November 02, 2013

Attention Must Be Paid: Loving Petey

On its long, torturous path out of the fetid swamps of ignorance and despair, humanity has been granted but a few shining moments of profound transformation. Some will claim the discovery of the wheel, or of fire, or of the printing press to belong in the sacred pantheon devoted to the contemplation of those rare, tragically brief occasions when humanity could raise its stuporous stare from the gutter to bask in the distant glory of star fire, to wipe the sweat from its tormented brow, and to say, "Yeah, this is some fine shit."

In our time, we have been blessed to witness another such moment. We do not refer to the development of the internet or, somewhat earlier, the discovery of nuclear power. Humanity has always displayed a lamentable enthusiasm for incessant burbling and babbling, and we do not see that pixels on screens are markedly superior to scrawlings on cave walls. "Ooohhh, mastodon!" "Ooohhh, Kardashian!" You feel me, man? And we have always had a love affair with death. The apex of human achievement, at least in the view of humanity itself, will apparently arrive when we finally eradicate ourselves entirely from the universe. We are inclined to think humanity has gotten that one right.

But no, we think another discovery is far more significant. After interminable dreary centuries of feigned concern with the weak, the suffering, the oppressed, the halt, the lame, the sick -- Jesus H. the Fuck Christ, but you have been a tedious collection of gloomy Gertrudes -- humanity has finally realized that all those miserable nitwits have it coming. If your life is pain and deprivation from sunup to sundown, that's because you are one lazy SOB. You deserve to suffer! Opportunity lies all around you. Get up off your fat, boil-ridden ass and make your own chance for success! The world is your oyster. Eat it! Eat the shell too!

And so we have finally arrived at the moment of True Enlightenment. We have grasped the truth to which we have blinded ourselves for so long:
The rich are much, much better than everyone else.
Feel this truth as it suffuses your being, miraculously soothing and untangling all the kinks and spasms in the gray splattery mess that is your brain. Have you ever looked at a brain, felt one with your stubby fingers? Ick. You don't need it. Your brain is worthless. Now, the brains of the rich -- there's something special. To get all that stuff -- to get all the stuff made possible by dirty, pathetic little slugs like you -- to leave the slugs just enough so they can survive, to provide the rich with still more stuff -- and to convince the slugs that the rich are doing them a favor because the rich haven't killed them yet ... that is great shit.

You couldn't manage that. Nope, you couldn't. Slugdom suits you just fine. But at least the slugs understand now that their only hope for salvation is to recognize the indisputable superiority of the rich. The slugs should model themselves on the rich (to the extent a slug can, which isn't much), and make the rich their guides in every aspect of life. Place The Catechism of the Rich on your nightstand, carry another copy with you during your daily drudgery, study it all the time. The rich are your only hope! And the richer they are, the better. There is a direct correlation between how rich someone is and his worth. The richer someone is, the more superior he is. We grasp this now. Hallelujah!

We should remember how recently we were suffocatingly bound in the ropes of our ignorance, how it was only yesterday (to speak in broad cultural terms, which is admittedly next to impossible for slugs to pull off) that we despised the rich, that we thought the rich were exploiting the rest of us, that the rich were the enemy of much of humanity. As if! Maybe you remember a guy named Arthur Miller, and his play Death of a Salesman. Lots of people thought: "Great writer, and great play! A vindication of the worth of every human being, even the unsung, even the apparent failures, and a trenchant condemnation of the cruelties of American capitalism."

And maybe you recall at least part of this famous speech:
I don't say he's a great man. Willie Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.
Now we read something like that, and we think: What a load of horseshit. Salesman premiered in 1949. 1949. People were stupid then. They didn't understand where genuine greatness will be found, or which people truly deserve our admiration and devoted concern. They paid attention not just to the wrong people, but to pathetic, miserable, insignificant little fucks. Lemme ask you this: did a pathetic, miserable, insignificant little fuck ever give anyone a job? Do rotten little fucks make your life better? Do they make totally keen movies, or make you wanna buy the 27th version of an iPhone (which selects all your meals based on the dietary choices provided by rich people, and then eats them itself!)?

Pathetic little fucks don't do any of that stuff. Thank God we know better now. And we understand that we shouldn't do anything unless rich people say it's okay. We shouldn't take a job, we shouldn't watch a movie or read a book, we shouldn't travel anywhere, we shouldn't eat a snack or drink something unless rich people give us permission. And rich people will make things available to us that they think it's okay for us to have. There's a lot of stuff they won't let us have, but they're right to do that. We can't be trusted with most stuff. We're pathetic little fucks. We're lucky to still be alive! Bow down in gratitude to the nearest rich person you can find.

And we understand there's a lot of information we shouldn't have. Should miserable little slugfucks know everything? Of course not. Rich people will tell us what we can know. So I am thrilled that everyone, including liberals and leftists, have fallen like totally in love with Pierre Omidyar. "Oh My God, a multibillionaire wants to spend money to tell us what we can know! He is so fabulous!"

Oh, you don't think The Great Transformation has actually changed people's thinking that much. Fat lot you know. Read this sentence from the New York Times just two days ago:
[Greenwald] is on a double mission: to push back in the name of freedom against the post-9/11 “surveillance state” with its dragnet data trawling, and to reinvigorate journalism through “an aggressive and adversarial position to political and corporate power,” an undertaking he will pursue through a new online publication backed with $250 million from the eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar ...
Isn't that incredibly cute? I think it's adorable. Corporate power will make possible journalism that will take an "adversarial position" -- to corporate power. Corporate power will tell us all when and how we can talk back to it. Corporate power will decide just how "aggressive and adversarial" journalism can be.

And everyone thinks this is great! Who the hell am I to disagree? No one, that's who. So I think it's great, too! The rich know best. That's why they're rich. And Omidyar -- or Petey, as I like to call him, and I'm sure he'd love that, since he wants to be best pals with all of us -- has lots of ideas about how to improve our lives. He really likes doing that kind of thing, cuz he thinks we're all "inherently capable and basically good." Well, he's really, really rich, so he can think whatever the fuck he wants.

Forget all that crap about the weak and the sick and the oppressed. That is totally last century, dude. Now attention is paid in only one direction: toward the rich and the powerful, and the richer and more powerful, the better. Multibillionaires are the new gods. They will lead us to the promised land.

Throw me a crumb, Petey! Oh, you did. I'm weeping with joy. What a fantastic guy. I love you, Petey! Love love love rich rich rich money money money power power power RICH RICHER RICHEST!!!!!

Brave new world. Fuck, yeah!