Delight Springs

Monday, September 2, 2013

Noble labor

Saw The Butler yesterday, after shopping for Younger Daughter's new bedroom chest (what some country folk around here call a "chester drawers.")

Well okay, I confess I mostly sat in the car listening to Krista Tippett and a Sagan-inspired lady astronomer on the radio talk about human/cosmic connections while wife and daughter plowed the furniture aisles. Giving moral support.

And then getting it. If you're looking for a good way to mark and celebrate the dignity of work, struggle, and perseverance in pursuit of justice for all on this Labor Day...
The first Labor Day was celebrated 131 years ago, on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The holiday was the idea of the Central Labor Union in New York City, which organized a parade and a picnic featuring speeches by union leaders. It was intended to celebrate labor unions and to recognize the achievements of the American worker. WA
Go and see The Butler. Despite the miscasting of Robin Williams as Ike, it's moving and inspiring too.

Winfrey and Whitaker and company made me proud to carry my union card, and proud to bear a local connection to the children who suffered life-threatening abuse and humiliation to lead us out of darkness during the days of the Nashville lunch counter protests and freedom rides. But, ashamed and disgusted with that earlier generation of pale Nashvillians who demeaned and persecuted them.

The film finally leaves us hopeful and uplifted. It's good to exit the cineplex, for a change, with the echo of a well-earned round of applause almost drowning out the idiot noise of fantasy conflagration in the adjoining theater. It's a rare treat, nowadays, for the movies to make you think your species might be worth saving after all.

Workers of the world, we shall overcome. But take the rest of the day off, first. "I fully believe in the legitimacy of taking moral holidays."

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