Entertainment and Sports

Industrious Us

Everything becomes an industry - an opportunity to make money and/or grab power.

By Kevin Somers
Published January 18, 2008

It gets wearisome, doesn't it? Everything becomes an industry - an opportunity to make money and/or grab power. There are capitalistic ventures designed and executed to generate profit and make people rich, which is great, but other societal functions are supposed to be simple services that help people.

Many endeavours once considered reprehensible, shameful, or criminal have become public and profitable industries beyond imagination, as well. Everything, alas, is an industry.

Adopting orphaned children from the Third World is a growing industry. We've all read and heard of the horrific conditions some abandoned little ones endure, yet middlemen seem to reproduce as quickly as the destitute and adoptions are increasingly ruled by graft.

It's not hard to imagine infant factories popping up to exploit the surging demand for expensive babies, either. That's capitalism, baby. Or is it baby capitalism?

Aborting girls has become an industry. "It's good news, bad news, great news, folks. The good news is, you have healthy baby on the way. The bad news is, it's a girl. The great news is, I'll kill it in the womb if you give me enough money," said Doctor.

I have two great girls and this bothers me to no end.

Holidays are industries to be leveraged. No one profits like industrialists before Christmas or industrious dentists after Easter, Valentine's or Halloween, regardless of persuasion.

Dalton bought my vote with Family Day (February 18th, baby!). If another day off were promised every election, eventually, we'd never work.

Charity is often an industry. Many big and well known charities were publicly scolded for spending an inordinate amount on administration, recently. Grassroots charity is equally vulnerable: I remember reading of people going door-to-door asking for money to treat paediatric AIDS - amongst the most sinister of afflictions - then keeping ALL the money.

Saving the environment, the animals, the poor, the sick, the homeless, and the world have all been manipulated into industries by rogue opportunists who saw an easy pitch and a compassionate public.

It was once a criminal offence, but stalking has become industry unlike any other. The bad guys, who used to skulk behind fences and bushes, now travel in well-lit packs, snapping, filming, and hounding their prey to death or, preferably, suicide preceded by public breakdown.

Britney Spears can sing and dance, and she regularly loses her mind in public, so she's become a one-woman-industry. A lot of adults - parasites, parents, Dr. Phil, publishers, producers, publicists, pedophiles, and photographers - are profiting from the pitiable industry and the poor girl will end up a pauper. (It's interesting to see how technology is changing major industries, like recording and publishing.)

Children's sports are big industries, particularly hockey. Some parents spend thousands every season. Hockey, once played on frozen ponds and community rinks, is becoming a sport for the privileged, and there are plenty of agents and lawyers involved in minor hockey; a sure indicator of industry.

The housing industry is a beauty. Hundreds of thousands of homes are quickly built on prime farmland, then practically given away by banks and governments to debt-crippled tenants, and they all call it development. I call it disaster, but I'm a banana.

Debt servicing is a big industry that gets bigger every day.

Anything the government does becomes an industry of industries. A friend, who worked in social services, commented that there are so many advisers, assistants, authors, bureaucrats, buyers, cell phones, catered lunches, consultants, computers, computer programmers, councillors, couriers, drivers, directors, experts, expense accounts, handbooks, gadgets, guidebooks, lawyers, managers, memos, meetings, ministry workers, pagers, policy books, politicians, presenters, printers, programmers, providers, public servants, publishers, repairmen, sellers, specialists, suppliers, technicians, trainers, vehicles and so on that it's no wonder little is left for the poor.

Matrimony, birthdays, and anniversaries have all become huge industries. Today's loot bags are grander than yesterday's presents. Wedding$ are in$ane.

Religion is an industry, as are oil, and terror. War is a big industry. George Bush has leveraged all four expertly, and is doing very well for himself, his daddy, their flunkies and friends. It's tempting to call him stupid – and even that has become an industry – but he sure seems to know what he's doing.

Counselling has become a ubiquitous industry. Maybe I need counselling because the thought of paying a stranger to hear aaaaalllllll my problems, frailties, and inadequacies makes me uncomfortable. Besides, I worry that some counsellors are simply enthusiastic gossips happy to have a paying gig, and others wouldn't really care about my problems because they've got troubles of their own.

Pushing drugs legally is a huge industry; pharmacists have a pill for everything, necessary or not. I'm not comfortable with that concept, yet, either. However, I'm sure they have a tablet to curb my anxiety: "Side effects will likely include: heartburn, diarrhoea, cancer, blindness, paralysis, heart failure, liver failure, dementia, death, poverty, and stupidity, (but you'll be so mellow, you won't care!)."

There's enough food to go around, so the only reason I can imagine for starvation is money: either someone is profiting from it, or someone else isn't profiting enough from feeding the hungry. Either way, it's industry. Child prostitution and pornography are huge industries, so it's easy to imagine someone leveraging and benefiting from genocide.

Nothing is beyond industry; we're nothing if not industrious.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

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By maestro*f (registered) | Posted January 20, 2008 at 08:05:26

The housing industry is a beauty. Hundreds of thousands of homes are quickly built on prime farmland, then practically given away by banks and governments to debt-crippled tenants, and they all call it development.

My biggest fear as regards the recently competed Red Hill Expressway is that, as the light industrial development which this access is supposed to enable isn't built very quickly (witness how easily the Maple Leaf pork plant was scuttled), the city will allow developers to build houses on that land. The tax monies and jobs from industrial employers that were supposed to offset the cost of the highway will never come and we'll have hundreds, maybe thousands, of people commuting to points north and east from a bedroom community. We'll all be stuck with the capital cost and upkeep of a huge project and have had none of the benefits.

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