Monday, April 18, 2011

Mike Rowe: There's A War On Work

Here's a video from a couple of years ago that I think is just as relevant today. Mike Rowe, from Discovery's Dirty Jobs, talked about some very entertaining job-related stories and also about society's "war on work" as a TEDTalk.

A key bit from the talk,
"We’ve declared war on work, as a society, all of us. It’s a civil war. It’s a cold war, really. We didn’t set out to do it and we didn’t twist our mustache in some Machiavellian way, but we’ve done it. And we’ve waged this war on at least four fronts, certainly in Hollywood. The way we portray working people on TV, it’s laughable. If there’s a plumber, he’s 300 pounds and he’s got a giant buttcrack, admit it. You see him all the time. That’s what plumbers look like, right? We turn them into heroes, or we turn them into punchlines. That’s what TV does. We try hard on Dirty Jobs not to do that, which is why I do the work and I don’t cheat.

We’ve waged this war on Madison Avenue. So many of the commercials that come out there in the way of a message, what’s really being said? Life would be better if you could work a little less. If you didn’t have to work so hard. If you could get home a little earlier, if you could retire a little faster, if you could punch out a little sooner. It’s all in there, over and over, again and again.

Washington? I can’t even begin to talk about the deals and policies in place that affect the bottom-line reality of the available jobs ’cause I don’t really know. I just know that that’s a front in this war.

And right here, guys; Silicon Valley. How many people have an iPhone on ‘em right now? How many people have their Blackberries? We’re plugged in, we’re connected. I would never suggest for a second that something bad has come out of the tech revolution. Good grief, not to this crowd. But I would suggest that innovation without imitation is a complete waste of time. And nobody celebrates imitation the way Dirty Jobs guys know it has to be done. Your iPhone without those people making the same interface, the same circuitry, the same board over and over – all that, that’s what makes it equally as possible as the genius that goes inside of it."

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