Following the popular success of my last post, I thought I’d write the opposite list: professions that are beneficial to society but that are so ostracized that they are now illegal. So I give you the five most under-appreciated jobs in the world: Hookers, Dealers, Taggers, Hackers and Poachers.
1. Hos and pimps – Lust doctors and their security agents.
Never mind the touching scenes of companionship, the reason hos are listed here is because they know how to take the load off. Once these working ladies work their magic, men can be gentle again, and can treat objects like women instead of treating women like objects. Of course, I would rather be in a world where women should not have to sell their body to make ends skeet. But making this trade illegal doesn’t create new sources of income for women in need (though it may indirectly support the porn industry, which is mostly controlled by men), and therefore it does not address the real problem. We are simply taking one potential source of income away from women without creating a new one to replace it. Regarding pimps: as long as prostitution is illegal, they will be needed for protection. They also earn their living as effective commercial agents. Indeed, a recent study illustrated how “prostitutes who work for pimps appear to do better than those who do not, typically working fewer hours and performing fewer tricks but still earning more money.”
2. Mushroom dealers – Offering a respite from the world of words and egos.
In The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley intelligently points out: “the need for frequent chemical vacations from intolerable selfhood and repulsive surroundings will undoubtedly remain. (…)[The ideal drug] must be less toxic than opium or cocaine, less likely to produce undesirable social consequences than alcohol or the barbiturates, less inimical to heart and lungs than the tars and nicotine of cigarettes. And on the positive side, it should produce changes in consciousness more interesting, more intrinsically valuable than mere sedation or dreaminess, delusions of omnipotence or release from inhibition.” Mushrooms do all this. Furthermore they grow in the wild. As such they are in essence God’s creation. Nature’s law. How can lawmakers call anything that grows naturally illegal?
3. Graffiti artists – public property becomes a canvas for dissenting kids.
Why do we get bothered when an artistic expression is sprayed on surfaces that we wouldn’t even notice otherwise? Why is it OK for Goodyear to put a yellow blimp in the blue sky and illegal for a teen to spray his name on a train? Shouldn’t public officials expect a little emancipation from citizens when the only choice we have at the urn is between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dun? Watch the 1983 classic Styles Wars to get inside the head of the “writers” and you’ll never see vandalism the same way.
4. Hackers – Democracy’s peeping toms, through the dark shower curtains of information.
As our economies have moved from agricultural, to industrial, to post industrial, the battle over information has become the defining one and is set to become even more intense. In the battle between the individuals and corporations, we are lucky to have a few soldiers on our side.
5. Bear Hunters – Because bears are a threat to mankind (as well as sharks, rats and pigeons).
As often featured in the Colbert Show, there is a reason why we kill bears. Don’t try to become their friend.
In conclusion, rather than get outraged and claim morality over these jobholders, we ought to ask ourselves: why were these jobs made illegal in the first place? Each of them addresses a real need. Unfortunately, citizens seem to favor ideology over logic when they vote. These citizens lack the basic imagination that should be required to earn a right to vote.