Our world was built on the backs of laborers who toiled in the fields and created buildings that dared to touch the sky.
The food in our world is planted, tended, and harvested by the rough-hewn hands of migrant workers, farmers and locally hired muscle.
As we continue to emerge in the world — few people want to learn the means of making something work out of nothing.
Everyone wishes to wear the false honor of a white-collar manager. Parents want their children sitting behind desks providing orders to minions rather than having their offspring do the work that breaks backs and stiffens joints.
Why have we come so far to only leave the best of us behind?
Vocational training — especially in the USA — is seen as a lesser job, a defeat of expectation and a disappointment of promise, rather an honorable job filling a necessary and, oftentimes, desperate, need in the marketplace.
How did we come to live in The Age of the PhD while The Need For Human Muscle is forlorn and scorned?
We are currently in the midst of two labor actions in the entertainment industry that may soon be coming to an end — but while we are in the center of these crises is the time to ask and wonder why these artisans are on strike.
The Writers Guild is on strike begging for a sliver — a full slice would never be allowed — of the new media pie.
The Broadway stage hands are on strike for a fairer deal that will continue to require the beating hearts of actual people behind the scenes. If the producers had their way, robots and machines would move all the sets and load in all the scenery for the shows.
As well, labor actions are looming in the next year with movie and television actors and directors.
Why is there labor unrest in what some might consider the soft, white-collar, entertainment industry?
What many people fail to realize is The Arts — movies, theatre, painting, music, television — are Crafts industries populated with artisan laborers. Artists are not business people. They do not run empires.
They serve their muses and demons and hope they are lucky enough to be paid for their sweat equity.
A Playwright is a “play builder” — a craftsman — who is required to form the structure of a play that is then executed by other laborers like actors and directors.
All laborers require formal training, dedicated mentoring and live learning in the field of moments to properly prepare and deliver on the hopeful expectation of society.
As we look beyond The Arts we must realize we must appreciate day laborers, box deliverers, garbage collectors, sign painters, line cooks, maids, street cleaners and other service workers who actually do the hard work of keeping a city and its core alive and running.
A city can do without multiple managers, but drive down the numbers of the police force, or the fire department or the city sanitation corps — and everything immediately becomes more dangerous, filthier and less humane as profanity and violence become the new commerce of the day.
Without labor — a city implodes.
Without labor — a state dies.
Without labor — the whole world lives in the dark waiting for the right trained hands to light a fire.