Edited by Shubha Ghosh and Robin Paul Malloy
Chapter 4: ‘Will Work’: The Role of Intellectual Property in Transitional Economies – From Coal to Content
Megan M. Carpenter As a child in the mountains of West Virginia, I rode with my grandmother to drop off my aunt and uncles at the bus stop.1 In the morning, sitting in her Jeep with the herringbone seats of the 1970s, pancake syrup in the corners of my mouth, the soundtrack of our trip was the morning mine report on the radio. ‘Loveridge, will work. Blacksville, will work. Sentinel, will work.’ The mine reports were at that time, for me, the rhythm of morning. I heard them underneath the tones of conversation, and occasionally in my head as I went through the day, playing with dolls, running down our country road. Even now, it is sometimes the rhythm of the mine reports that comes back to me as I knead bread. It is morning. It is routine. It is home. I didn’t understand then, but I remember holding my breath for a moment and feeling a tiny sliver of relief every time I heard the words ‘will work’. Hard work is a cornerstone of worth, and working is something we do, with our minds and our bodies and our hands. (Later, I would learn that ‘he sure is a hard worker’ was the highest compliment a prospective boyfriend could receive.) I didn’t know why mines wouldn’t work, but working always seemed good and sure, an understanding I had even at the age of five or six. Loveridge. Will Work. Blacksville. Will Work. Sentinel. Will Work. I went to school...
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