mixtape: labor day

Typically, I’ve had a bit of a bitter relationship with sharing my birthday with Labor Day. Labor Day is typically one of the most misunderstood and maltreated remembrances to one of the more important aspects of the nation’s history to begin with, but that wasn’t my beef as a kid. Nor was it the fact that I was sharing my birthday with the hedonistic pseudo-celebration of end of summer when the actual autumnal solstice was still weeks away. No, it was the idea that people would rather throw a pre-school party instead of a party celebrating my birth. It’s one thing to share your special day with the made-up birth of Christ or the generally accepted beginning of the revised Gregorian Calendar or even some other mile marker in the anno domini, there’s both a subtle ‘awe that must’ve sucked’ along with an occasional jealously but to share it with labor day (or when it didn’t land spot-on, to share it with the first day of school?!)? Yeah, you can imagine how many times no one remember till days, or weeks later…

As I’ve learned from my astute understanding of the world, The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, according to the US DOL. “It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” led by the union movement of the time that fought for fair wages, fair hours, fair working conditions, fair expectations and fair advancement of all peoples involved in the progress of the country.

I fear in our inherited social ignorance we’ve lost sight of the atrocities of the 1880s and before and are more than willing to admonish one another on the backs of our forefathers-brothers-and-sisters while taking for granted what they struggled all too much to achieve as immigrants, as migrants, as underage workers, under-compensated and overworked and without proper safety and security measures being in place not just for those in labor but those who benefited from the labor. It was more than just “jobs” it was “society” and real “union” still is the latter despite the slurs and hate campaigns trying to defend the former.

Can you tell that despite, or rather, because I share my birthday with such a significant movement it touches me profoundly? So, rather than doing a usual mixtape about me, I’m going to do one that reminds me/inspires me/saddens me on this topic since every emotion is important, from irony to anger and pity to pith and from the aspiring to the pseudo-accomplished and even disenchanted acceptance (as a warning as much as anything else):

“Working all the live long day/Chain Gang” traditional
“the Earth Will Shake” Thrice from Vheissu
“Working Man” Bo Diddly
“Sixteen Tonnes” Tennessee Ford
“Summertime Blues” Brian Setzer (or your fave version)
“Give You Nothing” Bad Religion
“Empty Pockets” H2O from FTTW
“Re-education Through Labor” Rise Against from Appeal to Reason
“For the Workforce, Drowning” Thursday from War All the Time
“Boulevard of broken dreams” Green Day from American Idiot
“3rd Shift” the Loved Ones from Build & Burn
“the Pizza Song” the Bouncing Souls from the Gold Record
“Call on my Brothers” Ignite from Call on
“18 and Live” Skid Row
“Working Class Hero” John Lennon
“Working for the Man” PJ Harvey / John Parish
“My Hometown” Bruce Springsteen from Born in the USA
“My Life in the Knife Trade” Boysetsfire from After the Eulogy
“Fuck Authority” Pennywise from Land of the Free?
“Stand on Your Feet” MxPx from Plans from Plans
“Ache with me” Against Me from White Crosses
“Working Man” Rush
“Soilworker’s Song of the Damned” Soilwork from Natural Born Chaos
“Working Class Zero” Illdisposed from the Prestige


About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
This entry was posted in Entertainment, mixtape, Opinion, personal musings. Bookmark the permalink.

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