Monday, October 28, 2013

The Lower Depths (3) "Rich Pigs"

 

(from The Lower Depths)

- The Royal Princes I drive for, they laugh at lists of the richest in the world.
- They're right.
- Why?
- Our rich corrupt politicians, monopolize markets, deceive the public, do anything to distract attention while they hoard up their money. They have a mere 50, 60 billion. Rulers of countries simply order their armies and police to rob everything.
- How much do they have?
- The dictators of the Palestinians, of the Iraqis, said to have had over 100 billion. Current dictator of Russia a little less maybe. The Saudi royal family, owning the oil fields, in the hundreds somewhere.
- Hundreds of billions of dollars?
- Yes.
- The richest in America have 50 billion?
- Around.
- Why can't they help all the poor people with nothing and no place to live?
- They can.
- Why don't they?
- They think that would be rewarding failure to play to game.
- What game?
- Money making.
- Why do they care about a game when people are starving?
- They have a theory that the game can't be played well unless there are severe penalties for losing.
- Why do they help at all then?
- They would like more people to be able to play. The more people the more interesting the game.
- They are right that if they give away money only to poor who do nothing that isn't fair to poor people who work. Or do they have enough money to give to everyone?
- They have enough money to elect representatives to every political office in the country. The representatives could then pass laws to ensure everyone place to live and food to eat. And then people could set to work voluntarily for the joy and discovery of it.
- Why don't the rich do it?
- They love the game that loaded them with billions. They don't want to end the game.

- Why?
- Why don't they want to end the game?
- They have everything.
- They have pride no attachment to things holds them back in the game. The rich don't really like things. Things represent power to get more things, don't have value in themselves. You know what happened today? Our host took my hat and gloves and dumped them down the trash chute. He said they were luxury items. I shouldn't be frivolous, I should be studying.
- He told me..
- The hat was a fedora from the 50s, with a silver broach with small semi-precious stones sewn into the band above the brim. It was a gift from the manager of a thrift shop in Silverlake. The gloves I found at 3 in the morning at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire, near the Beverly Hilton hotel. I'd just arrive from Tel Aviv, the so-called friend I was supposed to contact once I arrive wouldn't come to the phone when I called, so I was walking around all night until Starbucks opened at 5. I'd been doing this for days, nights getting near freezing. The gloves were supple and strong, fit me perfectly, and were a ridiculously deep violet in color.
- He said they were girly. You shouldn't wear them.
- They were a gift that appeared magically when needed. Both hat and gloves were gifts, had stories behind them. People who only see the game won't allow objects to hold them back. Objects are counters in the game of making money. They don't have beauty.
- I understand you're hurt to lose your things.
- It's the stories, that the stories end this way.

(continued here)