note: So late! I started this a few weeks ago. I’m still disappointed that Normandy Invasion didn’t win.
I’ve never been to the Derby, and probably never will. I’ve never even been to Keeneland. I like horses, and I like watching them race. No idea how the betting works, but I’d be willing to throw down a few bucks if I ever make it to a track.
That said, I was thinking about this state and it’s inhabitants, and what we look like to all the states not abbreviated “KY”. Specifically, the industries that define us; both from the outside and the inside. So what are we?
*Horses- Nice, but the racing focus means that there are a lot of animals being bred for a purpose that can kill them or shorten their lifespan. I’m not going Peta on anyone, and I think the purebred dog industry is far more disgusting and widespread. But for a sport in which suffering happens naturally, there’s high enough stakes that cheating is a constant. And cheating in racing tends to involve things that either directly injure or increase the chance of injury to the animal.
*College Basketball- We have a money machine at UK called basketball. And it’s great. Except for that its financial value to the university extends little further than association and propaganda, and our athletes are risking injury and trading what really should be a paid contract for a subpar education and a slim chance at NBA recruitment.
*Tobacco- This is great for everyone and doesn’t at all cause health problems. That’s why UK does a shitload of cancer research.
*Coal- We dig up fossil fuel in ways that are both dangerous to the workers and devestating to the land and the communities that support it. And we encourage an industry that uses people’s pride in their heritage and culture as a means to exploit them.
What a record. Obviously, that’s not the entirety of the state; those are just the major footnotes. Maybe someday we’ll figure out something else- something different, whose benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I’m sure Twain could tell us when.