the green stuff: a poem and a rant

“I don’t care too much for money; money can’t buy me love.” ~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney

MONEY IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS
by Susan Firer

I wake to money, and take my money slow
I watched for money, lights turned low

One must have a kind of money . . .
Money that is not there and the money that is

The art of money isn’t hard to master
. . . The money surrounds us . . .

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet money
Money on a wet, black bough

Do not go gentle into that good money
The pure products of money go crazy

Money sweeping out from us to disappear
Oh Money! My Money! our fearful trip is done

I myself will die without money
Money, Money, you bastard, I’m through.

~ from The Transit of Venus (The Backwaters Press, 2016)

 

*

 

I enjoyed this clever poem with its allusions to Dickinson, Pound, Whitman, Roethke, Bishop, Thomas, and Plath. Can you spot any others?

Firer has nailed the human obsession with $$, how it pretty much rules our lives in ways large and small, whether we’re aware of it or not.

I’m all for entrepreneurship and admire those who enjoy their hard-earned wealth and prosperity. In a capitalist country, making money is the name of the game.

But as the old saying goes, there can be too much of a good thing. This seems to be especially true with money. And that’s because:

Money = Power

The more some people have, they more they want, leading to an escalating cycle of Greed and Corruption.

This is basically why Congress and our system of government is broken: Big corporations and Dark Money.

I’m just a regular person who isn’t even good with numbers, but it seems to me that if it weren’t for Dark Money, assault weapons would be banned and there’d be fewer mass shootings, we’d have affordable health care with lower prescription drug costs, we’d have a cleaner and safer environment, and more elected officials would be pro-active on climate change.

If it weren’t for Dark Money, just maybe some of those forever-in-office GOP lawmakers wouldn’t spend their time stacking the court system, holding sham confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justices, and voting to acquit an obviously corrupt President via a rigged impeachment trial. They’re a bunch of spineless, short-sighted sheep so proud of retaining their power, while we all know they have succumbed to a reign of terror, afraid of the schoolyard bully who would call them names on Twitter.

They turn a blind eye while the autocrat tucks the Justice Department in his back pocket. Stand by while he eviscerates the rule of law to punish his perceived enemies, pardon his friends, and eradicate any semblance of oversight. These so-called Christians and “patriots” condone his foul mouth, despicable arrogance, infuriating cockiness.

One would think they would be livid that a swaggering upstart (whose very conduct makes a mockery of their supposed convictions) hijacked their party.

Is it all worth it — worth another term in office, or a temporary escape from the wrath of someone who demands a twisted form of one-sided loyalty? Methinks they covet those tax cuts that benefit their wealthy selves way too much.

Lucre, filthy lucre.

 

“The Miser” by Jan Steen (ca. 1641-1679)

 

And there’s another one: Inherited Money, as in million dollar personal fortunes. Take one spoiled brat with a malignant narcissistic personality disorder whose father didn’t love him enough, and he’ll grow up needy, bitter, vengeful, and entitled without realistic values or common decency. Me, me, me, all the time.

Money will become his plaything, enabling him to buy his way out of military service, defraud innocent people, steal from charity donors, own trophy wives, silence the press, and muzzle his assault victim accusers. He’ll hone the fine art of lying and attack, a vacuous, amoral, petty, shell of a human being who plays the victim to the hilt, the very pinnacle of hypocrisy.

And now he and his spawn are fleecing the American taxpayer with their foreign deals and blatant conflicts of interest. How Mr. Nepotism could attack a decent man and his only surviving son, or gleefully perpetuate a conspiracy theory that inflicts immeasurable pain on a widower and his family can only be described as patently cruel and acutely self-serving.

Because of his big bucks, he can hire an army of lawyers and bribe elected officials at every turn. Because he’s been clothed in money all his life, he’s been able to get away with anything and everything. He has no idea what “public service” is; he thinks America is his own private company where all must do his bidding.

Perhaps we thought we knew the depth and breadth of his corruption. Surely, nothing could be uglier, more despicable or demoralizing than what we’ve already seen. Of course we were wrong. The pandemic has proven his utter disregard for human life. People are expendable as long as he can achieve his political agenda. Over a hundred thousand dead is a small trade off for another four years in office. In an amoral frenzy, he continues to pit Americans, states, and political parties against each other at a time when it’s crucial to unify the country to defeat the invisible enemy. He’s even managed to make mask wearing polarizing.

He thinks testing is overrated? Why, then, insist on daily testing for himself and those around him? Schools should open without important safeguards in place? I don’t recall him declaring that his youngest son and grandchildren will go first.

The saddest part is that his GOP enablers are once again following his lead. States begging for Federal aid? God forbid we should bail out the blue states. States reopening without adhering to Federal guidelines? Cheer on the anti-lockdown protestors; we need to get people off unemployment so we can use that money to shore up corporations. Undermine the prudent advice of medical experts? Much better to promote the efficacy of unproven treatments or promise a warp speed vaccine when there’s a financial stake in their production.

So what if lots of people have needlessly died — it could have been worse, maybe 1 or 2 million!  It doesn’t matter how many people die anyway, especially since a large percentage are black or brown. Besides, it’s just a number. Let’s suppress or alter the data whenever possible so I don’t look bad. The only numbers that matter are my ratings and poll numbers.

Even those who secretly despise this President cater to his whims. Just as he plays the system, these self-serving parasites play him to get what they want. We love money and power more, they declare, dollar signs spinning in their eye sockets. We always will.

The Senate could have removed him from office when they had the chance, pre-pandemic. Far fewer people would have perished; perhaps there would have been a more expedient, organized response. Every dollar bill they touch from now on will be stained with the blood of hardworking American citizens.

This November, he and his Big Money donors will do everything they can to keep their stranglehold on American politics. For the life of me, I cannot understand how the average middle class voter who continues to support this President can truly believe he has their best interests at heart. For all his brag and bluster, he remains an empty vessel of want that can never be filled, as insecure and thin-skinned as they come.

D is for Donald, a letter that aptly describes his lifelong modus operandi: deceive, deny, denigrate, disrupt, distract, disrespect, demean, divide, destroy. We have a damaged, draft-dodging, dirty-dealing would-be dictator in the White House, who revels in dismantling our democracy.

 

“Money to Burn” by Victor Dubreuil (1893)

 

Barack Obama, our last legitimately elected President, once said, “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

Money is indeed the root of all evil. When you have more than you can shake a stick at, I suppose you get your kicks by beating others down so you can raise yourself up. He’s proven that money cannot buy character, class, conscience, empathy, love, compassion, or apparently, more sophisticated weather map altering equipment.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a stash,
of America-for-sale five dollar bills.

Money, money. You can’t take it with you. Mind you don’t choke on it.

 

*

 

Margaret Simon is hosting the Roundup at Reflections on the Teche. Be sure to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the blogosphere this week. As always, stay safe, strong, and well. Hope you’re able to find moments of peace and joy amid the chaos.

 


Copyright © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

49 thoughts on “the green stuff: a poem and a rant

  1. Well ranted, Jama, well ranted. It’s all just a sickness that has poisoned us all. We have to make sure that everyone votes in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree with all you said, and applaud you for writing it (and doing it so well!) As for “I cannot understand how the average middle class voter who continues to support this President can truly believe he has their best interests at heart.” – In my opinion, racism has always trumped [sic] economic interests – the South’s insistence on slavery in spite of the damage to their long-term economic health is a case in point. Finally in recent times there is a president who validates the racist beliefs (reinforced by greed – let’s not give people of color any resources!) – of so many. Poison, as said by another commenter, is the right word!

    Like

    1. Yes, good points, Jill. Truly appalling how strong a grip racism has in this country — irrational hate passed down through generations. Saddest part: racism is taught. Children are not born prejudiced.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes!!! And what Jill (rhapsodyinbooks) said. I just don’t understand why the very people he hurts are still standing behind him (well, assuming there’s no tear gas). People of color, non-Christians, people trying to find hope . . . crushed under the approval and support of man who really cares only for himself and his own wealth. Why do the very people who swore to serve and protect our country not stand up? Oh yeah, greed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always knew there was corruption in politics — in both parties. But to this degree? The GOP have abandoned their principles and sold their souls to enable this President. Don’t they realize he could turn on any one of them at any time? Being in his good graces for the short term doesn’t make any sense.

      Like

    1. We must never lose hope. Things are indeed bleaker than any of us could have imagined, but there are good forces for change. The young protestors give me hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I returned to more blogging as a result. I find it therapeutic and calming to focus my thoughts and create posts. I need to fix my cookie problem and return to poetry friday soon. I miss my weekly dose of poetry.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I, too, do not understand how anyone can support him & the rest of them and continue to look at themselves in the mirror. Thanks, Jama, I want to rant these words every day, & sometimes do, but now am looking for action, helping defeat at the polls, our hope for good to return. On a somewhat lighter note, now you have me singing songs with $ instead of. . . “Money makes the world go round, the world go round. . .”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your rant, Jama. You expressed so many of the feelings of my heart! I live in a red state, and I am generally baffled by my nice, kind neighbors who support Trump. I avoid talking about politics, but the little I hear tells me they are thoroughly brainwashed by Fox News, which is all they watch, having been warned off the so-called “mainstream media.” I try to be forgiving, but it’s hard as I watch our country—and democracy itself—being gutted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Fox News has brainwashed so many — again — it’s greed. As long as their ratings soar and they make more money, they’ll say ANYTHING to keep their viewers. When I hear people saying “the pandemic is a Democratic hoax,” because they heard it on Fox, I want to scream at them — people dying all over the world and you think the Democrats are making this up?!

      Like

    1. LOL. Oh believe me, I had to censor myself extensively for this post. I’m not one to swear, but boy who can refrain from doing so?

      Like

  6. Hear hear, Jama!!

    D is for Donald is spot onThis is a poem! Perhaps experiment with the line breaks a bit for emphasis–well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I couldn’t agree more! BTW I saw a Donne inspired line in the poem, “Do not go gentle into that good money.” The injustice has to get to a terrible head in our country before the ultra wealthy will share their money. So they will fight hard to keep D in power and pretend to be true Americans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for mentioning Donne. I had attributed that line to Dylan Thomas’s poem? How can we have a “democracy” if rich people own the government? It’s like the American version of Russian oligarchs controlling everything — which is how DJT wants it.

      Like

  8. Greed is at the root of all evil. Even in our school administrations. The list is long. I don’t think greed will ever go away, but I am hopeful that the evil executive will see the end of his days in power soon. His election was a crime from the start.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You might be a master of knives in the kitchen, Jama, but I’m grateful that you don’t mince words. Each new day, of course, this post applies to new outrages – it’s hard to keep up sometimes. But YES – here is to marching to the polls in November, or, if more leaders come to their senses, to the mailboxes… either way, let’s vote while we still can.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right about new outrages each day — it’s EXHAUSTING, and we’ve been at it for over 3 years. Already worn down when the pandemic hit, and things just keep getting worse. That he should call himself “the law and order President” is such a joke. He views himself as above the law, and he thrives on chaos, not order.

      Was happy that VA has adopted vote by mail this year.

      Like

  10. What’s next… I think he’s going to come out in a pair of cowboy boots, a ten gallon hat, and a couple uh guns in his sides and try shooting all in his path to keep his keep in the grand white palace–heaven help us all–Everyone has to vote, keep the US post office open, and stay on top of it. And yes, thanks for your rant, couldn’t agree more. BTW do you know the song, ” I want money that’s all I want,” I couldn’t help thinking of it: https://youtu.be/E-P2qL3qkzk wish I didn’t have to worry so much about making it all the time… thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well said, Jama! Sadly, “He’s proven that money cannot buy character, class, conscience, empathy, love, compassion, or apparently, more sophisticated weather map altering equipment,” sums up the past three years perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I wonder what he tells Barron — does he lie to him about all that is really happening? If so, he’ll grow up with such a warped sense of what America/democracy is supposed to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, you have a good point. I remember when he and Melania attended a Nationals baseball game last year (home game in the world series), and Barron wasn’t with them. I would *think* it would be a good family outing, and a chance to show America that the President has some kind of positive relationship with his son. When the girls were younger, the Obamas sometimes attended events as a family.

        Like

  12. Wow, Jama! How can something so beautifully written depict such ugliness? This is so powerful. And sadly spot on. I’m amazed that we haven’t reached rock bottom yet. Every day some new insanity emerges. I can’t fathom how people still support him and am disgusted and repelled by those who have actively worked to keep him in office. I don’t know how they sleep at night. Fabulous, tragic post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ditto to everything you said. His enablers are just as evil and despicable — maybe moreso because they know what he is and condone it for their own selfish reasons. None of them are serving their constituents.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jama, what a delicious rant you brought us today. No recipes, just pure poetry with a variety of references, and an endless, well-written list of me, me, me thoughts. I wish I had read your post before talking with friends on the other side of the political coin because your rant would make for an interesting face-off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I give you credit for continuing to dialog with those holding opposing political views. I know it’s vital we all come together, but they’re reading from an entirely different playbook (Fox News) and are just as passionate about their beliefs as we are.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.