Ulysses and the Sirens by British Museum
We have been overtaken by a monster in
this country, a monster that will cut down every tree and mine every
mountain and let children die for a few more pennies in their
pockets. This monster has no respect for government or God. It knows
no borders and honors no philosophy and even objects to the principle
of human dignity.
In its insatiable greed it corrupts and destroys its own country and profanes its own people. It sells the doctrine of personal responsibility while it acts not only irresponsibly, but criminally. It entices purchasers to buy homes with low interest rates and programs and then it foments a crisis forcing a downturn in the economy. It then reels in its nets while the catch struggles against the ropes and then the monster contemptuously spits on the captured and blames them for their fate.
Evolution teaches us of mankind's rise from among the realm of the apes, that somehow, some way we awoke one dawn to become aware of this world that surrounds us at the end of our finger tips. We became aware not just of life but of death, without the awareness of death then life becomes trivial and meaningless. This mystery of death confounds us and inspires us to do great things. This monster deprives the multitudes of the opportunities of life and offers up only the mystery of death. I know now that my own planned suicide wouldn't have been a suicide at all but just another attempted murder at the hands of the monster.
Were those thousands of evolutionary eons productive if our society is no safer today than in the days of marauding Vikings or the Black Death? The germs and pillagers are this time from among our own. Where the doctors will only help you for a price? Where you are no safer inside the city walls than outside them, where you must watch your back as well as your front out of a fear of your own kinsman.
Not a life, but a pale imitation of life, a neo-feudal existence with billionaire lords of the manor reducing the life of the multitudes to that of the live stock animals grazing in the feed lot. Each of us just waiting our turn, waiting for the oven to get hot so that the lord of the manor might have another fine house in France or in some other paradise.
The mystery of our awareness is hidden in darkness, the darkness of the night and the darkness of that soul which hides behind our eyelids. That simian part of us which we are unable to overcome, its dark victory means that all of those epochs and all of the struggles of mankind have been in vain. We have charged the gates of heaven for nothing and have been turned back by our own hideous reflection. That ugliness that dwells inside of us all, that ugliness of greed which all of the prophets, religions, philosophies and accumulated wisdom of mankind have railed against has won out in the end and will reign supreme over the graveyard of man.
King of the corpse, Major Domo of the maggot and the regent of rot. Wearing a crown of gold and waving a scepter of a child's broken thigh bone discontent and incontinent at its failure to pollute the last drop of water or to obtain the last fleck of gold. A desolate evolutionary answer and the ultimate verdict on God's human evolutionary experiment.
In this darkness, this swirling storm of greed and vengeance there is a shaft of light and a beam of truth that has fallen down upon me. I have gone from an upright affluent Capitalist consumer of whatever crap they're peddling this week to a different person. I no longer ride the roller coasters nor do I eat the sh*t burgers. I along with millions of Americans have been robbed and stripped of every last possession that we've ever owned and in our loss we have found our freedom, for we no longer have anything left for the monster to take from us.
I see this life in these United States as it truly is and I stand naked before it. I'm revolted by it and appalled by its unnecessary cruelties and by its unmitigated greed. I've been enraged by its phony illusions to a two party state and by its cartoonish pretensions of political purity. I know the difference between a September morning raining down and the Reichstag fire's warm glow; only, there was no one inside the Reichstag when it was burned to the ground. My eyes and ears are filled with constitutional comedies where the law is whatever they say it is this week or law hiding from justice by simply adding, just this once.
These things that I've learned under the heal of American life, is that, for all that you will ever gain the monster will take it all away from you in the end. This monster profits from everything at your expense. These shiny things all have hooks in them but I've learned not to bite. I've talked to these injured and broken people and I've heard their stories of abuse that happen in no other industrialized country besides the United States. I've seen the wreckage first hand and I have come within a hairs breath of drinking from its poison chalice.
The sidewalks have become our classrooms and public libraries our laboratories and we have learned the truth. We are not stupid, we are misled. We are not lazy, only bereft of tools. We are not gaming the system, the system has gamed us. We have not taking away from this country, this country has taken away from us. It has pilfered us and robbed us blind. It has robbed us by the millions in wages and in numbers, stolen opportunity in every way humanly imaginable. It has subverted our government and turned it into a monster to devour us and unleashed upon us its vile organs and tentacles.
The problems of homelessness were created by this monsters path and in its footsteps are the footprints of unemployment, urban decay and a people left desperate for hope. The monster destroys our homes, our families, our communities, our cities and if left unmolested the monster will destroy the whole Earth upon which we live. The monster brings early death to the elderly and suffering to the little children. Then, in all of the monster's phony piety and self serving righteousness it has the nerve and the unmitigated gall to call its own people, the children of its own mothers and fathers, bums.
I have become the new man with eyes of passion and heart of stone. I carry the dust of this journey in my pockets and in my sweat and in my tears. I have returned from this odyssey to avenge the interlopers who have taken over my home and pillaged my land. I have returned this new man consecrated by the blood of the martyrs and the tears of the innocent and I have returned with the trophies from hell.
From the forthcoming book; Cooking in a Coffee Pot - 50 essays of America