H.G. Wells, in his review of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, in 1927
At ten that night I go to the break room for my final break, too footsore to walk out to the smoking area, and sit down with my feet up on the bench. My earlier break, the one I’d committed so many crimes to preserve, had been a complete bust, with no other human around but a management-level woman from accounting. I have that late-shift shut-in feeling that there’s no world beyond the doors, no problem greater than the mystery items remaining at the bottom of my cart. There’s only one other person in the break room anyway, a white woman of maye thirty, watching TV, and I don’t have the energy to start a conversation, even with the rich topic of the strike at hand.
And then, by the grace of the God who dictated the Sermon on the Mount to Jesus, who watches over Melissa and sparrows everywhere, the RV picks up on the local news and the news is about the strike. A picketer with a little boy tells the camera, ‘This is for my son. I’m doing this for my son.’ Senator Paul Wellstone is standing there too. He shakes the boy’s hand, and says, ‘You should be proud of your father.’ At this my sole companion jumps up, grinning, and waves a fist in the air at the TV set. I give her the rapid two-index-fingers-pointing-down signal that means ‘Here! Us! We could do that too!’ She bounds over to where I’m sitting — if I were feeling peppier I would have gone over to her — leans into my face, and says ‘Damn right!’ I don’t know whether it’s my feet or the fact that she said ‘damn,’ or what, but I find myself tearing up. She talks well past my legal break time and possibly hers — about her daughter, how she’s sick of working long hours and never getting enough time with her, and what does this lead to anyway, when you can’t make enough to save?
I still think we could have done something, she and I, if I could have afforded to work at Wal-Mart a little longer.” —Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich (via bundlehq) (via tiedupwithstring)