On Diversity

I was watching this episode of Bizarre Foods where Andrew Zimmern goes to the Ozarks to eat bear. I guess it’s pretty popular up there, because he was talking about how limited the hunting season was and it’s supposedly really hard to get a permit to actually hunt bear. Anyways, there were butchering the bear to eat and Mr Zimmern starts talking about how bear fat is used for everything up there, from oiling machines to lighting candles. Apropos of nothing, the guy who hunted down the bear was a banker. This stuck out to me.

When I think of bankers, I think of either some Wall Street fat cat, or a bank manager at your local bank chain. But when I see a TV show like this, it reminds me of the actual diversity of lives that are being experienced by people worldwide. It’s really easy to live in a bubble if you live in an urban populous city like San Francisco or Seattle. While every city has distinct characteristics, you also see a lot of similarity in the lifestyles of the people in the city.  You get a lot of people who work standard 9-5 jobs, with some time to go out on the town on the weekends. The 9-5 exists in the country, too, of course, but I feel like there’s definitely more variety in what people do in their different localities, mostly because they don’t have the option of consuming stuff in the city like museums or bars or clubs or whatever. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – hiking out in nature or hunting seems like it would have its own appeal.

Then there are the people who are completely divorced from the concept of the 9-5. I remember a while ago, I read this news article about the Ringling Brothers circus closing down. What got my attention was thinking about the carnies who would be put out of a job by the closure of the circus. I can’t imagine the lifestyle of constant travel and performances in the circus. It’d probably be low pay and hard work. Now that the circus is closing, I’d think it’d be pretty hard to find a new job, too. Who’d hire you? I’m getting pretty off track here, but I just think it’s surprising how niches like this can exist. I guess it doesn’t any more, since it seems like circuses are dying out. Ah well.

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