Swordsman Wanted to Plough the Field

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How to respond to a headline which reads, "Wanted in Saudi Arabia: Executioners," (NYT, 5/18/15). What are the benefits? Is dental included? What is the co-pay for psychiatry? Will the Saudi's provide a moving allowance for potential executioners who have to relocate? Are the details to be found on Craig's List? Orthopedic surgery and PT are a must for anyone who is seeking an entry level position in a country like Saudi Arabia where the sword is mightier than the pen. But there are other factors which make those who occupy such positions prone to workplace injuries. The Times piece points out,

"Given the grisly nature of the job, a scarcity of qualified swordsmen in some regions of the country and a rise in the frequency of executions, candidates might face a heavy workload."

However, the pluses may end up exceeding the drawbacks associated with the job. One of these is the fact that the field of competition is markedly narrowed say from that confronting graduates of top US law schools and it may be that many law school graduates unable to find positions might start taking the Saudi offer seriously. In some ways the jobs of executioner and litigator are similar. They're both characterized by heady work. And then there's the matter of security. It's always better being on the giving rather than the receiving end. Wouldn't you rather be the one who makes heads roll rather then one of the heads that rolls? And what about the possibilities for endorsements and TV commercials? Sword companies often look to well-known executioners, the way say Nike looks to basketball stars? And prominent executioners may also end up playing themselves in television series like Game of Thrones. But don't be fooled by bogus ads which read "Wanted Executioner. No experience necessary." You have to be a swordsman before anyone will give you head.

This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}