“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.
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.
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.
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.