Money squawks and common sense has to breathe into a paper-bag to avoid hyperventilating. Each and every one of us feels a certain sense of privilege in life; including the most under-privileged among us. All individuals (secretly or not so secretly) believe that they are somehow special—each of us being the center of his or her own private universe—and quite possibly the most important person in the world. (If only the rest of the planet would take notice.)
Realistically, some folks are born into privilege, while others struggle and never get their fair share—that’s been true since the beginning of time. But it’s important to point out that being born into privilege doesn’t make a person good or bad. Nor does being born into lowly circumstances prevent a person from being either a prince or a prick. But all of that aside, the most remarkable of creatures is the dumb-assed knucklehead who through accident (and/or a dash of dishonesty) stumbles by random luck into success, or worse—staggering wealth or power.
Which brings to mind venture capitalist and undiagnosed Tourette syndrome sufferer, Thomas Perkins who labors under the misconception that the value of each American’s vote should be gauged on how much that individual pays in taxes—(as if Citizens United hasn’t already brought that to fruition). Perkins thinks if you pay more in taxes then your vote should yield a higher return than some poor working slob who never gets a break in life. The insulated rich have no idea what it’s like to be mired in debt and frightened about how to make ends meet, therefore they assume that anyone experiencing those things must be stupid or lazy.
Perkins has everything in the world that money can buy, but possesses nothing of any real value because he has no soul. You’ve heard the frequently quoted phrase:
“If you’re so smart, then why aren’t you rich?”
In honor of Thomas Perkins, let’s turn that phrase inside out:
“If you’re so rich, why aren’t you very smart?”
Thomas Perkins believes that in spite of his yachts, penthouses, celebrity wives and lavish lifestyle—largely earned ruthlessly off the backs of the struggling middleclass—that HE (yes, HE) is a victim. He claims that there’s a progressive war on America’s wealthiest one percent that’s reminiscent of the Nazis persecuting Jewish people. (Really?)
In his paranoia, Perkins maintains that the Occupy Wall Street Movement is really a burgeoning form of brown-shirt Fascism bound and determined to take away everything he’s fought so hard to swindle and stash into offshore bank accounts. Idiotic as he is, he can rest assured that it’s not going to happen here in capitalist America—trust me—it’s just simply NOT going to happen—ever. Perkins IS the ruling class and can buy and sell his own rules up to and including avoiding prison for manslaughter in 1996 by buying his way out of the crime. He couldn’t be safer or more insulated. But there is some truth to the concept that paranoid people bring-on—and thus realize their own worst fears. But no one is coming to get Thomas Perkins and take away all his stuff—nor is that going to happen anyone else living in cushy circumstances similar to his own. There is no storming the “ghetto” of wealthy people like a modern day Kristallnacht the way Nazis rounded-up and persecuted the Jews.
I’m not fond of people bandying about comparisons to Nazis, Hitler or any of the atrocities of World War II—unless there are valid comparisons.
Baring Thomas Perkin’s paranoia in mind—on the other side of the world there’s a whole other story about a cute looking little Russian punk girl—who at first glance appears to be just another skinny club kid. Her name is Ekaterina Zigunova, and while looking all “modern” and punked-out, she is a complete throwback to primitive thinking anti-intellectualism that festers wherever ignorance runs amok. This little girl is almost singlehandedly leading the charge against gay people in Russia. This “child” along with her followers have sexually tortured and maimed over one hundred men in Russia merely because they are gay.
Inflammatory graffiti is scrawled across the facades of the homes where Russian gay people are known to reside. Windows are broken and people are dragged out into the street as everyone from President Vladimir Putin to the Russian Catholic Church turn a blind, if not encouraging eye to this budding atrocity. Suicide rates among sexual minorities in Russia have skyrocketed. Meanwhile, here in America, mental midget and extraordinarily incompetent, Arizona Governor
*Jan “brain-freeze” Brewer is expected to sign a bill allowing Arizona residents to discriminate against LGBTQ people. This discriminatory law (which will undoubtedly be struck down by a higher court) would allow for LGBTQ people to lose their jobs and homes based on sexual orientation. Other ignorant people would be then deemed as “within their rights” to refuse to serve gay people at restaurants and retail establishments citing “religious” freedom as the basis for their discriminatory behavior.
So yes, Thomas Perkins, there is a Kristallnacht taking place in the world today, in America, Russia, Uganda, the Middle East and around the globe, but you are NOT the victim of it—nor are all the other thieves in your cadre of corporate criminals. But if feeling paranoid agrees with Thomas Perkins’ conscience and constitution—then I say go for it—because in the long run all that paranoia and anxiety will do is rot a person from the inside out—much the same way as hate ultimately destroys the hater.
Thomas Perkins reminds me of when I was a little boy building an elaborate sandcastle in my backyard sandbox. I’d pressed stones and shells into the sand structure. I’d given the sandcastle turrets and balconies. When my elaborate palace was complete, I noticed an ant had been watching me from the perimeter of the sandbox, so I decided to make him the king of the castle. I scooped him up with a leaf and deposited him on the front balcony as if he were Eva Peron addressing her adoring throngs. But no sooner did I place him on the balcony than he produced a set of nearly transparent wings and flew away not at all appreciating everything he’d just been given. The little bug flew off to join his extended family of termites that were merrily noshing away at the foundation of my family’s wooden home.
Thomas Perkins, Ekaterina Zigunova and Jan Brewer are merely examples of modern day human-like termites devouring everything that decent people hold dear. Avoiding the catastrophes wrought on society by hateful or greedy human-termites could easily be accomplished by learning from history—but no one ever learns from history when it’s so much easier for the dim in our midst to give in to the gravitational pull of their own downward spiral.
– Disassociated Press, 2/25/2014
*Update: On February 26th, 2014, under extreme pressure from all sectors of society, Governor, Jan Brewer vetoed the state Republican bill that would have legalized gay discrimination in Arizona.
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