Monday, July 14, 2008


Edison Cabinet was a man not very much inclined to industry, and for Mr. Cabinet all the world was industry. There is industry in the traditional sense, he would explain, which consists of business and enterprise, the manufacture and distribution of goods, &c, but there are all sorts of other types of industry as well. Conversing, for instance, I consider to be an industry, as well as arising from bed each morning. It is universally acknowledged that in order to avoid growing a beard a man must shave, and that the act of shaving regularly betrays an industriousness of character, and thus shaving, too, is industry. All sorts of things are industry, then, and I’m afraid I’m not inclined to any of it at all.

His friends, the dear and willing recipients of these explanations, would oftentimes nod their heads in wonder, for few of them knew anyone who conversed, or rather perorated, quite so much as Edison, or anyone who owned quite so large and profitable a business. His whiskers, they had to admit, were a bit unwieldy, and he never rose before noon, but still, most of them thought, he did seem to have a certain knack for some sorts of industry, conceding that all the world, as Edison put it, was industry. He has to, they thought, if what he says is true – how could one survive in such a world if one weren’t themselves a bit industrious? When this question was put to Edison he would shake his large and bearded head and respond That’s just it, my dear and lovely friends, there isn’t a single one amongst us that is going to make it out of this alive.

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