Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Brotherhood Of Industrial Man

The brotherhood of man has been the ideal every man has sought throughout history but has always been denied.

Going back, way back, of course there were Cain and Abel, who were denied it. It might've been they hadn't yet realized that smacking someone with a cudgel would be fatal. Whatever it was, one rash smack and the whole thing was over, no brotherhood of man. And it marked Cain for life.

Since then, we became more familiar with the ways of cudgels, adding to our arsenals every weapon known to man, including the hoe, the rake, and the shovel. There have been times when it's been all out war, with many falling on the battlefield and being left for dead. Some indeed did die. Others crawled away to nurse their wounds in solitude, avoiding others, becoming hermits, still with a sense about the brotherhood of man in their hearts without any longer having any conscious desire to attain it.

I was the same way -- ending up here at my grandmother's house, becoming the man of the house by process of elimination, after Grandpa died. Then the rest of the family got older and feeble and couldn't make it back as often. My high school friends got married, had kids, and moved on. Then I became acquainted with a few people at church, but for the most part they're such fanatics that it's hard to be around them. That's the way it turned out.

But I have eyes, I could always see what was going on around me. People were content to do the whole residential thing, tending their lawns, waving as they drove by while also locking their door. Most people bought a TV and so they confined themselves to their house to sit in cobwebs while the TV flashed strange colors and lights around the room, making a weird silhouette of them behind, while they would occasionally laugh if they saw something funny.

I would go outside once in a while and look up at the sky. Then I'd look down and go back in. That's what you do when there's a yearning in your heart that you can't speak with your tongue. And the yearning was this, for the brotherhood of man.

And who knew how it would come about? It happened basically by accident, or accident and a combination of divine whim. It took the Residential Industrial Movement to finally make it happen. I was down in the mouth about the major industrial powers, so I and a few neighbors responded with creating our own industries. The idea caught on, swept the nation. They've tried to hush it up and fight it, but that's tough to do; once you have your own tire factory, all you can think of it making tires ... and friends.

You need friends, obviously, because you want to sell tires. Or diapers. Or shoes. Or hospital beds. Or the button panels for elevators. Or vats. And those friends need friends. Everyone suddenly needs friends, not just for selling to, but for buying from, to help with defense against the major industrial powers, etc. It all builds on itself.

I realized all this when the community came together to build Ted Spooner's first vat. We were no longer sitting on our couches alone and sad. We were together as the brotherhood of industrial man. Finally, we had something in common -- a common humanity worth celebrating!

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