Walt Kelly's Pogo saying 'we have met the enemy and he is us' There should always be room for the classics. IIRC, this particular image was created for an environmentalist campaign, but it could also refer to just about any modern human problem.

Reading Working by Studs Terkel, mostly because he died recently and a bunch of people mentioned that book in the thread about his death. It’s an interesting book if only because it’s so varied. The author spent several years in the 1960s talking with miners, farmers, crane operators, switchboard operators, airline stewardesses, hookers, actors, housewives, policemen, and just about every other job you can think of. Then he wrote down what these people had said about their jobs.

I’m only about 1/5 of the way through the book, but it surprised me how few of the people liked their jobs. It’s also amazing how much things have changed between then and now. Switchboard operators have vanished—good thing, too, as it sounded like a miserable job. People smoked cigarettes everywhere (elevators, airplanes, restaurants) and everyone accepted it. A woman told a story of a co-worker making an unwanted sexual advance. She said, “Um, NO!” and continued to deal with the man on a day-to-day basis. Now, the HR department would be able to utterly PWN a guy like that in 5 seconds, but the woman in the book didn’t have that option.

I wonder what a similar book, done today, would look like.  I wonder whether it’d even be necessary, since everybody can now put together a blog without very much effort and write about their job (or whatever) at will.  Well, I think the process of filtering interviews through a professional writer and consolidating a ton of those interviews into one place probably helped a lot.