they saw. About the working class stiffs just trying to make a living, about the people you don't hear about, because they're the majority. Nobody wants to hear anybody glorify what must of us go through, because they don't think it's anything special. No no, to us, the promised land resides in high paying jobs where we're all just a number, or we all want to grow up to be entertainers of other people. That how most races are brought up, if you're not going to be an entertainer or a sports star, you're nothing.
There was something about hearing the writing in those songs. I absolutely fell in love with the working class. There's nothing wrong with working hard for a living, and there's a certain dignity in it that many people will never from sitting behind a desk for so long. There's just something about the history of this country, how it was founded upon hard work from every race across the world, people who came here looking for a new world, looking for a place where they would be free to do whatever they want. They built our country, because they were all willing to overwork themselves to death, just for the dream of the promised land, yet these days you wouldn't know it, because we'll all still look at those different from the masses as just that. It doesn't matter what their race did for this country when it was first starting up, we'll just try to tear them apart.
The hands that formed the country we're always trying to keep down.
Listening to this kind of songwriting, I realized something. Whatever we think we need to live long, happy lives is pretty much a lie. We're taught to go to school, and to try and form some relationships to get a job working for some high-profile company. Not because it's what we want to do, but because it's the right thing to do. To feel fulfilled. Because if we spend our entire lives in the working class, working hard every day of our lives, that we'll always think that we missed out somehow. That we could've had more.
You know it's funny, I grew up the biggest dreamer of anybody I knew (and still am for the most part), and what eventually became my biggest dream was always right in front of me. Something that makes me happier than anything, and just feels right, was always right where I was, I just had to spend a lot of time trying to figure that out. To work, and live in working class America. To have a strong influence on as many people as possible, and to live that simple, quiet life.
I've talked to a lot of people who dread the time when they're just going to go to work, come home, hang out with your family, and then get up the next day for work. Well, it's not about what we do, it's about the quality of what we do. Now I'm kind of an outcast, what kind of insane freak is happy in the middle class, with a 'normal' life?