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Working Class Hero-A Rock and Roll Epistle

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John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band Copyright 1970 Apple Records 


Working Class Hero--A Rock and Roll Epistle

By Richard Girard

"As soon as you're born they make you feel small,
 By giving you no time instead of it all;
 Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all.
 A working class hero is something to be,
 A working class hero is something to be."

"Working Class Hero," John Lennon

God, I wish John Lennon was still alive.

Bob Dylan may have expressed the despair and discontent of the Sixties better than John, but Lennon had no equal in consistently expressing the 1960's anger and openly rebellious spirit.

One of Lennon's consistent refrains was about the people who society tried to force to be a square peg in a round hole, or those individuals who lived outside society's "norms." The underlying theme of these songs, from the Beatles "Nowhere Man," "Ballad of John and Yoko," and "Come Together," to his solo "Working Class Hero," were about society trying to force people into positions where they did not belong, and could not be happy.

John had a liberal humanistic view of the world. This viewpoint does not try to make everyone happy, but instead gives everyone a realistic possibility of happiness, as long as it does not interfere with the happiness of others. John had finally found that happiness with Yoko and Sean before his untimely death.

"They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
 They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool;
 Till you're so fuckin' crazy you can't follow their rules.
 A working class hero is something to be,
 A working class hero is something to be."

"Working Class Hero," John Lennon

My greatest complaint about the American education system is that the corporations are trying--and succeeding--to make schools into mirror images of the corporations, with concern only for the short term results, rather than the long term good of the nation and its people. The whole idea of "teaching to the test" is the educational equivalent of the corporation maximizing shareholder profits, rather than looking out for the long term good of the company. This includes eliminating all "unnecessary" expenditures like new text books, small class sizes, experienced teachers, etc.

In my July 22, 2011 OpEdNews Article, "Teach Your Children--A Rock and Roll Epistle," I pointed out that there is both reason and method to this seeming madness by the plutocrats:

"Chris Hedges wrote the following in his April 11, 2011 article at, 'Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System:'

'A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.'

I believe that [this] is part of the why, and part of the what of the plutocracy's attack on our public education system. Hedges continues, '"We spurn real teachers--those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential--and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the "Texas Miracle," is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.'

This covers the how and the what, but not the deepest roots of the why. At the deepest roots of the why is this: The reaction by the public--in particular the nation's young people--against the war in Vietnam and President Nixon's perfidy in the Watergate scandal, scared the hell out of the oligarchic corporatists. The best educated generation in American history had said 'no' to the plots of the plutocrats, and disrupted their machinations. The plutocrats' worst fears of the long-term results of FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society were borne out, as stated in Lewis F. Powell's infamous 1971 memo. They knew something had to be done, before they completely lost control.

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Richard Girard is an increasingly radical representative of the disabled and disenfranchised members of America's downtrodden, who suffers from bipolar disorder (type II or type III, the professionals do not agree). He has put together a team to (more...)
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to remember the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, th... by Richard Girard on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 8:59:07 PM
Those of us who survived the Civil Rights movement... by Richard Girard on Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 at 4:27:29 PM