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The Case for Working With Your Hands


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I thought this was a very elegantly presented argument for fulfillment via motorcycle mechanics, or any other artistic expression of a basic craft.

 

Similar to LML's argument elsewhere, this occupation requires the patronage of people who own antique motorcycles and are willing to spend enormous amounts of money on their care. This gentleman wouldn't last 20 seconds in your average car dealership or motorcycle shop. In his atelier, he is the specialist

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I thought this was a very elegantly presented argument for fulfillment via motorcycle mechanics, or any other artistic expression of a basic craft.

 

Similar to LML's argument elsewhere, this occupation requires the patronage of people who own antique motorcycles and are willing to spend enormous amounts of money on their care. This gentleman wouldn't last 20 seconds in your average car dealership or motorcycle shop. In his atelier, he is the specialist

 

all you are saying there is that he's found something that rich people will pay for that he's good at and likes doing. sounds like what many people do.

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I thought this was a very elegantly presented argument for fulfillment via motorcycle mechanics, or any other artistic expression of a basic craft.

 

Similar to LML's argument elsewhere, this occupation requires the patronage of people who own antique motorcycles and are willing to spend enormous amounts of money on their care. This gentleman wouldn't last 20 seconds in your average car dealership or motorcycle shop. In his atelier, he is the specialist

 

all you are saying there is that he's found something that rich people will pay for that he's good at and likes doing. sounds like what many people do.

ooh, ooh, that's the job that i want. the one where rich people pay you a bunch of money to do something that you're good at and like to do.

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He does the 'hands' stuff in his spare time. He's still an academic.

Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, U. of Virginia.

yes that does sort of put his essay in a different context. I wish more of his bio though were on-line. If he went to Middlebury or Cal State Chino for example. I'd be a lot more sympathetic to his argument if he came from a background where he had actually been around people who had performed manual labor all their lives and had the arthritic hands to show for it. I know lots of people in my family had those hands and they wanted to make damn sure their kids wouldn't.

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Alice Waters redoux.

 

The usual Marie Antoinette reference is to "let them eat cake", but don't forget her and her courtesans (old usage) pretending to be milkmaids.

 

I had the same thought...

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I think that whatever point he was trying to make about how our society does not value anything but "book smarts" got lost in the details of his career path. This seems to be proven by the posters in this thread only commenting about his specific job.

 

There is a case to be made that our society doesn't value physical labor and sees it as being reserved only for those who aren't smart enough to do anything else. Through my work I've met some incredibly smart "tradespeople" whose problem-solving skills I rely on in the heat of the battle when designs are being implemented and started up.

 

It seems pretty cruel to treat a kid as a failure simply because he or she wants to go to work to as a carpenter/electrician/pipe-fitter/iron-worker/boiler-maker/auto-mechanic. You'd be surprised at how much people in offices like mine need people like them.

 

 

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I have a lot of clients who are carpenter/electrician/pipe-fitter/iron-worker/boiler-maker/auto-mechanics. They make a very fine living and enjoy what they do. I recently represented a Tool & Die Maker who made a nice six figure living and thought I was the chump for being an attorney. I think he was correct.

 

 

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(snip)

 

It seems pretty cruel to treat a kid as a failure simply because he or she wants to go to work to as a carpenter/electrician/pipe-fitter/iron-worker/boiler-maker/auto-mechanic. You'd be surprised at how much people in offices like mine need people like them.

 

Almost any licensed trade with apprentice / journeyman, etc progression will pay excellent wages for people who are willing to work hard. My nephew graduated from trade school (high school level) and his first job in an auto body repair shop pays $25 an hour with benefits plus as much overtime as he wants

 

Several of my neighbors are plumbing contractors, electricians, HVAC technicians, etc. As Ron says, it's a fine living. Second homes on the Jersey shore, a boat, and lots of cash income if they're interested.

 

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(snip)

 

It seems pretty cruel to treat a kid as a failure simply because he or she wants to go to work to as a carpenter/electrician/pipe-fitter/iron-worker/boiler-maker/auto-mechanic. You'd be surprised at how much people in offices like mine need people like them.

 

Almost any licensed trade with apprentice / journeyman, etc progression will pay excellent wages for people who are willing to work hard. My nephew graduated from trade school (high school level) and his first job in an auto body repair shop pays $25 an hour with benefits plus as much overtime as he wants

 

Several of my neighbors are plumbing contractors, electricians, HVAC technicians, etc. As Ron says, it's a fine living. Second homes on the Jersey shore, a boat, and lots of cash income if they're interested.

So, the three of us (and probably many more) understand that real people make good money doing jobs like this. And lots of them are smart.

 

But if you are the parent or teacher of a kid who doesn't want to take the SAT because he is going to go to trade school to become an electrician how do you feel about it? Do you immediately call to mind these plumbers with houses on the Jersey shore?

 

Even though the writer of the article has opened himself up to be seen as an artist who needs the patronage of the rich, there is a real issue here about how our culture has categorized jobs involving physical labor as the path for the dumb.

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(snip)

 

It seems pretty cruel to treat a kid as a failure simply because he or she wants to go to work to as a carpenter/electrician/pipe-fitter/iron-worker/boiler-maker/auto-mechanic. You'd be surprised at how much people in offices like mine need people like them.

 

Almost any licensed trade with apprentice / journeyman, etc progression will pay excellent wages for people who are willing to work hard. My nephew graduated from trade school (high school level) and his first job in an auto body repair shop pays $25 an hour with benefits plus as much overtime as he wants

 

Several of my neighbors are plumbing contractors, electricians, HVAC technicians, etc. As Ron says, it's a fine living. Second homes on the Jersey shore, a boat, and lots of cash income if they're interested.

So, the three of us (and probably many more) understand that real people make good money doing jobs like this. And lots of them are smart.

 

But if you are the parent or teacher of a kid who doesn't want to take the SAT because he is going to go to trade school to become an electrician how do you feel about it? Do you immediately call to mind these plumbers with houses on the Jersey shore?

 

Even though the writer of the article has opened himself up to be seen as an artist who needs the patronage of the rich, there is a real issue here about how our culture has categorized jobs involving physical labor as the path for the dumb.

 

I don't disagree with you regarding societal (at least middle class) attitudes towards trade jobs in general. But I don't think boutique makers are perceived as being in the same category.

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