Wednesday, October 18, 2017


 In the 18th century, the first self-operating Atmospheric engine was invented, according to legend, by an employee who got tired of sitting there turning valves to make the piston on a Newcomen engine pumping water out of a mine go up and down. He rigged up a system of ropes and pulleys to do it unassisted. It was a huge improvement, but there's a good chance he was chastised for laziness, employers being what they always have been.

An insurance company I used to work for was very late in adopting mechanical calculators when they first came out.  It would surely make the clerks lazy.

You run across the meme in one form or another, if you read social history. Serfs, the unemployed, the recipients of charity or  government aid, the lame and the blind and the poor are lazy. The employee you exploit unfairly is lazy, the addict, the drunk, the mentally ill, the sick and injured. Easier to call them lazy than provide help.

Poor old Bob Cratchet was lazy for wanting Christmas off from work and the straw man ( or woman) of the lazy welfare recipient is so ingrained in conservative thought that Americans hardly questioned the Great Communicator when he made up his own lazy Welfare Queen.

It's a way of assuaging conscience for those who have one. It's a way of forgiving oneself for failures.  It was once a way of showing that black people in the American south needed to be enslaved - because they wouldn't be able to take care of themselves, being lazy and stupid. Had to be whipped because they were lazy. Had to be whipped so that the industrious boss with his work effort didn't have to pay them.

We're all liberals and people of conscience, so we all despise slavery and exploitation and so our objectives really put us above question, at least in our own minds. When we catch Mr. Trump calling Hispanic American storm victims lazy, he insinuates that Texans and Floridians are not and are worthy of help and we demonstrate our fury - in words anyway. Words don't require much work after all, not like voting, but I digress.

Like so many other liberals I go on the blogs and social media and I let everyone know how angry I am and how bad are those who see things differently.  Imagine how offended I am and how you might also be if because you mentioned that calling someone lazy for your own financial gain was not the exclusive habit of ante-bellum plantation owners, but a habit of  unscrupulous exploiters since the beginning of time, you are declared, in rather irate terms to be a racist. I'm already white so I must be, I have information and ideas that differ from the official talking points, so I must be and by the power vested in the righteous by Facebook I am condemned.

Look at where this long struggle has landed us, like pit bulls in the ring while injustice runs rampant.

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