Thursday, March 10, 2011

because they happen to also be the wolves

Maya's picture of me being bitten by a crawfish.

Joe Falcon, Cajun Music Pioneer: Live at the Triangle Club in Scott, LA

Louis from Lost Bayou Ramblers recommended this old Arhoolie Joe Falcon recording to me yesterday and I recommend it on to you to get your feral Cajun stomp on. I apologize in advance for the following possibly ill-informed political rant. I'll bracket it because I think political rhetoric needs bracketing, lest you confuse it with life.
Wisconsin, I don't know what to say. I was born in the Midwest and though I don't really claim it as where I'm "from" I still look to y'all from the weird, aggressively-seasoned margin of America to keep a level head about things. I remember in the middle of Reaganmania discovering with shock that my Missouri, church deacon, Masonic member, soybean-farming uncle, the one who wouldn't ride in a Toyota because he fought in WWII, was a staunch Democrat. "The Republicans are no friend to the farmer." It was not long after that I found our my uncle had a still on his property and at one of their kids' wedding, I saw my aunt get plastered on the product of that still around a motel swimming pool outside of St. Louis. It was also not long before most of his land was bought out by mega-ag corporations, at least the parts that he didn't retain to lease out to the Amish that lived around him.

In my teens I had an inkling about the Masons, I asked him on his patio if it was true that if a brother Mason was to ask you to hide him from the law, you'd have to do it, and he chuckled that he supposed so. Then I asked him if he ever hid anyone away in his barn, the same one where he kept an old playboy with Barbie Benton as the centerfold (I didn't mention that I knew about the Playboy but I'm guessing he knew that we all knew about it and maybe that's why it was there), and he got suddenly serious. "I can't tell you that."

It was an epiphany about the true nature of brotherhood. We have to be there for each other because everyone else is not there for us, and we become stronger the more interwoven and far-reaching our "we" is. It is sad to see such a thing go down and to see blue collar America buy into anti-union rhetoric, out of pettiness over not having the securities of a union (er, join one) or the general bullshit tactics: fear of gay marriages or abortion doctors or evolution or whatever imagined threat to your way of life behind which the corporate shills hide. You steadfast folks in the nation's core should know better.
Remember Detroit? Detroit worked when the worst of corporations and the most powerful of unions kept each other in check like binary stars revolving around the good people of Michigan who just wanted to feed their families and build the cars that were the symbols of America.
Or if you can't remember back as far as Detroit's heyday, back before it was receding into weeds, take it from an ex-pat who lives in a state that has sold itself out to corporate interests to a such degree that the residue of that deal is washing up as tar balls on our beaches and that our state is literally falling back into the sea; if someone takes away the barriers that protect that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to which we all aspire, they are not setting you free from a nanny state, they are throwing you to the wolves. They are doing this because they happen to also be the wolves.
See, I told you House of Prayer No. 2 will make you all you and you about everything. Good thing I'm such an expert!

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