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Down With Dirty Jobs (Like Oil Drilling)

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It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

No, I’m not talking about sex work, so don’t expect this to be funny – or titillating (sorry). I’m talking about jobs that nobody should do because they shouldn’t be done because they’re destructive. I am speaking, specifically, of deep sea oil drilling.

The other day I breathed a huge sigh of relief listening to Bill Maher’s show on podcast. He was talking about the citizens of the Gulf states who want deep sea drilling to continue because without it they’ll lose their jobs. Bill said, without waiver or apology, “Fuck your job. You’re going to have to find something else to do. Like building windmills. “

All my life I’ve cringed whenever people say they can’t stop doing something that’s destructive to the environment, or to people, or to animals, or whatever, because they need the work. Maybe it’s because I’ve had upwards of 70 jobs in my lifetime, so I know about adaptability, but I just don’t get it. I don’t understand this myopic, egocentric, anthropomorphic and money-first point of view. Since anyone who raises objections (like me) is called out for being elitist and anti-working-class, I’ve learned to shut up. Which is why I breathed such a huge sigh of relief when Maher said what he did: finally, someone else said it! And without any equivocation whatsoever.

Maher went on to say much more than what I’ve quoted, and the more he talked, the more it freed up my own thoughts and now my voice. The most stunning point he made was to parallel the oil drilling industry to kiddie porn. Brilliant! Just imagine if the purveyors of child pornography said, “We can’t stop taking and distributing salacious pictures of naked children because too many people will lose their jobs.”

‘Nuff said.


One response »

  1. Agreed – and I’d also like to see rodeo personnel be forced to find a different vocation.

    But Marcy, here’s where I waver: what about the individual holding the pneumatic stapler who works on the kill floor of a meat packing plant? I struggle with that one – I’m a meat-eater, and have no plans to alter that. But at the same time, driving a staple through the spinal cord of an animal strikes me as just about as inhumane as you can get – but I don’t know of an alternative.

    I’m no expert, but I’m fairly certain there are more humane ways to put out animals than what you describe, and that they’re being practiced by some companies. I recently gave up meat, though I hardly ate any for years. BTW, while we’re on the subject, I recommend My Year of Meats, a fantastic novel about the meat industry.–MS

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