I Noticed It Again Last Friday.

My Fridays have fallen into a pattern, as that is the day of the week when I put in my 12 hour shift in the happy pill room, and after a 12 hour shift, I'm not interested in looking at a wine list, or hearing about how the carmalization of the sauce on some piece of meat the food section of The New York Times has elevated to a status symbol will mix perfectly with the organic fruit dessert flown in this morning from Peru. I just want to get some calories in my stomach and get the hell home. That leaves me one and just one choice in the den of affluenza where I sling the pills these days. Subway. I miss my days in the ghetto where I had a wide variety of empty calorie houses from which to choose and the people were far more interesting, but Subway it was again last week whether I liked it or not. The home of Jared has become part of my Friday night ritual by default.

As had the family on the other side of the room. Father, mother, and four little ones all munching away on subs or chips or cookies or whatever else the Subway peddles these days. One little girl was playing away with some sort of toy promotion for the Land of The Lost movie, which I've heard is terrible. I figured the little girl would never see it though, as the family didn't look like the type that spent much time at the theatre. From the enthusiasm of the little ones and the fact that I've seen them there every Friday night for a couple months now, I'm pretty comfortable in saying that Friday night at Subway was the big family outing for the week.

The same way a trip to McDonald's was a big outing for the little drugmonkey's family.

The short sleeved plaid workshirt the father wore looked awfully familiar.

I was looking through a mirror into my childhood, because you see, before the agents of capital started luring the hablaers of español northward to provide cheap labor, they were luring the hillbillies out of the holler to do the same.

.....To the jobs that lay waiting in those cities' factories
They learned
readin', rightin', roads to the north
To the luxury and comfort a coal line can't afford
They thought
readin', rightin', route 23
Would take them to the good life that they had never seen
They didn't know that old highway
Could lead them to a world of misery


Dwight Yoakum wasn't singing about today's immigrants, although the story sounds kinda familiar, doesn't it? I know exactly where route 23 is. It leads up from the hollers of Kentucky to the spirit crushing jobs of the North. I've driven on it many a time. Up from the land of poverty to the promise of work it goes.

Up from the land of poverty to the promise of work. Sound familiar? Does it? Because honest to God it seems like sometimes I am the only person on earth who can make a connection between yesterday's Tom Joads and today's Felipe Hernandezes. The only one who sees that Sabado Grande looks an awful lot like the Hee Haw we used to watch on Saturday nights. I used to work in the ghetto, and although I couldn't understand a word they were saying, a lot of my customers in the ghetto reminded me an awful lot of the hillbillies back home.

But it feels like I am the only person who can see it. Because the grandchildren of Tom Joad can't get past the fact that the people who took their place on the economic ladder came north hablaing español. So the grandchildren of Tom Joad are duped into thinking they have far more in common with the white people on Wall Street than they do with the people who currently do the work their grandparents did. The work that laid the foundation for the grandchildren of Tom Joad to be elevated into the upper middle class. Where they were taken advantage of by the Barons of Wall Street they thought they had so much in common with. Checked your 401k balance lately?

It's kinda like the way Tom Joad was taken advantage of by the Barons of Agriculture.

I watched as the little girl in Subway happily showed off her dinosaur cup to her brothers, and I could almost hear the voice of soul rotting affluence on the other side of the mall angrily sending back his meat of the moment. I could imagine the meat of the moment wasn't cooked the way the New York Times said it should be cooked, and the grandchildren of Tom Joad are all about showing their status, which is defined by whatever the New York Times says it should be. You know it happened.

And I know I'll look forward to heading back to Subway this Friday.

I think that little girl's gonna turn out all right.
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I Noticed It Again Last Friday.
I Noticed It Again Last Friday.
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5