Out of My Cold, Dead Hands
The hot breeze whips through the tall buildings of the city that never sleeps.
I weave in and out of the worker bees on their way to their dull jobs to
complement their dull lives and am quickly reminded of something the Lovin’
Spoonful once said, "And, babe, don’t you know it’s a pity the days can’t
be like the nights in the summer in the city." I mean no offense to John
John Sebastian is a dear friend
John Sebastian is not only a
great wordsmith but an expert badminton player.
John Sebastian and I would
wander the streets of Haight/Ashbury during the Summer of Love and try to freak
out the acid heads by screaming, "The pigs!! Oh god help us, the pigs are
tearing the flesh off our bones!!!!" We got many an acidhead to jump off a
building that way. John Sebastian and
I would run rum across the border and, in a vain attempt to avoid the federales,
put on fake moustaches and woolen panchos. I digress.
I am on my way to work at my major media company, deigning to honor them with my presence on this deplorable Monday. Outside, the sun begins to bake the streets, making it hotter than a snake’s ass in wagon rot. I suspect that today will rather uncomfortable for those who toil outside for a living. I respect these manual laborers a great deal. They are the thread that keeps this country going. In my days as a Communist advocate for labor rights, I would often address the unions of these brave men. Here now, an excerpt from a speech that I gave to the United Brotherhood of Garbage men Local 347, New York, New York, on August 3, 1957:
"Friends, comrades, welcome. I thank you deeply for the opportunity to address you all in this forum today. Gentlemen, you toil endlessly and tirelessly for a city of ungrateful people. You, like our brethren the mail carriers, are stopped by neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor dark of night. Heat cannot prevent you from removing the detritus of those residents of this fair city. Yet, when you stop your truck in the street for trash removal, are you not honked by a line of cars? How ungrateful and impatient can they be? When you go to clean the streets, are some cars not polite enough to move for the appointed time? This time does not change weekly. They know. They just do not respect you; do not respect the work that you do.
I empathize with your plight. Though I grew up wealthy, well taken care of and loved, many of you did not. In fact, I presume many of you have not been loved for your entire lives. Many of you possess poorly developed intellects and flat brows. Many of you are set back in the evolutionary scale. It is okay. I am here to love you. The great and passionate Wolinetz loves all men, except Roy Cohn. Come friends; join me in this call to arms. I ask you to throw down your lined gloves and work boots, shed your green sanitation sweatshirts and fight the good fight. I am here to represent you, to work for you, with you. I ask you to join me. We cannot, will not fail.
Thus, fair men of the UBG Local 347, let us strike. For it will be from my cold dead hands that they have to pry this manifesto, ‘We come as one, united in our cause.’ STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE!"
The men of UBG Local 347 applauded loudly that day and on August 4, set out to strike against the city of New York. Eventually our demands were met. I was elected their leader, but by this time had abandoned the Communist Party after a weekend bender in Vegas with Dean and Sammy. Those memories ring clear through my mind. Rest easy, Sam Gompers, we fight on!