Saturday, November 24, 2012

Home-Grown Sentiment from Southern Illinois: 'Hurt Not the Oil and the Wine'

Sentiment from a Southern Illinois Oil Field Worker
Whenever SAM and I visit Southern Illinois, we do our best to boost its economy by purchasing some local products. The last time that SAM went up there for work, he came home with wine and apples...














and the shirt pictured above. One of the oil field workers he has known for years now has a little side business selling shirts with some home-grown sentiments like the one pictured. They're fairly popular in certain circles. I wonder if the Oil-Drop Lady (that's what SAM calls her) on this American Petroleum Institute commercial would like it? SAM wishes that someone would hire him to make a commercial. He says he would be the perfect Gas-Bubble Man. I have to agree with him.

I heard on the news this weekend that Larry Hagman, the actor who played J. R. Ewing on the hit TV show Dallas way back in the 1980s, has died. He created a character that people loved to hate, and it's no surprise that this character's slimy behavior was associated with his powerful position as head of an oil company. For some reason, over the years the term "oil business" has become synonymous with corruption and greed. Why, though? The United States' oil and gas industry employs tens of thousands of hard-working people, and the pay is pretty darn good in most cases. These people actually produce something useful. It's valuable, oh-so-necessary to our current standard of living, and marketed worldwide. Remember when one of the most important measures of America's wealth (GDP) was based on the goods and services she produced herself? I do.

Now it seems that our economy is driven by what we consume, mostly products from other countries. You might have noticed just how crazy it is this time of year in the department stores and shopping malls. Black Friday crept back to Thursday this year and interrupted the usually peaceful celebration of Thanksgiving. Workers at stores like Wal-Mart and Target were rightfully upset that they couldn't be at home with their friends and loved ones on a truly American holiday. They had to go to work so consumers could do what they do best. Consume. On Thanksgiving.

I feel a little guilty myself of participating in the consumptive madness. We went out for dinner (gasp!) instead of cooking and eating at home. No shopping was involved, just eating at a local, Pensacola favorite--the Angus Steak House and Restaurant. It was lip-smackin' good! We thanked the server for working on a holiday and gave her a big tip.


14 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi W2W .. I like that you support the local community wherever you go - the wine and apples look good - the T shirt is fun ... so pleased you had a good meal .. Sad about Larry Hagman - but he certainly created a character we couldn't forget ... cheers Hilary

Brigitta Huegel said...

Dear Walk2Write,
thank you, it is interesting to read about Thanksgiving that way. I always am wondering even on a normal day why the shops have to be open till ten o'clock in the evening (in Germany they were very strict till ten years ago - they all closed at six o'clock p.m. That made you hurry and wasn't that good either - but now there seems nothing but consuming). A world without oil - sounds cold...
I wish you a nice week!

Julie said...

My daughter and I were just talking about the Christians who want to judge everyone, when it clearly states that GOD is the only judge. We all need to love one another, and that's it! Wonderful tee shirt. The only thing I can imagine is that there are folks out there that can always pick up more hours at work, and are willing to work the holidays. Sad, but true. Even Sears opened at 8am on Thanksgiving Day...I have to say I was shocked! Well, God bless us all!

☆sapphire said...

"We went out for dinner instead of cooking and eating at home." This part made me smile because it is quite likely that I do the same. I clicked on the link and found out that the restaurant was really beautiful and gorgeous and the dishes there looked so good! What a wonderful time you had there! We have always been encouraged to buy the products from the affected areas(3.11) since last year to boost the economy of the regions.

troutbirder said...

Interesting. I'm with you on supporting local and home made. As to the Texas oil zillionairs and their attempt to control the nationals politics... not so much. I've also tried to promote the eat out on Thanksgiving notion to give Mrs. T a break. She gets offended and claims it UNAMERICAN....

LTM said...

LOL! omg, I LOVE that shirt... :D and I KNOW we lost J.R. I was really happy the Dallas reboot was so successful before he died. Happiness.

and hey! Thanks for the awesome shout-out for ROUGE! you ROCK, Tara! <3

Ciss B said...

Well the economy is not making much from my household. We buy food, and once in a while clothing with an occasional stop at the local hardware (Not the big box ones) for repair items for whatever needs fixing. I make Christmas mostly, too. (But my little '96 Jetta needs repairs more often! :-) )

Rose said...

You won't see me anywhere near the malls on Black Friday, and certainly not on Thanksgiving Day! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Sarah Laurence said...

It's good to see you buying local. It's not oil that's evil it's how people use it wastefully. Buying local is good for the local environment and economy and the global climate too. We saw the notice about Larry Hagman in the airport and I kept expecting to hear it was just a dream.

walk2write said...

Ms. Hilary, since I'm part of the local economy (VERY small business owner), I feel even more inclined toward helping others in similar situations. Maybe it's time for the country to become self-sufficient again.

Ms. Britta, you would think that normal business hours would satisfy people like they once did. Ben Franklin once said "early to bed, early to rise keeps a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." It's no wonder the world in general is sicker, poorer, and more intellectually challenged than ever before. It must have something to do with electricity:)

Julie, yeah, sometimes Christians are not good role models for loving, selfless behavior. I guess that Adamic nature is too damn set in its ways. Amen to the last bit!

Sapphire, I'm glad you agree with our assessment of the restaurant. I think the family ownership is what makes it special.

TB, I don't know any TX oil zillionaires, but there are many small producers with a big stake in what happens politically. You should check out what goes on in the Illinois state legislature regarding the state's oil production. It's shameful. Talk about Un-American.

You're welcome, LTM! I'm not sure who Tara is, but oh well.

Ciss B, I know what you mean. It's almost painful to go grocery shopping. I keep thinking if I just had a place in the country, I could raise my own chickens, milk my own cows, make my own cheese, grow my own cotton...Our vehicles are almost as old as yours. I say a prayer for their good health every day.

Rose, I still haven't gone to the mall and probably won't until after the new year. Holiday music and decor makes me almost nauseous. Maybe it's because we used to own a retail shop and played along with the nonsense.

Sarah, you're right. I think people forget that oil is a natural thing. And without it, we wouldn't be as technologically advanced as we are. Actually, it's strange that the show Dallas was so popular in the 80s. That (mid 80s) was when the oil market tanked here in the U.S., the price of oil plummeted, and thousands of oil field workers were suddenly unemployed. No bailout for them. Cheap, imported oil kept the industry from recovery and growth for nearly 20 years.

You know, I liked Mr. Hagman better as the military guy on I Dream of Jeanie. In my opinion, he was too nice in real life to play a nasty character.

cosmos said...

I didn't know what "black Friday" meant so I "googled"it.
Here there tends to have longer business hours and fewer closed days as well because of cut-throat competition.
My husband runs a small company of seafood in a market and in a department store. December is when the sale is the biggest. I call myself "December widow". I have an ambivalent feeling but he is rewarded his contribution with big sales, hopefully.

Lydia Kang said...

Consumption is good for the economy! But it does make you feel guilty after a while.

mrbrownthumb said...

I think the oil business has a bad reputation because of politicians and wars, and because of ecological disasters. It isn't like the average worker is out there behaving badly, tarnishing the industries reputation.

Tomz said...

Hello W2W,

Sorry for being away from blogs for a long time..In India, there are some invisible movements asking people to use Desi (native) products, instead of using foreign products. I didnt know this was a universal issue.