Rich Man, Poor Man*
It also contains foul language. I have no excuse.
Have you ever wondered what the grimy poor and the filthy rich have in common?** Well, I often did. It’s a disturbing thought and it weighs heavily on me. I’ve always considered myself a non-judgmental person, but here I am, passing verdicts on people based principally on their income. On those rare occasions I had had the misfortune to spend time with a despicable beggar or a contemptible mogul I felt as if I had lost an essential part of my humanity. I became a culprit and a victim of an eccentric fact of life: disparity of fortunes. I not only hated them but loathed myself as well. Damn it, why are they so offensive!
Certainly there's something about money that brings the worst in people. Its scarcity and abundance are two sides of the same fetid pie of crap. I sympathize to some extent with a hungry person who let loose the reins of his manners and acts rudely and blatantly. But how can I find it in me to justify the unquenchable greed, the flamboyant arrogance and the self absorption of the boorish, degraded and indecorous rich. The first has given up his self-respect out of dire physiological necessity. But what about the big fat insatiable monster wanting more, swallowing the green and the dry as if in a feeding frenzy. Like a deranged elephant, he blindly rampages through a village, destroying huts, breaking limbs and smashing skulls.
-"I am the mad king of the fucking jungle. It all belongs to meeeee".
I long for a loaded “.416 Rigby” rifle to shoot the damn beast right between the eyes. Good riddance mother-fucker.
Subject: Send in More
Can I still get away with a statement such as I’m not a violent person? I truly am not, but I’m getting offended time after time in an alarmingly skyrocketing frequency. I, too, am searching for money. I need to make more of it to sustain a decent lifestyle for myself and my family. My requirements, my burdens, my responsibilities have increased, as always. I am a professional and I don’t know two ways around my dilemma. I’m only familiar with the old fashioned one: you need more you work more. That translates into working longer hours, getting a second job or practically both. The long working hours I’ve been putting in, day in, day out, have eventually caught up with me. I’ve become an irritable person. I don’t want to play with the kids anymore, I don’t have time. I don’t want to hang out with friends any more, I don’t have time. I can’t read, I can’t write, I can’t laugh, I can’t smile, I can't think… I don’t have time. You see why I can commiserate with the poor and hungry now, don’t you? I'm not in real need as they certainly are, yet I’ve managed to screw up my life with superfluous aspiration. I’m head over heels in the goddamn rat race. I’m wearing rubber boots and shoveling through the gutters with my associates and colleagues, the fucking white-collars, feeling snobbish and superior as the smutty blue-collars are swimming deep in shit nearby, hauling filled buckets. Above ground, the repulsively ugly, hideously malformed rich are counting the cash and replacing the tired and the dead in the sewer.
"Send in more", they don’t bother write it themselves the sonsofbitches. Smart-looking, long-legged secretaries type the message:
To: Human Resources
Recruiting 2 whites, 5 blues.
Needed: 2 pairs of rubber boots, 5 pairs of plastic sandals, 2 shovels, 5 buckets.
Marv, are you coming to the boss’ party on Saturday to kiss ass. I’ll be there sucking balls.
I still have some sense in me, so I’ll stop. A glimmer of light though. I feel a little better :-)
*"Rich Man, Poor Man" is the title of a great 1970 novel by Irwin Shaw
** I forgot to answer the fundamental question of this article: "What do the grimy poor and the filthy rich have in common?" Well, they are both disgustingly hungry.