Family history

The quick, brown fox could no longer remember whether it had already written a post on a certain topic, or not, but figured if that was the case (that it had forgotten) then anyone else potentially out there in the aether reading this couldn’t either, so why worry?

Alpha, as you know, is looking into family history. We are slowly, as in a couple years down the road, lining up trips to Ireland and Scotland (near the single-malt whisky trail, apparently) to look at where some of my people are from, but for now she is concentrating on her side of the family.

Her father’s people were miners. They worked in an iron mine that dates back to Celts and Romans. She has spent time in archives and churches going through centuries’ worth of birth and death records.

I have already written about this, haven’t I? It feels so familiar.

Miners were the first workers to unionize in Austria (I think). And there were times when the unions were strong, and wages were okay, and living conditions were relatively healthy. And there were times when the unions got busted, and new workers imported from somewhere else, and pages and pages of death records were full of whole families all dying of the same disease at the same time because people were malnourished and crammed into crowded housing.

There was no endless progress from darkness and misery to light and prosperity. Prosperity and health of these ancestors depended on how strong their union was, because the natural tendency of the mine owners, whether church or state or someone else, was to squeeze as much as possible out of them; they had no interest in the welfare of the miners, and revoked what prosperity the miners had once achieved whenever possible.

Pages and pages of people dying at the same time as some sanitation-based epidemic or another burned through the village.

PS break up Facebook, google, Apple, Twitter, all those guys.

Sources

The original plan was
to make this a text where
a historical event shed
metaphorical light
on a current situation
or condition
but minimal research
made it clear that one
had nothing to do
with the other.

History

Gamma, reading the newspaper:

“Isn’t Gorbachev a vodka?”