Monday, 13 March 2017

An interesting American perspective on working life in the Lake District

I follow the blog of an American archaeologist who blogs under the name 'Bensozia'. He writes about some fascinating stuff, but this week I was very surprised to find that he's writing on the Lakeland shepherd James Rebanks whose book seems to be getting about a bit.  Bensozia approaches it with a comparison between working life in the USA and the rural idyll that Rebanks portrays in the north of England.  I'm not sure how many people (on either side of the Atlantic) would agree with what Ben has to say.

Blencathra - my own particular fells

". . . if you ask me why so many Americans prefer early retirement or disability to paid labor, I answer: read James Rebanks. Take a close look at what truly compelling work looks like. And then measure how far the sort of jobs available to most Americans fall short of it. People are abandoning work not because they are lazy or lack moral fiber, but because the work they could get is soul-destroying: mindlessly routine labor under the strict eye of domineering bosses, completely lacking in community or tradition, leading to nothing that you can hold in your hand or be proud that you have done.”

If you'd like to read everything that Ben has to say, here's the link to Bensozia. 

Oh, and if you'd like a really good Tuesday Poem on a suitable theme, why not take a look at 'Translating Mountains from the Gaelic' which is on Seren publishing's website at the moment.  It's from Yvonne Reddick's prize-winning pamphlet called 'Translating Mountains'.

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