Enjoy a safe and fun career in coal mining

Ad shop Blattner Brunner tries hard, damn hard, to portray coal mining as an appealing career in this Web recruitment effort for Consol Energy of Pittsburgh. The cheery intro bids us to don our safety goggles and check out the rewarding opportunities mining has to offer. (Unlike the old General Electric clean-coal campaign, the miners here are fully clad.) There’s even a mining trivia arm-wrestling game. Maybe I’m a pampered wuss (like anyone doubted that), but I felt the walls closing in and started gasping for air as soon as I saw the foreboding landing-page visual: a dimly lit shaft-descent elevator—leading, no doubt, straight into the inky blackness of hell. What’s that Police song, “Canary in a Coal Mine”? What’s that Bee Gees song, “New York Mining Disaster”? What’s that Gordon Lightfoot song, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”? (Mining’s not the only dangerous job, people.) Let’s just send robots into the mines. Oxygen’s not an issue for cybernetic servitors. And those metallic limbs make them formidable arm wrestlers.