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Isn't It Ironic?

Mark is editor of Demolition & Dismantling, the magazine of the UK’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors, and was recently appointed European Editor of the Swedish-based magazine, Professional Demolition International. Mark has been in construction journalism for 25 years, writing Contract Journal, Plant Managers Journal, International Construction, and Demolition Engineer.

Mark is the founder of the industry news aggregation website and blog, www.demolitionnews.com, and has been appointed webmaster for the National Federation of Demolition Contractors' website, www.demolition-nfdc.com.

In much the same way that Americans like to cite the British obsessions with class and poor dental hygiene, here on this side of the pond we have similar criticisms of an ally and former colony with which we have long shared a special relationship: Americans are too loud, we say; too eager to become embroiled in the politics of foreign nations; too “in touch” with their emotions.

We have also long accused Americans of failing to grasp the intricacies of irony; a fact highlighted by the song “Isn’t It Ironic” by Alanis Morisette (admittedly a Canadian but hey, you guys all look the same to us); a tune whose only irony was that none of the examples of irony contained within its lyrics were, in fact, ironic.

But here at Demolition Digest, we are delighted to be able to dispel this unfounded stereotyping once and for all, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the National Demolition Association (NDA).

The NDA, which represents around 1,000 demolition contractors, will soon be heading for The Mirage Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas for its annual convention, and has just announced the name of its keynote speaker.

Now, in a year in which the US demolition industry has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous financial fortune, there must have been a temptation to call upon a high ranking economist.   The past 12 months has also seen the usual litany of accidents and fatalities, so perhaps a safety advisor or training expert might be appropriate.

But in a move that must surely have been inspired to demonstrate the NDA’s keen grasp of all thing ironic, the organisation has announced that this year’s keynote address will be delivered by Clyde Fessler, a retired executive from the rejuvenated Harley-Davidson company.

Who better to speak at a gathering of the US demolition elite than a man who once presided over a company whose brand is much beloved of mid-life crisis sufferers the world over; a brand that is synonymous with slow, lumbering yet iconic motorcycles; a brand forced to call upon its past glories in order to restore a market share eroded by sleeker and faster competitors.

Now that really IS ironic.

Oh, and just to prove that some stereotypes are well-founded, my teeth ARE in a terrible state.

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