In case you haven’t noticed lately, cable television is filled with shows about MEN WITH JOBS.
Here’s a short list of television’s finest:
- Alaska: The Last Frontier
- Alaska Mega Machines
- American Pickers
- Bar Rescue
- Barn Yard Builders
- Bering Sea Gold
- Cesar Milan: The Dog Whisperer
- Deadliest Catch
- Diesel Brothers
- Dirty Jobs
- Dog the Bounty Hunter
- Expedition Unknown
- Fast N Loud
- Finding Bigfoot
- Ghost Hunters
- Gold Rush
- Hillbilly Hand-Fishing
- Holmes Makes it Right
- Homicide Hunter
- I Am Homicide
- Ice Cold Gold
- Ice Lake Rebels
- Ice Road Truckers
- Life Below Zero
- Mountain Men
- Pawn Stars
- Property Brothers
- Storage Wars
- The Incredible Dr. Pol
- Yukon Gold
- Yukon River Run
This list is not all-inclusive. It’s just a smattering of shows scheduled on our DVR.
So who is watching all these shows and driving the ratings into a next season?
Men, of course.
Men like my husband who is definitely a dudely dude. A truck driver (formerly a Teamster until he bought his own trucking company.) And he eats this crap up.
And I do say crap because, at times, it seems like a whole lot of jackassery to me.
In many cases, it’s thirty or sixty minutes of a bunch of guys standing around jawing about another guy doing all the work.
Sort of like what you see once you get through a traffic jam only to find five miles of backed up traffic is because of one guy digging a hole on the side of the road and six guys standing around him and shooting the shit.
So why are these programs so popular? What is the appeal?
Think about all the people out there whose lives are mundane. They go to the same boring-ass job every day and come home to the same bills piling up…the same complaints from the spouse…the same…the same…the same…
A lot of women blow off steam by calling a friend to vent, or getting their nails done, or trawling social media, or shopping–online with wine or out the door to the big box store.
Or, more likely, women just suck it up and make dinner, supervise homework, and see to everyone else’s needs before collapsing into bed and doing it all over the next day.
Men, on the other hand, might take the garbage out, help load the dishwasher, but then it’s show time.
Plunked down in the recliner with a beer (or six) these shows offer escapism, and, moreover, the chance to learn from other men and feel part of a very special club: The Y Chromosome Club.
You know, not everybody gets to have a Y Chromosome.
And some people who get one, want to give it back. Say, a highly decorated Olympian who once appeared on (pound your chest) the Wheaties box.
So the guys who want to be in and stay in the Y Chromosome Club, enjoy seeing other men being men.
Maybe it helps them forget there are bras hanging to dry in the bathroom. Big, white, ugly grandma bras–not the kind glimpsed as the channels click past the annual Victoria’s Secret televised “fashion” show.
Maybe it reminds them of the dreams they had for their lives when they were little boys. Before sex came along and ruined everything.
Or maybe it instills in them a sense of pride–that with a little know-how and a measure of testosterone, anything is possible.
If Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs, has accomplished anything (besides making millions of women wish he’d do their dirty jobs) he has brought dignity to blue-collar workers and proven that our society only works because of their work.
We all push kids to go to college, but the trades need future workers, too. We’re facing a shortage in those areas, while many liberal arts majors are coming out of college with degrees, but are virtually unemployable.
It’s time we raise our view of the ice-road swampers and the hillbilly hand-washers–well, maybe not them, but certainly we should raise our view and appreciation for those jobs that require a man (or willing woman) to help build or sustain our way of life.
So while I could do with a few less episodes of American Pickers at my house–as well as Ghost Hunters (although that has helped my insomnia) I say bravo to all those men with jobs–and here’s to inspiring the next generation to get their hands dirty. Check out Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge (text below the picture.)
S.W.E.A.T. Pledge = Skills & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo
Susan J. Anderson
Foxy Writer Chick
“THE S.W.E.A.T. PLEDGE”
(Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)
1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.
2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.
3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.
4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.
5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.
6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.
7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.
8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.
9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.
10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.
11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.
12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.
On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.