Monday, October 10, 2011


Full disclosure: I'm one of the 99%, and I am fed up. When I hear of bank bail outs, obscene profits and salaries, it pisses me off. I've worked consistently since my first job as a paperboy. I've been unemployed only when laid off, or after moving to a new city (totalling less than eight weeks in my adult life). I'm well past the age that my parents were when they had a house, and five kids, on one average salary. I am not a spendthrift. My tightwad-ness is the subject of jokes with some friends. I cannot afford to buy a home in the neighborhood that I grew up in, and my neighborhood is not affluent by any stretch of the imagination. My American dream is little more than the pot to piss in. I am a working American grunt. To paraphrase the Talking Heads, where is my beautiful house?...How did I get here?

This snippet, from Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize speech, in 2002, really sums up the crux of the problem (link to entire speech below) :

"At the beginning of this new millennium I was asked to discuss, here in Oslo, the greatest challenge that the world faces. Among all the possible choices, I decided that the most serious and universal problem is the growing chasm between the richest and poorest people on earth. Citizens of the ten wealthiest countries are now seventy-five times richer than those who live in the ten poorest ones, and the separation is increasing every year, not only between nations but also within them."

Now that that's out of the way, I tried to think of a song that would aptly portray the frustration that those of us near or on the bottom rungs of the income ladder. I thought a Pete Seeger song might hit the spot, but couldn't find an mp3 of any that were completely appropriate. I thought that the Dil's "Class War" might be a tad militant for some of you who weren't around back in the day. Then, while looking for something else online, I happened upon the song that seemed written for this day, this mood, this movement. Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder they Come."

Well, they tell me of a pie up in the sky
Waiting for me when I die
But between the day you're born and when you die
You know, they never seem to hear even your cry

So as sure as the sun will shine
I'm gonna get my share now what is mine
And then the harder they come
The harder they fall
One and all
The harder they come
The harder they fall
One and all

And the oppressors are trying to track me down
They're trying to drive me underground
And they think that they have got the battle won
I say, forgive them Lord, they know not what they've done


And I keep on fighting for the things I want
Though I know that when you're dead you can't
But I'd rather be a free man in my grave
Than living as a puppet or a slave


No comments: