Labor Day 2013

I know that every year or so I make the promise that I will keep blogging and yar yar yar. Maybe I will this time, but no promises. It’s hard to keep up with the time that I don’t have and the ideas that I also don’t have.

Fall semester 2013 started at Virginia Tech last week and we are into the swing of things here in Blacksburg, football, beer, and changing leaves. The kiddos are in school today, Labor Day being a bank but not a university holiday. Working in the line of work that I’m in has its perks, like 10 1/2 paid holidays a year. Maybe I can say this without any hint or tinge of irony – I’m not sure – since I work in a profession that does not have nor requires union representation and it’s certainly not ten hours in the mines or $7.25 an hour for 40 hours a week. It certainly doesn’t feel like Labor Day, just go anywhere that’s a service industry and witness people carrying about their daily labors, day in and day out, willingly and sometimes unwillingly. There’s no change but the continued breaking down of protective laws for labor unions to form. The more things change, the more it looks like 1885, I guess.

Just a beautiful day outside, though, if you ignore the humidity and heat.

The weather reminds me of Washington, DC, in the middle of the summer, the heat festering over the swampland on which our national capital’s base lies. I’m far from the only one to note this, but it is a brilliant commentary on the state of things that someone can view the national capital being build upon a swamp as putrescence upon putrescence. Undoubtedly the bile of lobbyists and politicians contribute to the endless accumulation of effluence in the capital and the entire business of governance is left for no one – our elected officials abrogate their holy oath of service to their country and instead replace it with their holy oath of self-service. There are few politicians who buck this. I think, with the challenges of “true” conservatives (insert eye-roll) against Senators Graham and McConnell on the Republican side, some may be coming to meet their elective makers as a result of their politics of self-service. The wind blows hard in Washington, certainly a city of blow-hards.

I know this all sounds agnsty, meandering, and kinda pointless. And it should. Because that’s what writing about politics now feels like to me. That there’s no point, that no one cares enough to see who controls what and why, and that the purpose of changing things for the better died at some point along the way. When you lead by fear and division, people are turned off by politics and politicians can get away with practically murder by creating opacity and relying upon the apathy of the people – or disgust of the system of the people – in order to succeed in their misdeeds and malice.

I had wanted to support a Democrat running for the House of Delegates here in Virginia, but I found myself turned off by the entire prospect when I just looked at this candidate’s Facebook page and website. There was very little about what he would do to help make the district better using his clout as a legislator in Richmond. Instead, it was about national issues that had little bearing on Southwest Virginia. It was annoying, disheartening, frustrating, every other -ing you can think of to properly convey the depth of disgust I felt on politics for the first time since living in Georgia.

Naïvité? Complete. But part of me held out that someone could run for office on a state-wide level by appealing to people on the basis of reality. Foolish boy.

So maybe I’m back. But then again, maybe not. We’ll see. And no promises.

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