Thursday, March 31, 2005

Music for Dumb People

I heard a country song today. I don't recall the name of it or who's singing, but it has a telling phrase inside--one which illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding shared by many, maybe most working people. The phrase is "...my thankless job...."

"My thankless job." The singer goes on to mention, with rapt anticipation, the joy of driving his pickup truck after work. Other stuff too, but oh, that pickup!

Doesn't the ignorant bastard know that his pay from the "thankless job" bought him that delightful pickup? Isn't the pay a form of thanks (in a manner of speaking)?

The tone, of course, is that he doesn't like his job, knowing that many will identify with that 'cause most of us don't like our jobs. Well, don't include me in that. I like my job very much--not that I can't imagine a better one, but I do like it. I've never understood why so many people keep at jobs they don't like for the long term. One should take lousy jobs when one is young, not yet educated and not yet experienced. As one gains knowledge and experience, one markets one's new tools and abilities to personal advantage, moving ever closer to the place in the working world one sees as his ideal.

We in the higher intellectual circles call that "goal-seeking."

Years ago, during the fabled Cesar Chaves farm workers strike, in which we were all admonished not to buy California-grown table grapes, I allowed myself to chat with a picketer who was handing out leaflets in front of my neighborhood supermarket. We had a sort of a debate in which he asserted that grape picking is hard, back-breaking work and farm owners should pay more.

I complained that it would increase the price of grapes. He pointed to a 50ish member of the picketers indicating that this man has a large family to feed. I returned that grape picking might best be performed by the young, as a temporary, entry level job. Older people should have progressed to better, higher-paying, less physically demanding work. The young man (who had never picked a grape in his life (softer hands than mine) told me that the older man liked picking grapes and aspired to nothing else.

Well at that, I went in and bought some grapes. I don't suffer liars well.

A productive individual is a business. He has to define what he has to sell, he has to ever work toward improving his product, he has to advertise himself and make the best deal he can. When hired, he has to do his best to fulfill the terms of the contract he's made, while making sure the buyer of his services (the boss) is aware of his abilities and that, if his renumeration doesn't progress along with the quality of his skills, he's liable to go shopping for another buyer.

I'm not going to say much about unions here, because I regard a union member to be a worker who's afraid to stand up on his hind legs and make his own deals.

One can take a job that one doesn't like, but he should know that he'll be moving on as soon as possible. He should arrange his life toward that goal.

Back to the "thankless job." The guy with the problem is the worker (as portrayed by the singer). He doesn't like his job. Boo hoo. I hate to see a grown man whine. The idea of getting a better job never occurs to these guys.

Why do you think I call Country music, "music for dumb people?"

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

3 comments:

twc said...

For every dopey song like that there's another like Brooks & Dunn's Only In America.

Anonymous said...

We don't have no plastic L.A. friends,
Ain't on the edge of no popular trend,
Ain't ever seen the inside of that magazine GQ

We don't care if you're a lawyer, or a Texas oil man,
Or some waitress bustin' ass at some liquor stand,
If you got sould, we hang out with people just like you

My hair's turnin' white,
My neck's always been red,
My collar's still blue,
We've always been here,
Just tryin' to sing the truth to you,
Yes you could say, we've always been, the Red, White, and Blue

Ride our own bikes to Sturgis, pay our own dues,
Smokin' Camels and drinkin' domestic brews,
You wanna know where I've been, just look at my hands

Yeah I've driven by the white house, spent some time in jail,
Mama cried but she still wouldn't pay my bail,
I ain't been no angel, but even God, he understands

My hair's turnin' white,
My neck's always been red,
My collar's still blue,
We've always been here,
Just tryin' to sing the truth to you,
Yes you could say, we've always been, the Red, White, and Blue
(Yes that's right)

My daddy worked hard, and so have I,
We paid our taxes and gave our lives,
To serve this great country, so what are they complainin' about?

Yeah we love our families, we love our kids,
You know it's love that makes us all so rich,
That's where we're at, if they don't like it, they can just, Get The Hell Out

My hair's turnin' white,
My neck's always been red,
My collar's still blue,
We've always been here,
Just tryin' to sing the truth to you,
Yes you could say, we've always been, the Red, White, and Blue

Oh, Red White and Blue

Col. Hogan said...

Well, the lyrics to this song are aimed a few points below my iq, but not bad. I like Brooks & Dunn, but this redneck workin' man rap wears thin after a while.