Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Liquid Silver Labor Day Blog Tour

Well, you made it this far! Are you following the trail I put up in my previous post? Then you should know that when you leave here, you'll be visiting Tina Holland at http://tinaholland.wordpress.com/.

Okay, I'm going to take a more serious approach to our Labor Day blog hop, because Labor Day does exist for a reason other than giving people a three-day vacation.

As lovely as hardworking men can be -- and as much as we find our own hardworking men the loveliest -- there was a time in this country when the labor movement was much more about courage and sacrifice than ogle-worthy construction workers.

My parents owned three different blue-collar taverns in Milwaukee at three different times. I grew up in the second and third. These were neighborhood joints that never pretended to be anything other than what they were: local gathering places, where factory and road workers could score a free lunch, courtesy of my mother, or listen to the jukebox and gab over cold, cheap beer after they'd punched out for the day.

This was a time when American workers were dedicated and proud, a time when strong unions kept corporate greed from running rampant and sending jobs to sweatshops overseas. There was no out-sourcing. Shoppers found U.S.-made cars on the highways and goods in the stores. Wal-Mart hadn't yet become an economic satellite of China. Products were well built -- not just some of the guys who made those products.

But the strength of our workforce came at a price. A steep one. In their attempts to battle deplorable working environments, long hours, low wages, and other unbearable conditions of their employment, people lost their meager livelihoods . . . and their lives. Women who toiled in textile mills and shirt factories, men who slaved away in mines and on railroads and elsewhere finally shouted, "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take this anymore!"

They banded together and rebelled. Changes came. But, sad to say, much of the ground that was gained has been lost.

So, when Labor Day rolls around, I invariably think of the pioneers of the labor movement. And the patrons of my parents' taverns. And the people who are still fighting to receive or retain their rights.


That doesn't mean, though, I can't eye up a great-looking lifeguard or stable hand. Nuh-uh.

Keep in mind the winner is free to replace my LSB novel InDescent with another from my backlist. I realize stories about men loving men aren't everybody's cup of tea.

You only have to leave a comment at this post, by the way. Not the one that precedes it.

34 comments:

Jan said...

Your commentary on the serious side of Labor day just proves that the role of working men (and women) not just in the US but throughout the world deserves to be celebrated and honored. They supply the wealth of a nation yet they are the ones are the first to take a 'hit' when times are tough!

On the lighter side....yes those hunks posted on this Blog Tour are just simply......delicious, delectable and oh so fine!

K. Z. Snow said...

I'm glad you appreciated the post, Jan. I didn't mean to ignore the plight of workers in other parts of the world; Lord knows, many of them are suffering, too. I just focused on the U.S. because of the national holiday.

Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the eye candy!

dfsalsa said...

Just_Debi here.

what you said is so true and i thank you for that. I also thank you for the hunks to add sparkle to my day.

Alanna Coca said...

Well said K.Z.

Judy said...

If it wasn't for all the working men and women in this world, we would not have the wonderful life we have. This is hard times, but we will make it!!

Love the hunk workers!!! Great blog tour everyone!!

Gem Sivad said...

I'm finding the horse and man a wonderful composite picture.

Muscle, great long legs, wonderful shoulder confirmation, great flanks, rump very nicely rounded and evidence of staying power...*sigh*

the horse is nice too.

gem

Maggie J said...

Well said K.Z!!The working men and women are to be celebrated cause with them we would be lost.

Love the hunks!!

Maggie J said...

I meant to say without them we would be lost.Its cause of them we have the things we do.

Jen said...

I truly enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing your feelings about Labor Day and our country. I whole-heartedly agree with you. And the pictures were outstanding choices. LOL

Dark Diva said...

Thanks for the serious side of Labor Day. It helps to remind us all.

Wow! I sure would like to be that horse!

Melissa Conatser

Cathy M said...

Great post, KZ. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your men with us.

Jean P said...

Very nice commentary.
Enjoyed the very nice pics you posted

Serena Shay said...

Absolutely correct, K.Z.! Great post. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Just had to drop in and thank you guys for your nice comments.

Wish I could've taken more time with the hunk hunting, but I was getting way too distracted. ;-)

(Gem, you're wicked!)

Stephanie said...

*faints* I don't think I've ever wanted to be a horse so bad in my life. LOL! Great pics! Happy Labor Day!

Savanna Kougar said...

K.Z. ~ RIGHT ON!!!
I wish there were more people today who demonstrated that kind of courage.
Maybe we could our country working in all the right ways.

Debbie_D said...

My son asked me today what labor day was about and your post here is a wonderful explanation.

Becky said...

I enjoyed your post. Thanks for the serious side of Labor Day.

I love the pictures especially the one with the man and the horse.

Tam said...

Mmmm. A working man. Niiiice. Although ever since a friend pointed out that story of the guy and the horse in Florida I can never look at that picture the same way again. Ack. Sorry. :-)

Great post though. Too often these holidays are simply that, a three day weekend with no history to most of us.

Dawn said...

Although I appreciate the seriousness of your words, I am more about the pics.
Not saying it's unimportant. Just never minded the few distractions.
But damn, I love your choices!!!! Yeah!

Kay said...

thank you for sharing some insight about Labor Day and the American spirit! Viewing your page just reminded me how lucky and fortunate we all are....even through all of the outsourcing and struggles we as hard working Americans have to go through....All I can say is it makes us strong~just as strong as the protruding muscles of the beautiful piece of art with it's splendid arms around the horse's neck...I would like to take this time to say I strongly wish I was the horse....strongly

Juniper Bell said...

Love your post, K.Z.! The serious part and the smokin' part. I totally agree.

K. Z. Snow said...

I'm surprised the horse didn't mistake that butt for apples grown in paradise. :-D

Debbie Tsikuris said...

Sigh, very nice thanks. My dh & I always labor on labor day, except this year, he finally gave himself the day off. so happy for him & our younger daughter, went to Pioneer Day celebration.
He's earned it

debbie

LizeeS said...

Thoughtful post. And, see... what did I say in the last blog about horses??? I've never in my long career with them seen a stable hand go this far to take care of his horse, but I'd hire this guy in a half-a-sec.

HockeyVampiress said...

I come from families that have always been labourers of some sort.... so I do agree that they day should give them a respit from the work they perform daily... now I want to add I want to be that pony..... yeah baby

Shell B

Pat said...

My mom remembed me about reason for the holiday. But at one time I thought was great because my birthday was on the day . But to look the guys they make labor look hot

Babyblue22 said...

Well Said K Z!!! Great Post, it's so true how hard things were and still are! The working men & women definitely deserve respect and Thanks!!

Oh and great Pics!! ;-)
~Afshan

K. Z. Snow said...

I want to thank all of you for participating in this craziness. Little did I know that a nekkid guy with a horse would arouse such . . . interest. ;-)

lindseye said...

Interesting thoughts for Labor Day which has become the end of summer. Thank you for the insight (and the eye candy).

Carol L. said...

Your post is dead on. This is a holiday that should reflect on the pioneers of the Labor Movement. As well as that good looking cowboy hugging his horse. :)
Carol L.
Luck4750@aol.com

booklover0226 said...

My, there is some mighty fine flesh here... and the horse ain't bad, either...

(bl0226)

Jeanne said...

KZ
THANK YOU for the post. When I was in college my dh and I picketed on the site of the Triangle Factory fire. NYU bought that building and we all thought it was fitting to protest the below minimum wages of the cafeteria workers of the school.
Not sure if some of the younger generation even know what that event was about.
But, d/t the deaths of those female workers, working conditions were improved. 95% of them were immigrants. their children and grandchildren benefited from the sacrifice of their mothers.

K. Z. Snow said...

I have a book on the Triangle fire, Jeanne -- horrific. Another eye-opener is the movie Matewan. Those were some grim and grisly battles that workers fought. But, as you said, at least their efforts weren't in vain.