An observation

At one time I was curious as to why so certain persons that perform specific economy-required positions were demonized for their roles in society. Why was the scientist that experiments on animals such a vile human being? Why is it that the oil executive that approves the drilling of a specific land lease one to be run up the yard arm? What did the defense contractor that went to Iraq do to garner such powerful ire from the masses?

This all hit home while I was back in the states this time. I had just deposited Old Iron 2.0 at the airport to be shipped back to the female parental unit and decided that a couple of cocktails were in order, so en route to the casa I decided to deposit myself on a bar stool at the local pub. While there I began chatting with a fellow of slightly young age, but possessing of the one trait that I immediately identify with: the safety glasses tan line (and for those that don’t know, this syndrome is caused by being out in the field so much with tinted safety glasses on that the actual physical shape of said glasses is imprinted on one’s face due to the LACK of tan in that area) and lo and behold, he works on pipelines in the States as a heavy equipment operator! As we chatted about the community a bit, sharing our individual trials and tribulations, out came the fact that I had also spent some time in the military. This in turn attracted a person that was seated to my left, so the conversation about oil was shelved to allow for the new addition to our palaver session and myself to discuss the different parts of the world that we had traversed and the times that we had had abroad (and WITH broads, I might add, wink wink). When the direction of the tales brought us to his employment he informed us, his rapt audience, that he was an industrial hygienist that specialized in… wait for it… setting up industrial hygiene systems for labs that test on animals! I was pleasantly curious as to what his job entailed, and he told us of some of the corners of the States that he had been to in his role as well as how bizarre his job was.

At this point, while the conversation was full steam and the libations were flowing quite copiously, we were stopped by the bartender so that he could make a statement.

“Guys, I hate to say this, and please don’t be offended, but you do know that you three are like some kind of trifecta of evil, right?”

-The silence that followed could be cut with a knife made from the sharpened bones of the carcass of the bartender that had just spoken.

My response?

“If we didn’t do this type of work someone else would, so shut your fucking hole and fulfill the role that you have chosen. Get us another round and be quick about it bar BOY.”

To the inevitable point:

In my curiosity to find out why such men and women were reviled due to their chosen employment or positions in life I inadvertently discovered that not only had I transitioned into such a role, but had also adopted the mindset that came with wearing the black hat, with not trying to be the “good guy” anymore.

I defended what I did as necessary.

-Gotta have some contrast to the white hats or they wouldn’t have anything to fight against.

Someone has to do the dirty work, someone has to be the enemy to these people. If they didn’t have us to hate would they have to take time to hate themselves instead?


About Old Iron
I'm just a guy that works overseas alot and likes to play just as hard as I work. Been to a FEW countries, know a shitload of people all over, and generally have a good time wherever I go. -Oh, and I am currently in between girlfriends, and strangely enough and perfectly happy with that status. In the long run hookers are cheaper. Take my word on that.

6 Responses to An observation

  1. interesting post. I’ve wondered too, about why this certain trait is reviled: wealth. I can remember in a finance class in undergrad, the “they should cap personal income” argument bantered about with no opposition. They were clearly mad at those that earn “too much” and I said, I’m not mad at rich people. I want to be one of them one day!” My own desire for wealth prevented me from socialist leanings. Why didn’t it prevent them? Are these people so lacking in self-reflection that they cannot see or admit to ambition, or desires for luxury, or social standing, or at least security?

    I would have turned it around on that bartender though. Make him explain his opinion with the simple question: Why are we an evil trifecta?

    Also I believe many people find alcohol to be the source of many evils, perhaps you should have argued that he belonged in the group (what do you call a four-fecta?)

    • ~KC~ says:

      Very valid points there!

      See I grew up in a religious community that dictates a person should not be concerned with personal wealth but rather spiritual ones. The ‘love of money’ is evil. Therefore, all things pertaining to materialism are evil… including those who pursue it.

      Mind you, I was disfellowshipped from that religion when I was 21 for having a bad attitude (=un-repentant) – and I don’t suscribe to that belief. There is a job because there is a need that has been identified. That need has been created by demand. Which is why I don’t get the labels. I don’t always appreciate the demand thus the need, but its there. Someone has to do it.

      But it would have been a very interesting conversation to have called him out on the bartenders evilness as well… for sure!

  2. Buck says:

    So… ummm… didja get your drinks in an expeditious manner without further ado? And with nothing extraneous floating in them? 😉

    I’m thinking the military might fall into the Circle of Eeevil among certain classes of people, too. At least that has been my experience in certain circumstances in the past.

    And, apropos of entirely nothing, the ex- and I were having a conversation about my SN3 the other night (he’s 13) when she announced… out of nowhere and just dripping with motherly pride… “And he’s a LIB’RUL! NOT a conservative!” I replied “Why am I NOT surprised?” I should add that she is a non-tenured English prof at a large state university and entirely typical of that sort of (stereotyped) person. To tie it all together: she fervently believes in that “trifecta of evil” thing, and adds a few eevils of her own to the mix. And to think she USED to be a good solid conservative Catholic, once upon a time.

  3. Old Iron says:

    Grouping the military in our little circle of villainy is COMPLETELY applicable my friend, but this leads to a truly executable point: when this line of thought terminates, what jobs and life paths are TRULY publicly approved? Another aside is which ones are not only approved but don’t depend on someone filling another position that is a “black hat” one so that their position can be one of no reproach?

    -I’ve been thinking too much on this and I think that my head hurts. 😉

    • Buck says:

      …what jobs and life paths are TRULY publicly approved?

      Depends on which “public” you’re talking about. If you’re talking about the conservative portion of the public, then there are are a great many professions that are looked upon with approval. Liberals, OTOH, tend to condemn and/or judge much more freely, therefore their “approved” list is substantially smaller and includes stuff like “community organizer,” “diversity studies professor,” and “Greenpeace activist,” all of which contribute to “the greater good.” And, coincidentally, all seem to land on the conservative’s “non-approved” list. As for the total, combined, one-size-fits-all public… it’s anyone’s guess.

      • Old Iron says:

        The thing that puts me over the moon about this is that there are innumerable amounts of directions that one can pursue that are apparently on the “not an approved life choice” listing (posted at your local chapter of the DNC for the curious), and I can’t figure out why. They all tend to directly support others in their daily activities, such as a nuclear engineer that assists in the production of electricity so that a greenpeace activist can check his email for the latest “save the whale” data.

        There was a time when people such as the one that I mentioned where heroes, as they allowed us to lead life at the standard that we enjoy. Those days are apparently no more, and it is somewhat confusing to me Buck.

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