Wednesday, September 07, 2005

That's what being in the working class is all about -- how to get out of it.

Some people call the working class the backbone of society, whereas others call them a drain on society. I think I sit somewhere comfortably between the two, being from two working class parents who worked their way up on to some middle to lower middle class platform. I feel anger for the working class, as well as jealousy, and a whole load of other confusing thoughts and feelings in between.

In Manchester, I drink at a local pub which is mainly filled with working class people, drinking, farting and swearing like there's no tomorrow. They are honest, and straight forward, as well as rude and careless. There's one woman I've spoken to, who has recently got married and had a baby, and she told me all she wants in this life is a nice little house with a backgarden. That is her goal. No ambition for a mansion, for a big car, or private school education for the children, just a house with a backgarden. Part of me felt sadness for this woman who had no drive for the best, but then part of me was happy. I have dreams for all those things I listed above, but would I be anymore happy than her? If I got a mansion, a big car and private school education for my children, would I be happier than she was in her nice little house with a backgarden where she could sit with her husband and watch their son play?

There are plenty of smart children who live on the council estate she does, who went to the school their parents, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters, and cousins did, and aspired for nothing greater than what the family members before them achieved. Why should they? Their mum only has three GCSEs and she's fine, right? Working in the local supermarket day in day out, with the occasional shift at the local pub never did their mum any harm, so why should they want more?

I cant quite separate my feelings on these people, who are as content, if not more so, than the classes above them. They could be so much more, they can see so many great things, and be a part of something better than the locals' dart team. They could do alevels, they could go to university, they could be the boss, they could have the big house and fast car, but they don't seem to want it. Or maybe they dont feel they deserve it, or could even get it if they tried?

Are my definitions of "better" things materialistic? I cant go to my local and have a drink with my grandma, then have a chat with cousin, and finish the night with buying my brother in law a pint. I know plenty of people who live off that estate who have that night weekly, at the least. Is that not better? Is it not better to be content with what you have, however big or small that is? Part of me is jealous that I'm not content with what I have in the way they do.

There's that TV show 'Shameless' about some poor, crazy, immoral working class family from Manchester. Is being shameless so terrible? Is living your life the way you want to, warts and all, such an embarrassing or bad way to live?

People find it very easy to criticise the working class, with an image of drunken brawls, of swearing idiots, of crude law breakers. Amongst all of these stereotypes, there's a lot of love, and unity, between family and strangers who are all fighting the same fight... and yes, honestly and truthfully, part of me is jealous of what they have. Part of me wishes I was shameless.


At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ive been arsed lol who are you? lol wwfcpogue

At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeh mate.. been down that road had those thoughts.. But what is happiness/contentment, its a subjective thing.. Strive aspire, get the power/car/home white picket fence, yet still feel an emnptiness a sense of unfinished business.. who are we to judge what is a complete existence and what is not

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Bollo said...

Thats my comment above BTW.. Need page after page to do a proper answer justice but you can see my drift

At 1:07 PM, Blogger jenlou said...

that was the best one yet. look at all thats inside of you. you dont see it, but you've got the special stuff.. she gave it to you. xxx


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