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Have a Good Labor Day

deluxestogie

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#1
Some Labor Day Thoughts

The first Monday in September in the US is a nationally recognized holiday, called Labor Day. Here's what it means to Americans:
  1. backyard barbecue
  2. long weekend off
  3. banks closed
  4. special sales at stores and on-line
  5. time with family
  6. unofficial "end" of summer
  7. last weekend that public swimming pools are open
The "labor" aspect of Labor Day has been entirely lost.

A bit of history, but not too much:

By the late 19th century, industrialists and millionaires wielded near absolute power over their laborers (12 hour days, child labor, hazardous work conditions, etc.). But about this time, worldwide, protests by laborers were spontaneously erupting in industrialized countries (as well as by serfs in Russia). Those in power labeled these demonstrators as "anarchists" ("Cimbri et Teutones" to the ancient Romans; "terrorists" to the modern ear). Demonstrators were often simply shot.

Unions of laborers were formed within most trades and industries. During labor union strikes, strikers were often simply shot.


From the back page of the New York Times, 1882. (Note the cigars!)

As an attempt to quell the unrest, most industrialized countries declared an annual celebration of laborers, which was and still is generally known as May Day. The Czar of Russia didn't handle all this quite as gracefully, and he was simply shot, replaced by a Communist (laborers) government.

In the US, labor demonstrations associated with the first day of May had a nasty reputation for being particularly violent. So when the US government decided to do the National Celebration of Labor thing, President Grover Cleveland declared the first Monday in September to be a national holiday, to be called Labor Day.



It wasn't until President Theodore Roosevelt began breaking up industrial monopolies that workers' pay and work conditions truly began to improve.

The basic thrust of Labor Day is a recognition that the elite are answerable to those who actually do all the labor.

In the realm of tobacco, tobacco factory workers were among the first to unionize. But in tobacco farming, nothing changed from the early 19th century. Up until the virtual collapse of industrial tobacco in the US, in the late 20th and early 21st century, tobacco growers continued to be at the mercy of arbitrary contract alterations, and arbitrary price adjustments. "Keep them poor, but keep them growing!" Tobacco growers never successfully unionized. No Labor Day for you.

While you're pondering these weighty issues, toss another brat on the grill for me.

Bob
 
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deluxestogie

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#3
In the interest of transparency (and a hoot)...



Your very own deluxestogie portraying Teddy Roosevelt in the 1984 production of Tintypes, at the National Conservatory Theater of Florida.

Bob
 
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#5
Thanks, Bob. We celebrate a similar holiday in Canada called Labour Day.

And on the topics of theatre and anarchists, here's one I particularly enjoy. I'm sure @ciennepi knows this one.
 

deluxestogie

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#6
If that video isn't measured down to milliseconds, then it's over an hour long. I'll have to wait until I'm retired. Hmmm. I am already retired. I'll have to wait until I'm tired of being retired. Then I'll sit through it. I'm more of a semi-hemi-demi-archist. Keep things orderly, but don't over do it.

About that spelling issue, we should probably defer to the practices of the largest English speaking country in the world. That would be...India.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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#8
India population: ~1.3 billion
Canada population: ~37 million

At only 10% of India's population speaking English, that's still 130 million.

Okay. I surrender. By that measure, India is still not the "largest" English speaking country. But it was a nice turn of phrase.

Bob
 
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#9
I believe the United States has the largest English speaking population. Besides,
English is defined by it's users, and continues to evolve.

My one actual peeve is behaviour vs behavior. APA style dictates that even Canadians have to use the latter when writing papers.
 

ciennepi

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#10
Ye ChinaWoodo, I know the novel of Dario Fo. It's one of his more famous representations and one of the more disputed too.
Based on a real fact occurred, the death of the anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli during an interrogatory in the Milan police headquarter at 15 december 1969.
 
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#11
Ye ChinaWoodo, I know the novel of Dario Fo. It's one of his more famous representations and one of the more disputed too.
Based on a real fact occurred, the death of the anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli during an interrogatory in the Milan police headquarter at 15 december 1969.
I know little about him, but he is fascinating. Photos of him show amazing spirit. Super intelligent. Funny as hell. Ubermensch.
images-2.jpeg USE-THIS_1995-Abbraccio-foto-di-Guido-Harari-Milano-e1487264669561.jpg images-1.jpeg dario-fo675.jpg
 

ciennepi

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#12
He was a great person!
He won the Nobel for literature in 1997 and, behind the mask of a jester, owned one of the finest intelligence among contemporary public figures.
 
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