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Tim Allen:] There’s a big concrete tank at the top of my hill that loads up with grey water and then flows out the drains and eventually comes down my driveway. And there’s always guys in there digging something out, and there’s a big device on the side that’s coated in tar. And I just see the top of their heads.
“Hey Mr. Allen, what’s going on?”
“So is the cistern . . . ?”
“Yeah, it’s loaded up.”
I’m thinking, what a horrible job, and they’re smiling, pulling I don’t know what out of this thing. One day I was joking about “I bet a lot of women are pissed they don’t have this job, right?”
They all went “What?”
“You know, like the glass ceiling, this is the concrete floor. A lot of women are going, how come we don’t get to do this?”
I was kidding around, and he said, “I don’t think women would want to do this.”
They’re shoveling crap out, and it got me to thinking about, there was no judgment about it. It was a moment of clarity about what I admire about men. Eventually we will be doing the dirty jobs. That’s what we will be doing, putting tar on ceilings [roofs], digging out sewers.
— Tim Allen on Mike Rowe’s “The Way I Heard It,” episode 221
Mike Rowe has a great weekly podcast, usually posting on Tuesday, available as audio on podcasting platforms and as a YouTube channel. He has transitioned from short stories, inspired by Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story,” to long-form interviews with interesting people. Recently, he had on actor Tim Allen, comic and star of small and big screen. They both built successful careers around a television series of working with your hands, Allen with “Home Improvement” and Rowe with “Dirty Jobs.” As it turns out, they both genuinely admire and promote what Rowe styles “dirty jobs” and what Allen characterizes as “fixing things.”
Rowe has been especially active in promoting the skilled trades as viable and remunerative careers. He delights in pointing to a tradesman making six figures. He started doing so after The Atlantic peddled the leftist, new upper-class, big ed lie that you have to go to college if you want to prosper: “Welding Won’t Make You Rich.” Here is Rowe’s short-form response:
See his interview with Chloe Hudson, “Duchess of the Trades,” a master welder.
In case you did not notice, Hudson is a girlie woman and obviously celebrates this. See her welders’ helmet art. So, this is not about a boys club. However, the advocacy for and against “dirty jobs” and the skilled trades happens to also align with the battle of the sexes in our culture. Men are being driven out of college by K-12 teachers and the whole higher education cadre, administrators and professors. This especially applies to young white men, the scapegoats of the entire intersectional edifice.
James Lileks recently celebrated a truly small business owner, a cobbler, a shoe leather wizard, who got out of the gutter of drug addiction and found great meaning and self-reliance in a trade that serious businesspeople do not think of until their grown-up business footwear needs repair. Go read “The Duration: Conclusion.” Consider the real importance of jobs, from plumbing to concrete work (ask Ricochet member @Concretevol).
It seems to me that the lack of push toward equal representation in certain dirty jobs, the lack of a narrative about women breaking through the concrete floor while complimenting women breaking through the glass ceiling, is more than aversion to backbreaking, dirty jobs. It seems more about class snobbery, a denigration of physical labor and the skill-training programs that do not facilitate ideological indoctrination.
The image at the top of the post shows a kitchen with concrete floor and glass ceiling. The kitchen is featured by deVOL, a British furniture company.Published in