Tag Archives: Labor Day

3 LABOR DAY MOVIES

The Labor Day Holiday is taking on greater significance the more that the white collar criminals called Democrats and Republicans sell out the working class. Bought and paid for office-holders from BOTH political parties are content to screw over the working class.

MatewanMATEWAN (1987) – This John Sayles film examines the 1920 Matewan Massacre in the West Virginia coal fields. The workers were attempting to form a union and the owners – the kind of people that the one percenters’ beloved New York Times has proclaimed to be “the conscience of the country” used hired thugs to harass – and even kill – the laborers.

On top of that the owners planned to bring in replacement workers who would work for less money and would not expect “luxuries” like worker safety measures and the like.

It’s like today as DemCorp and RepubCorp embrace Corporate Fascism by helping bloated rich pigs usher unlimited numbers of illegal immigrants into countries around the world in order to bring in people who will work for lower wages and without “luxuries” like sick leave and such.    

PaydayToday’s rich pigs have added a new wrinkle: pretending to be showing “compassion” and lecturing the working class and the poor about the glories of a borderless society. Ultimately this will even overload Social Programs to the point where they all collapse from lack of funding.

AN IMPORTANT REASON FOR HAVING BORDERS IS PRECISELY BECAUSE OF THE LONG-HELD PRINCIPLE THAT A COUNTRY CAN HAVE SOCIAL PROGRAMS OR OPEN BORDERS BUT NOT BOTH. Borders also help in disease control and crime control, but the one percenters and bloated rich pigs never have to worry about either. Continue reading

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JOE MAGARAC: NEGLECTED AMERICAN FOLKTALE

Joe MagaracLabor Day weekend seemed like the appropriate time to post my long-delayed look at neglected working class folk hero Joe Magarac. This figure was the Steel Mill equivalent of Paul Bunyan and John Henry.

Though mostly associated with Polish-American steel workers in Pittsburgh, PA the general figure of a literal “man of steel” helping and protecting his coworkers can be found from the East Coast through the American Midwest. Sometimes the figure is Croation or some other ethnicity instead of Polish. 

Written versions of Joe Magarac and/or similar steel worker tall tales seem to have started around 1930 or 1931. Oral legends about such figures – but not specifically Joe Magarac – have been dated as early as the 1890s.

Vintage advertisements from tattered old newspapers indicate that such Man of Steel imagery may have been used for the steel industry prior to World War One. This “Which came first, the chicken or the egg” dilemma for Joe Magarac and other Steel Men puts one in mind of the quandary surrounding Billiken lore.        

Joe Magarac statueAs a lame play on words since this is Labor Day season I’ll present Joe Magarac’s origin and then depict his tales as “Labors” like in The Labors of Hercules.

BIRTH – Joe Magarac supposedly sprang into existence from a mound of iron ore and – depending on the version – that mound was either in Pittsburgh or the Old Country. Magarac emerged from the melting mound fully grown and spoke broken English like so many of the other Polish steel workers. He was called into being by the urgent need to catch up on production since the current shift had fallen dangerously behind.

Joe was 7 or 8 feet tall, his flesh was like solid steel, his torso was as wide as a smoke-stack and his arms were as thick as railroad ties. His surname Magarac meant “mule” in the workhorse sense, referring to his stamina. Joe’s appetite was such that he carried his lunch in a washtub instead of a standard lunch box.

Magarac’s favorite leisure time activity was polka-dancing and halushkis were his favorite food.

THE LABORS OF JOE MAGARAC:   Continue reading

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Filed under Mythology, Superheroes

THREE LABOR DAY MOVIES

The Labor Day Holiday is taking on greater significance the more that the white collar criminals called Democrats and Republicans sell out the working class. Bought and paid for office-holders from BOTH political parties are content to screw over the working class.

MatewanMATEWAN (1987) – This John Sayles film examines the 1920 Matewan Massacre in the West Virginia coal fields. The workers were attempting to form a union and the owners – the kind of people that One percenter Carlos Slim’s New York Times has proclaimed to be “the conscience of the country” used hired thugs to harass – and even kill – the laborers.

On top of that the owners planned to bring in replacement workers who would work for less money and would not expect “luxuries” like worker safety measures and the like.

It’s like today as DemCorp and RepubCorp embrace Corporate Fascism by helping bloated rich pigs usher unlimited numbers of illegal immigrants into countries around the world in order to bring in people who will work for lower wages and without “luxuries” like sick leave and such.    

Today’s rich pigs have added a new wrinkle: pretending to be showing “compassion” and lecturing the working class and the poor about the glories of a borderless society. Ultimately this will even overload Social Programs to the point where they all collapse from lack of funding.

AN IMPORTANT REASON FOR HAVING BORDERS IS PRECISELY BECAUSE OF THE LONG-HELD PRINCIPLE THAT A COUNTRY CAN HAVE SOCIAL PROGRAMS OR OPEN BORDERS BUT NOT BOTH. Borders also help in disease control and crime control, but the one percenters and bloated rich pigs never have to worry about either. Continue reading

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