Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Angry note written during my own gutting.

"Palacio," Edward Hopper

Day in, day out, the lettuce and strawberries get picked. Workers build the homes that will shelter our families. Some, with mops, spread boiling tar and hammer down shingles on our roofs in 100+ degree heat. Others in slaughterhouses, where as many as two-thirds of the workers are illegal immigrants, work long, hard shifts dismembering animals speeding by at rates up to 309 per hour. Animals that are supposed to be dead but often aren't that moan and watch with open eyes as they are disemboweled on their way to becoming McDonald's cheeseburgers or a Pilgrim's Pride.

All of these workers, because they are here illegally, are subject to varying degrees of exploitation. We all know that, but that's not our focus of concern. They're here and, because they are, many of us wish they weren't, despite the benefits we the consumers and they--their employers--reap as a result of their worker exploitations.

But that's not what I want to talk about in today's somewhat incohesive and dismembered thoughts. No, however, like those cows, pigs and chickens dangling in some slaughterhouse production line that aren't quite dead but, with eyes open, are watching what's "going down," I softly moan at the fate of myself and my fellow pigs and chickens.

And so it is that I'd like to share the success story of just one immigrant family. They came here two generations ago. And whether they came here legally or not is a fact one of their grandchildren is either intentionally vague about because maybe they did so illegally, or he's just honestly unaware. But this couple managed to stay here and raise a family. And quite successfully, because that one particular grandson with the vague answer to the question of his grandparent's immigrant status became a lawyer, rising to the highest office in the land charged with overseeing the administration of our nation's laws.

Those would be laws that now permit torture, and the override of due process, laws that permit invasions of our constitutionally quaranteed right to invasionless privacy now being blatantly invaded, and the interpretation of laws so as to grant our president and his co-conspirators exemption from charges of international war crimes-- all the result of his perverted interpretations of said law. I'm talking about our Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales.

Perhaps it is the the desire of former outsiders of the American Dream who are so eager to participate in that dream they willingly cast aside the dreams of their ancestors. Dreams of becoming participants in the grand American experiment, even if it means the gutting and messy slaughter of Liberté as she dangles upside down on a factory sausage assembly line.

Maybe that's why Gonzales so willingly forsakes the dreams of his forebears, his gentle abuelos, just as our former secretary of state Colin Powell or his successor, our current Chevron Oil Tanker secretary of state Rice, foresaked the dreams of theirs, so anxious were they to be white and American and terrorize those of the world of color who were neither.

And this is where I lost it watching MSNBC's "Countdown" with Keith Olbermann last night. Because while we're all zeroed in on the heated issue of immigrants here illegally, the grandson of immigrants, here either legally or otherwise, is now in a position to dismember and gut the nation his grandparents chose to so lovingly embrace, to grow their future in, to raise a family. And in watching the Olbermann story about attorney general Gonzales going to imprison journalists who publicize government leakers, I madly scribbled the following. (Pardon if it may be incoherent, but I include it here as written as I moaned softly while witnessing my own gutting.)

"We're worried about Mexican aliens here illegally in this country picking our lettuce and working in the slaughterhouses of Nebraska when our attorney general doesn't even know of the legality of the conditions his own grandparents came to this country under as he how stands at the podium explaining to reporters how he's dismantling our Constitution by jeopardizing their rights to write freely. FASCISTS!

The weak Fourth Estate is the last resort of cks. & balances our congress no longer cares to uphold."

And I get the eerie feeling, despite our low moans, we're all, each of us with eyes open, still conscious and dangling upside down on the production line, being disemboweled, on our way to becoming dead meat; on our way to becoming McDonald's cheeseburgers or a Pilgrim's Pride.


Anonymous said...

I saw that interview (Russert?) where Gonzales answers "it's unclear" in response to whether his OWN grandparents came into this country illegally. When the follow-up included the same question of illegality, he once again parroted "it's just unclear" only this time with a little narrow gleam in his eyes, which I took to mean "ask me one more time, Rusty, & the wires I've pre-attached to your testicles will be electrified."

It's as "unclear" as an azure blue sky. The incredible chutzpah of the man! But what else to expect of someone who would rise so high with this prez. No respect for history, even his own.

But, dada, did you HAVE to mention that some slaughterhouse animals are still conscious during their own gutting? Very appropriate to your theme, but I was unaware of this fact & now ... I'm even more sickened by this evil barbaric system that removes all us consumers from the horrific reality of how those neat little plastic pkgs end up in our supermarkets. D.K.

dada said...

D.K. Thanks for the comment. I felt this was a little discombobulated, hitting on a couple of topics, doing none of the any particular justice. Just injustices but, hey, injustice is in vogue these days, isn't it?

It's funny how this blog came about. I really was angry by Gonzales last night. Such a smug little nazi.

Then I was visiting over at "Fish Wars" where Nona was telling of her two chickens. Oh, growing up on a farm in the summers of my youth, I knew chickens but they were just a bunch of dumbclucks to me.

Nona has shown me they are sentient, alert beings. And my wife (PETA member) hints at atrocities, but kinda shelters me from her bi-monthly PETA's graphic mag. images.

Anyway, somehow the slaughter, immigration, and the nazi just got thrown in together.

Loved your imagery of Russert above the table, with his 'juevos' wired under the table. After all, "Beto" is the the torture turdle, isn't he?

Wow....in just two short generations, he's really latched on to the American dream, hasn't he?

Nona said...

And I get the eerie feeling, despite our low moans, we're all, each of us with eyes open, still conscious and dangling upside down on the production line, being disemboweled, on our way to becoming dead meat; on our way to becoming McDonald's cheeseburgers or a Pilgrim's Pride.

This last paragraph brilliantly tied it all together. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

dada said...

Nona: No, my thanks to your blog of your "kids"....for helping me realize once more it is I who has been the arrogant bastard by stereotyping chickens all these years...despite enjoying the "fruits of their lay-bors" for breakfast each morning. For that, it is I who says, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

some_maineiac said...

ecchhh, dada, I'm with DK on the appropriateness of your imagery to your theme, but now I'm forced to contemplate how those neat little packages of meat get to the market...

you might turn me into a real farmer or a vegetarian, yet, though...if I can get past treating all animals as pets, I'll be certain they're killed humanely...

dada said...

maineiac: I enjoyed your "if I can get past treating all animals as pets" comment.

I remember on the farm. Enjoying a steak, my brother-in-law asked my sister, "Is this Blacky we're eating."

I flashed back to the day we'd brought Blacky to the farm as a young calf. My brother-in-law knew what he was doing when he asked that. He loved to see me squirm. (I immediately lost my appetite.)

Don't remember the exact remark of Gretchen Jackson, owner, after Barbaro broke his ankle in over 2,400 places. (Whoops, I think that's the number of dead in Iraq, isn't it?)

Anyway, she something about not getting attached, not loving, these animals. It may have been a remark made out of deep love for her stallion.

But who can treat them like their Subaru or dishwasher?

I'm watering my neighbor's yard while he's out of town. He has five desert tortises in his yard. They left me a can of dogfood to supplement them with while gone.

Spying one tonight while there, he watched as I approached from across the yard. Laying a blob of DF in front of him, he walked right over it...looking straight at me and walking right for me.

I got the impression he was lonelier than hungry. (I finally got him turned around and eating that DF.)

Anonymous said...

Dada, growing up at the edge of desert development had its advantages. Periodically one of those hardy survivors of evolution, a desert tortoise, would wander into our backyard & stay around for a few months. At one point, we had 2 or 3 semi-permanent denizens. The littlest one, "dollface", would come right up to the patio door & look in, pressing her(?)leathery snout up against the glass. We figured out from her side of the slider, all she saw was her own reflection. So either she was near-sightedly vain, or was trying really hard to reach that other turtle.

We fed them whatever was available from my mom's garden: cabbage, cucumbers & zuchinis. Never thought of dog food! I bet your charge was lonely. Why not? (did you rub the top of her head for good luck?) -- D.K.