August 1, 2016
That one sentence made me cry
I’ve been saying this for 10+ years. It’s nice to be validated.
On the other hand, I have no desire to ever set foot in my hometown again (the author mentions check-cashing places, and I’d add: head shops, and THE most “people on motorized scooters I paid for who don’t need them” in Canada.)
I have never visited my mother’s grave, and don’t remember where my father’s is. I hate everyone there. I moved out the second I could.
These people get to have opinions, too; not on every topic — we are all only “entitled” to our informed opinions — but they have the right to talk freely about their lived experiences and the evidence of their senses without being gaslit, shamed or silenced by the State.
I was saying since Day One that the Section 13/free speech fight was class warfare, and have been pleased that others picked up on that over time.
But just seeing that one sentence… Wow. I just needed that, I guess.
Also, as they go on to say, it takes a lot of strength (or, in my case, pathological indifference to the faulty “feelings” and twisted opinions of others) to get out of white/black working class hell because there is often a lot of pressure to stay poor, lazy and stupid. There’s a willful confusion about how rich people get rich — they must be “lucky.” (And evil of course.)
Anyhow, I take issue with some of the author’s comments about addiction subculture, in the sense that they leave something out: the New Age-ification of AA, which I’ve written about before. The “disease model” was supposed to be a means to an end, not an end in itself. As is often the case, a lot of lower class people have adopted the New Age stuff that was injected into AA by Bradshaw et al, but they lack the social and intellectual resources to buffer its negative aspects. Same with their adoption of the Playboy “ethic” and other Sixties/Seventies stuff.
Rod Dreher can be such a pain but I’m glad I didn’t run off when I saw his byline. This article is going viral and I have a feeling Trump’s people have ordered a copy of the book for him.
UPDATE — something else from the same author:
I also learned how people gamed the welfare system. They’d buy two dozen packs of soda with food stamps and then sell them at a discount for cash. They’d ring up their orders separately, buying food with food stamps, and beer, wine, and cigarettes with cash. They’d regularly go through the checkout line speaking on their cell phones. I could never understand why our lives felt like a struggle while those living off of government largesse enjoyed trinkets that I only dreamed about.
Mamaw listened intently to my experiences at Dillman’s. We began to view much of our fellow working class with mistrust. Most of us were struggling to get by, but we made do, worked hard, and hoped for a better life. But a large minority was content to live off the dole.
Every two weeks, I’d get a small paycheck and notice the line where federal and state income taxes were deducted from my wages. At least as often, our drug-addict neighbor would buy T-bone steaks, which I was too poor to buy for myself but was forced by Uncle Sam to buy for someone else.