Matewan

We watched one of our favorite films tonight, John Sayles’ Matewan (1987). I happen to have been raised in a coal mining town in West Virginia not far from there, and I listened to my Dad tell stories about his days in the coal mines during the depression, when he road a bike from Wisconsin to West Virginia looking for work. Those were the days when the unions were starting to get hold in that impoverished world–impoverished because of those very same wealthy old white men who have turned the state into Trump country today. We still have some of my dad’s old pay slips from pre-and-post John L. Lewis when his pay almost doubled from a few bucks a week to a few more, and the coal company store took it all back.

Coal isn’t king anymore. Why does Trump want to put the workers back into the mines where so many have and will die of black lung disease? Why are they so determined to take the tops off those beautiful mountains? I grew up in Little Switzerland.

Anyway, if you can get hold of the film, you should see it.

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