Monday, April 4, 2016

Willy Loman Monday.

Getting to work this morning, he hyperboled, made the Bataan Death March look like a stroll in the park. I left about 45 minutes later than usual: the result of being worn-out from a work-all-weekend-weekend.

I happen to think that in fifty years' time when Liberal sociologists look back on our era, they'll remark on the unfairness of having to routinely work nights and weekends for no extra pay. This is some giant scam perpetrated by the malefactors of great wealth who dominate our world today. We are not part of management and don't share the benefits of management, except when we work extra hours, we are considered management, so no extra compensation is forth-coming.

I think the entire world has employment equivalent to that in a 19th century coal-mine. We are breaker boys combing through slag heaps looking for shards of usable coal left behind for pennies a day.

Something is dramatically unfair that we are tethered to devices, always on call, always prisoner of the job all for no additional pay. Eaten alive by the job. Loyalty and dedication are expected from us, but we can expect none in return. When the moguls decide we are too old or too expensive, out we'll go--like yesterday's slag.

Arthur Miller in his 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Death of a Salesman," did it best:

HOWARD (moving away, to the right): That’s just the thing,
WILLY: If I had forty dollars a week — that’s all I’d need. Forty
dollars, Howard.
HOWARD: Kid, I can’t take blood from a stone, I...
WILLY (desperation is on him now): Howard, the year Al Smith
was nominated, your father came to me and...
HOWARD (starting to go off): I’ve got to see some people, kid.
WILLY (stopping him). I’m talking about your father! There were
promises made across this desk! You mustn’t tell me you’ve got
people to see — I put thirty-four years into this firm, Howard,
and now I can’t pay my insurance! You can’t eat the orange
and throw the peel away — a man is not a piece of fruit! (After
a pause.) Now pay attention. Your father — in 1928 I had a big
year. I averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in commissions.

HOWARD (impatiently): Now, Willy, you never averaged...
WILLY (banging his hand on the desk): I averaged a hundred and
seventy dollars a week in the year of 1928! And your father
came to me — or rather, I was in the office here — it was right
over this desk — and he put his hand on my shoulder...
HOWARD (getting up): You’ll have to excuse me, Willy, I gotta see
some people. Pull yourself together. (Going out.) I’ll be back in
a little while. (On Howard’s exit, the light on his chair grows
very bright and strange.)
WILLY: Pull myself together! What the hell did I say to him? My
God, I was yelling at him! How could I? (Willy breaks off, staring
at the light, which occupies the chair, animating it. He approaches
this chair, standing across the desk from it.) Frank,
Frank, don’t you remember what you told me that time? How
you put your hand on my shoulder, and Frank... (He leans on
the desk and as he speaks the dead man’s name he accidentally
switches on the recorder, and instantly)
HOWARD’S SON: »... of New York is Albany. The capital of Ohio
is Cincinnati, the capital of Rhode Island is...« (The recitation
WILLY (leaping away with fright, shouting): Ha, Howard! Howard!
HOWARD (rushing in): What happened?
WILLY (pointing at the machine, which continues nasally, childishly,
with the capital cities): Shut it off! Shut it off!
HOWARD (pulling the plug out): Look, Willy...
WILLY (pressing his hands to his eyes): I gotta get myself some
coffee. I’ll get some coffee... (Willy starts to walk out. Howard
stops him.)
HOWARD (rolling up the cord): Willy, look...
WILLY: I’ll go to Boston.
HOWARD: Willy, you can’t go to Boston for us.
WILLY: Why can’t I go?
HOWARD: I don’t want you to represent us. I’ve been meaning to
tell you for a long time now.
WILLY: Howard, are you firing me?
HOWARD: I think you need a good long rest, Willy.

We have forgotten the Lomans.

We have forgotten humanity.

We are all just pieces of fruit.

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