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Ben Trovato

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Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

Blue collar workers of the world: do not unite

Blue Collar There is a blue-collar renaissance going on in America right now. But don’t get your hopes up.

Put aside those homoerotic images of buff workers breaking their shackles and rising up, each bearing an American flag and led by Bruce Springsteen singing Badlands all the way to Washington DC.

A renaissance is like a revolution, only more gay. The French Renaissance, for example, was a cultural movement that took place about 600 years ago. The African Renaissance, on the other hand, is more like a constipated bowel movement that has yet to happen. I’m sure things will get moving just as soon as someone discovers how to manufacture democracy in the form of a suppository. Shove one up yer president’s bum and wait an hour for the phone to ring. Odds are it will be the World Bank.

The blue-collar renaissance I’m talking about is an audacious fantasy being propagated by a prole called Joe Lamacchia. He has written a book snappily titled Blue Collar and Proud of It: The All-in-One-Resource for Finding Freedom, Financial Success, and Security Outside of the Cubicle.

Or, put another way, Uneducated and Useless: The Self-Help Guide for Idiots.

Helping the workers while exploiting them at the same time. It’s the American way, God bless him. Joe is a 43-year-old father of five – Catholic, I imagine –who runs his own landscaping business in Newton, Massachusetts. Newton is neighbouring Cambridge’s poor cousin and is home to people who couldn’t get into Harvard but instead got into lots of other things. Crack, for one.

Joe never went to college but was smart enough to write a book and flog it for $15 a pop to people who would be better off spending the money on a bag of crystal meth. At least, with tik you can spend an afternoon fantasising about a better life. Books are rubbish for that sort of thing, especially if they don’t have pictures.

Joe also has his own website featuring this loin-stirring tale: ”The next time you’re sitting at an intersection waiting for the traffic light to turn, look around. From the signs hanging off the storefronts and the jack hammering in the street to the electrical lines running across the road and the UPS driver unloading a delivery, blue-collar America is everywhere. We are the glue that holds the community together, the ones you call when your car breaks, your roads are full of potholes, your faucet is leaking and your grass needs trimming. We are America’s backbone.”

That kind of talk makes me nervous. It sounds like something Che Guevara might have said, had he ever done an honest day’s work, instead of sloping around Havana striking noble poses in the hope of getting his face on a T-shirt.

Listen up, bud. We always make a point of looking around when we’re waiting for the lights to turn. The only difference is we do it so that we aren’t taken by surprise when someone tries to smash the window, rip open the door, drag us into the road, set fire to us and steal the car.

”From the bodies hanging off the storefronts and the carjackers hammering in your head to the copper-stripped electrical lines lying across the road and the heistmeisters unloading their weapons into the security guards, no-collar South Africa is everywhere.”

Book details

  • Blue Collar : The All-In-One Resource for Finding Freedom, Financial Success, and Security Outside the Cubicle by Joe Lamacchia, Bridget Samburg
    EAN: 9780757307782
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Pick up a copy of The Ben Trovato Files for just R1053

I bought one of my own books over the Internet the other day.

This sounds more narcissistic and less retarded than it actually is. The book is The Ben Trovato Files, condemned by some as a literary outrage and hailed by others as being second only to the birth of Christ in creating an army of blindly loyal followers.

I bought it because I sold my last remaining copy for beer money and needed to prove to someone that it does, in fact, exist.

The Ben Trovato Files sold out in 2002 and was never reprinted so as to ensure that my literary efforts existed for all eternity in the form of out-of-print first editions only. As any semi-literate halfwit knows, first editions are always more valuable than reprints. And nothing drives up demand like cutting off supply.

That’s why I ended up paying 30 (R220) to a company called Chapter 1 Books for a copy of my first book — more than double the price it originally sold for.

As the last surviving copy, it is clearly a collector’s item. Or so I thought, until I found a dozen other websites hawking the same book. I was outraged. Are there other people out there selling my books for beer money?

It got worse. Abebooks.com, operating from Austin, Texas, is offering The Ben Trovato Files for $106. That’s the equivalent of seven cases of Tafel Lager. I almost tore my eyeballs out when I came across Amazon selling the book for R1053.
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The Ben Trovato Bookstore Now Open for Business – Get On the Run Today!

On the RunMy new book, On The Run, is now available: inscribed copies of this limited edition can be bought through the Ben Trovato Bookstore at a heavily discounted price. Well, relatively heavily. Click over to the bookstore for more.

When my column, On The Run, first appeared in the Cape Times on 3rd September, 2002, it received mixed reactions.

Some people hated it right away. Others loved it – right up until the crosshairs swung in the direction of their own skin colour, their own religion, their own hard-earned prejudices. Suddenly, it wasn’t so funny.

I received several death threats, which were always good for a giggle because ‘kill’ is about the only word that these people know how to spell correctly.

I have received thousands of emails since the column first appeared. Most of them have been full of kind words from people thanking me for making them laugh – an activity that has, by all accounts, been denied to them for way too long.

Some were sent by men and women possessed of a dark and twisted humour, which went a long way towards renewing my faith in this Kafkaesque country.

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The Book You’ve All Been Waiting For: On the Run by Ben Trovato

On The Run“This one time, an American fundamentalist madman by the name of Reverend Donald Spitz from an unspeakable organisation called the Army of God ordered me to say a prayer or burn forever in the eternal hellfires of damnation. Please. I live in South Africa.” – Ben Trovato recalls one person’s reaction to his Cape Times column.

When it appeared on the op-ed page of the aforesaid newspaper for the first time five years ago, the column was met with equal measures of spluttering outrage and rip-snorting hilarity.

Some called Mr Trovato obnoxious, offensive, slanderous and rude. Others said they laughed so much that their morning coffee spurted from their nose.

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