On they go, through the wreckage and the ruins, toward the glorious future that hangs like dew-kissed fruit on the rotating candy tree at the edge of the world. “Catch me and pick me and eat me.” The tree whispers into the dreams of the millions who follow the leader and onward they go. It doesn’t matter if it’s Chairman Mao or Dick Cheney, Olmert or Hitler. The uniforms change, the slogans change but the men remain the same. The people remain the same. They breed on the highway. They die by the roadside. They laugh in the sunlight and weep in the darkness. The circle of life completes.
The markets rise and the markets fall. The magic alphabet of numbers pours like sand, over and over through the grasping hands. The rich get richer and the poor stay poor; dreaming of lottery tickets and alchemical gold. It never changes. It never gets old and they breed on the highway and die by the roadside.
As uncertain and treacherous as the world has always been, there was always hope; sleeping like a poisoned princess in Pandora’s Box.
I cannot ever remember understanding the world in personal terms. Even when I was a child, I never got the glory of war or the call to arms. I never wanted to wear a suit and tie and be a master of the universe. But I see that there are many who do. Among the decent souls who struggle here, there are always the others who will do anything to advance their interests. The good people are hamstrung. They can only go so far before their conscience stops them. There are no such barriers for the others.
I toy with solutions in my mind. Sometimes it seems if people were better informed that there would be less misery. Sometimes it seems that there should be a period where the rich and the powerful should all be publicly executed as a lesson; dragged like Ceauşescu to a natural destiny; something like The Olympics with wide media coverage.
Throughout human history, in every religion, there is the example of sacrifice; the martyred God, the expiating divinity that washes the landscape clean and whose gift becomes the currency for the age. There is the implication that the blood that washes away the sins also paints the world in new colors. I’ve seen it written by those who have found enlightenment that everything sparkles like gold and precious gems.
We have no religion that puts the psychopaths into The Wicker Man but maybe we should. Maybe this is where we have gone wrong. Maybe there should be a world wide spring cleaning in every generation. Everything would be as it is now. Dick Cheney could go on saying things like, “So?” and “They volunteered.” Rupert Murdoch could go right on pumping sewage into the collective consciousness. Bankers could go right on recycling new versions of The Grapes of Wrath. Loan-sharks could continue breaking legs and lives. Politicians could lie and orchestrate pointless wars at the behest of bankers and corporations. Religious leaders could milk their flocks, shear their sheep and operate their open air meat markets for wolves; reaching their hands heavenward and proclaiming that their followers should throw their money up into the air and testifying that all that remains there belongs to God and all that falls to the ground is theirs.
Everything could go on just the way it always does but every twenty years a lot of them would be rounded up and executed in creative ways for the entertainment of the people. It could be several weeks of unforgettable television. They could each deliver their parting words.
The beauty of such a thing is that everyone would go into it knowing the possible outcome. To make it interesting, not all of them would be chosen. It could be a fifty-fifty lottery with odd and even numbers. Who could argue with it? Justice would be automatic. There could even be loopholes. There could be American Idol-like competitions where contestants in a “You Bet Your Life” scenario could compete against each other for the public’s favor. In ancient Rome, in the coliseum, it was occasionally the case where a gladiator would win his life and his freedom if the public wished it.
It should not forever be the case that the Mahatma Gandhi’s and Jesus Christ’s should bear the full weight of sacrifice. It’s time to share the burden of sacrifice. People die in the effort to enrich themselves at the public expense. People die in wars. People die in traffic accidents. Everybody dies. Since everyone dies... why shouldn’t there be a greater meaning in particular deaths?
A festive energy is in the air. The Month of Recompense has come; colorfully dressed agents of the people advance on the Rockefeller estate and drag David Rockefeller from his bed. David got an odd number. In accordance with the rules, none of the possible participants are informed in advance of their selection. Rockefellers and Rothschild’s share the stage. Rock music fills the stadium and people dance and hold their children upon their shoulders. It’s party time.
Can anyone argue with this? Does this sound crazy to you? A million dead Iraqi’s doesn’t sound crazy? Paris Hilton getting 200,000 dollars to attend a party of Japanese businessmen doesn’t sound crazy? George W. Bush doesn’t sound crazy? Being strip searched in an airport without reason doesn’t sound crazy? Thousands of homes boarded up with people living in the streets isn’t crazy? A pile of bodies of murdered monks in the Myanmar jungles doesn’t sound crazy? Three skyscrapers falling in controlled demolition doesn’t sound crazy? Your believing this is a normal affair doesn’t sound crazy? What is crazy?
It seems perfectly reasonable to me that every twenty years we clean up the psychopath population and have a little closure. George and his brother presided over the largest amount of executions in American history in their respective states. Was that crazy or coincidence? Could they possibly complain if they were the recipients of public justice? Think of how many people have died at the hands of this one family.
You can’t depend on your laws to balance the scales. The laws may declare one thing in principle but they aren’t going to reflect that principle once the lawyers get through with them. It really comes down to who can pay for the best lawyers. It’s no wonder that Phil Spector didn’t worry about killing a woman in his home. There is no law, people. There is no lottery ticket. There is no home equity. It was never intended so.
Yes, you are a fool when you play Three Card Monte. You’re a fool when you bet on the come. You’re a fool to think you can become an aristocrat. It’s not going to happen. But it should cost something to be an aristocrat. The French Revolution should be a Disney-like theme park and it should stand as the people’s recourse to justice because there really isn’t any justice and you know that.
Is there a higher justice? There may well be. Does it all fit together perfectly in the end? That may well be. All I’m saying is that I think we would all feel a lot better if we could adjust the scales intentionally every so many years. I think we’d all be more comfortable with our lot if what goes around actually came around. The perception of justice done will do more for your complexion than all the cancer creams you’re using now. I think this might be an idea whose time has come.
'The Bitch in the Beemer' is track no. 2 of 12 on Visible and The Critical List's 1992 album
'Not Politically Correct'
About this song (pops up)