Plain Language: A Message of Solidarity

With The Working Class

by Paul Dean

Dissident Voice

June 9, 2003


A basic tenet of modern life is that provocateurs apparently always ingest and internalize subliminal influences, and this leads directly to Machiavellian philosophical engagement. Clearly, this implies the existence of a virulent form of what I will call “bio-demagoguery” which, if left unchallenged, will inevitably implode upon itself in a manner befitting parallel applications of pseudo insurrectionary litigants. By way of making this analogy even more transparent, imagine a convent where covens of crows roost in the rafters, settling only on the floor to scramble the diatribes of demagogues, and consider the apparent ejaculatory ramifications. In this epigrammatic paradigm, cardiovascular turpitude exudes a synergistic flow of electrons which catalyzes a slightly contrived reaction, failing in the long run to produce the intended net effect. This effect would, of course, be the complete reversal of a systematic attempt to trump the historic tendency of the capitalist machine to ingest newly shorn sheep, and replace their lederhosen with fiberglass shards.


I am quite sure that I am merely stating the obvious when I say that an outsized reliance on cataclysmic catechism is also symptomatic of a berserk system of entrails, regarded by many as a pernicious facet of contemporary culture. This implies that such a reliance would hardly qualify as a legitimate exemption to the Vukovitch rule, which is so often overlooked in scholarly investigative works. Moreover, even the inclusion of other factors which would tend to mitigate the effects of this ongoing deception cannot be seen as a causative factor in the evolution of extreme apathy as exhibited by the somnambulistic classes. In such a system, atrophy of the core values to which I attribute this malaise will continue unabated until the introduction of some other stuff that makes it all different.


I am quite sure that many of you base, powerless, and inarticulate members of the lower and working classes have heard this all before, and could probably have written the above passage (or recited it, as many of you cannot read). But how does this translate into action, you may ask?


Know this: Many of us educated and financially privileged elites stand in solidarity with your plight. Here is a story, a concrete example that takes this statement out of the abstract, and drives it hard to the point.


I personally know a man, and one from my neighborhood, who recently landed a lucrative new corporate position in a new and unfamiliar urban area. While driving to work that first day, he found that he had inadvertently steered his giant new SUV (which he purchased primarily for the generous tax cut it provided him) into a neighborhood which he recognized immediately was frequented by the lower classes, many of whom had skin that was far less reflective of light than his own. Upon realizing his mistake, he quickly deduced that the situation would require immediate and decisive action to remedy. Slightly distracted by his frightening plight, he reached for his palm pilot knowing that connection to a geo-synchronous satellite could provide him with coordinates that could lead him quickly to safety. In that slightly distracted state, he failed to notice a red light at an intersection, where a young, dark skinned man from a foreign country was crossing the street. Regrettably, his vehicle plowed into the man and slammed him into the pavement.


What happened next is an example of the kind of courage, and a display of the type of solidarity that might inspire this and future generations to put aside their differences and to work in concert for the good of all. Realizing what had just happened, he applied the brakes to his vehicle! Despite the fact that there are social services whose sole function is to deal with situations like this, such as ambulance services and whatnot, with only the slightest hesitation he leapt out of his vehicle. His decision was to deal squarely with the situation despite the obvious danger to his person which resulted from not only his very presence in the neighborhood but also from the fact that he had voluntarily forfeited the comfort and protection of his mobile fortress.                  


Upon discovery that the man was bleeding profusely, he was faced with another important decision. Should he attempt to transport the man to a hospital?  Instinctively, he knew that doing so would set in motion a twisted chain reaction which would inevitably involve numerous and disparate individuals, including, but not limited to, insurance companies, police officers, medical personnel, and support persons of various stripes. No, he reasoned, the responsibility for this situation lies with me, and with me alone. Thus, despite the fact that he had little or no medical background or expertise, he chose to assume complete responsibility for the care of this unfortunate man. Keep in mind when evaluating this act of sacrifice and courage that only moments before this decision, the man to whom he now so graciously extended his support had been a complete stranger.


My brave friend quickly staunched the substantial flow of blood in this poor man, and in so doing sacrificed a monogrammed silk handkerchief which he generously offered as a tourniquet. He determined that the man was indeed conscious, though somewhat dazed. Exposed and vulnerable, my friend sat there on the sidewalk, cradling this injured stranger, and waited patiently for some semblance of sense to return to the man.     


As the man gradually came around, the sense of near panic which had, despite his unassailable display of selflessness, threatened my friend, began to subside. He soon began to grasp the fact that far from being mortally wounded, the stranger was merely dazed, bruised and bleeding. But as the moments passed, even the flow of blood begun to subside.


After some minutes spent in this fashion, the injured man began to attempt speech, although my friend had some difficulty in understanding him because this man spoke no English. After a few failed attempts at communication, my friend managed to entreat the injured man to stand and in finding that he was capable of such, he signaled to his waiting vehicle, and the man entered unassisted through the passenger side door.


At this point, my friend quickly gained his bearings with the help of his trusty palm pilot. Despite absolutely no obligation to do so on his part, he drove the injured man straight out of the neighborhood and into a nice section of town. After a short search, he located an expensive boutique coffee shop, which was locally owned, and promptly ordered his dazed new friend a triple espresso mocha latte decaf.


I include a detailed description of the beverage which was purchased only to make a point.  It is a point my humble friend attempted to downplay in the original telling of the tale, but it says everything about his character and commitment to social justice and equality.


In such a situation, a lesser man might have purchased for his wounded comrade something which could have been adequately and completely described as ‘a cup of coffee.’ But no, my valiant friend, a worthy representative of his class, in this stressful situation had the presence of mind to go the extra mile (and to incur the added expense). He did so solely to provide support, comfort, and enjoyment for his working class brother.


The rest of the story is axiomatic. Suffice it to say that our brave patrician returned the injured comrade to the exact spot where he first ran into him (or shall we say “pleasured to make his acquaintance?”). And to top it all off, after removing all personal and locator information from it, as a parting gesture, he made his new comrade a gift of the precious palm pilot. And this despite the fact that he suspected that his new comrade no longer even possessed the wit to make intelligent use of it!


In conclusion, my working class brothers (and sisters, as an afterthought) the paths of our lives, your class and mine, rarely intersect. But when they do, as this story suggests, we should consider it an opportunity to forge a common bond. And just as our paths sometimes do coincide, so do our interests. We should not ever be afraid to discuss them over a nice cup of triple espresso mocha latte decaf. Because when we engage in such discussion, even if we speak different languages, the spirit of solidarity transcends!      


Paul Dean is a writer/activist and bass player with the band Blusion. He lives in Sebastopol, CA.  Email: blusion@blusion.com.     




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