And I Am Joe.
He was a guy tossing a football with his kid in the front yard of his $125,000 house when a politician picked him out as a prop for a 30 second newsbite for the cable news cameras. Joe simply had the temerity to speak truth (or, if you prefer, an uninformed opinion) to power, for which the politico-media axis apparently determined that he must be humiliated, harassed, smashed, destroyed. The viciousness and glee with which they set about the task ought to concern anyone who still cares about citizen participation, and freedom of speech, and all that old crap they taught in Civics class before politics turned into Narrative Deathrace 3000, and Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0.
Godwin’s Law! you say? if the jackboot fits, wear it.
If it’s meta-memes and meta-meta-narratives these media headlice want, so be it.
Embarrassed to say that I once, nearly 30 years ago, wanted to be part of what Iowahawk calls the “media headlice,” and all these years later I don’t even remember why. I think I would have been content to spin records all day and make snappy DJ patter. Even now that aspiration seems to have soured.
Regardless, I grew up in a neighborhood of Joes. I am the son of a Joe – a salesman who busted his arse nearly ever day of his life and had to cut that short because a couple of clogged arteries slowed him down to where he could not go out on the road but maybe three days a week. And to where every overnight trip he made made us uneasy because we always expected a phone call from some sheriff’s office in a county somewhere in the state asking us to come identify a body.
He’s all right now. Eighty-three years old. But he’s a Joe. So is my brother, a meat cutter. So are my twin nephews: a car salesman and a house painter.
And so am I. If any of us want to “share the wealth,” we’ll be the ones do decide to do it. And we’ll be generous. All Joes are.
(h/t: American Digest)