by Rick Kepler
I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, except only one “golden ticket” was stuffed in a loaf of cheap white bread, and I, the holder of that ticket, won the prize, the opportunity to interview the masters of the universe, the top one per centers in the United States, the ruling class. I anxiously gazed out among the assembled crowd of Wall Street barons, tech billionaires, hedge funders, private equity hucksters, and banksters, with my prepared questions in hand. I guessed they only wanted some lower-working-class interviewer, or why else would they stick the ticket in a loaf of bread you can only buy at Dollar stores? Oh well, I won and was excited to be among them.
Me: First off, I want to thank you all for allowing this interview. My first question is, since 2009 you rich white guys have taken over 95% of all the income created in our country. If the economy were a pizza, you guys took 95 slices and left the rest of us 99% with five slices. Why are you such greedy bastards, and when is enough enough for you guys?
1%: What a dumb fucking question! (Turns to the chorus of one per centers) Have any of you ever asked yourselves, is enough, enough? (Entire 1% burst out laughing) There’s your answer, next question.
Me: You robbed us commoners of over $6 trillion in wealth when you collapsed our economy with your bubble-busting con game. Your asses got bailed-out using our tax dollars. You now got it set up for your next swindle that collapses the economy to do a “bail-in”, whereby you steal our deposited money in your banks to save your asses, and issue us worthless certificates telling us someday we may get our money back. Is there no end to your perfidy?
1%: We know we can’t get away with another bail-out, so we’ll employ the Willie Sutton strategy, because after all, as Willie said, “that’s where the money is.” Right, boys? (The chorus configured their one hand like a gun and made shooting noises into the air, while some were actually pointing their finger-gun at me).
Me: In the Bible, Matthew 6:24, it says you cannot worship two masters, God and wealth. How do you square your worship of wealth with your so-called claims of being good Christians?
1%: (Turns to chorus) See what happens when that friggin’ Pope Francis gets on his high horse and attacks capitalism? We get questions like this. Next question, peasant!
Me: If Jesus ever did return, don’t you think He would be disgusted with the lot of you for your worship of Mammon?
1%: If Jesus does come back, he better not repeat that “throw the money changers from the Temple”, or that “it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into heaven” shit, or we’ll nail his ass……again. (Another burst of laughter from the chorus.)
Me: Gandhi must have had you guys in mind when he said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are nothing like your Christ.”
1%: Why the hell are you quoting us some character from a goddam Hobbit movie! We don’t give a shit what Gandalf said. Look, we feed the planet, we clothe the planet, we house the planet, and we heal the sick — as long as there is a buck to be made doing it — so doesn’t that make us Christ-like? (“Amen”, chimed in the chorus.)
Me: Some would say you rape, pillage, and plunder the planet, but let’s not quibble over semantics. My next question is, since most of you inherited your wealth and will pass it on to your offspring, are you no different than the families of past royalty and monarchies, who would intermarry among themselves to protect and grow their riches? In other words, wouldn’t you and your offspring fuck your own cousins, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers if it meant getting richer and more powerful?
1%: Indeed. (Affirmative head-shaking among the chorus) Next question.
Me: Forty-two out of 44 of the world’s worst authoritarian regimes run by tyrants are supported by you one per centers, either with cash, or armaments, or both. Yet you all claim to believe in democracy. How do you square that fact?
1%: Simple. As long as those sheiks, emirs, sultans, princes, kings, or dictators make us money, we keep them in power. If they go spouting Pope Frankie’s crap about inequality and sharing the wealth, we then use your democratically elected politicians to line up and lie to you about why they must be bombed and removed. You have heard, haven’t you peon, that a lie goes halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes. “Remember the Maine” in the Spanish War; WWI, “the war to end all wars”; the Chinese communist hordes in Korea; the Gulf of Tonkin incident in Viet Nam; the massing of Iraqi troops on the Saudi border in Desert Storm; and the best one of all from Iraq II, “the weapons of mass destruction,” (huge laugh from the chorus). Every one a crock of made-up shit! Hell, we were even supplying that little Austrian fucker until he went too far in WWII. War is good business, very profitable for us. If you peons get killed, oh well, sometimes the herd needs thinned out. Right, boys?! (“Hear! Hear!” roared the chorus)
Me: So that famous, highly decorated Marine General Smedley Butler (real person) was right when he testified before Congress years ago and said, “I’m just a muscle man for Wall Street and the bankers, and a racketeer for capitalism.”
1%: Well, our highly decorated General Dudley Do-Right (real Canadian Mountie cartoon character) will testify that if it wasn’t for our funding of universities, foundations, think tanks, the media, and politicians from both parties that we own, this country would probably have universal health care (“Boo!” rang the chorus), fully-funded, vibrant public schools, (a louder boo), an economy that had full employment, (loudest boo), and worst of all, no fucking wars (it sounded like banshees screaming).
Me: Many of us believe the system is rigged in your favor. Since a large majority of our elected politicians in Congress are millionaires, and those who aren’t are striving to become so, and all but a couple praise your asses, what chance do we commoners have of having our voices heard and our concerns addressed since they always address your needs and relegate ours to the back burner, or what they call ‘gridlock.’
1%: None. (Big laugh from the chorus) Look, ragamuffin. Don’t blame us if you keep electing those idiots that we own…I mean, bankroll from both parties. See those two billionaires in the corner? Just those two spent more money in your last election than the top ten… (Turns to chorus) get ready, boys, I have to utter this wretched, vile word … UNIONS spent all together.
Me: (I waited for the coughing, wheezing, and hacking to subside, as if the room suddenly filled with sulfur. Man, these dickheads truly hated working people.) So, you guys really loved that Citizens United Supreme Court decision given to you by those five corporate butt lickers who pissed on our Constitution?
1%: If we could remember their names, we’d send them each a hooker. “Corporations are people” — are you shitting me! (Loud laughter from the chorus), “money is free speech,” (louder laughter) and now our corporations have “religious freedoms” (loudest laughter). Praise Jesus, boys, we’re going to rule for a very long time. Ka-ching, Ka-ching! (“Hallelujah, Hallelujah,” sang the chorus)
Me: Yeah, what ever happened to the wise men on the bench, like Louis Brandeis, who said, “You can have democracy, or you can have wealth concentrated in a few hands, but you can’t have both.” But anyway, the president once claimed that he was the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks. Aren’t you worried that if you keep fucking us over, destroying our planet, poisoning our air and water, and consigning us to lives of quiet desperation and grinding poverty while you all live like King Croesus, that we will rise up and march your asses off to the guillotine, literally or figuratively, depending on the mood of the masses?
1%: What, we worry! An even more wise man, Alfred E. Newman, once said, “The rich are not like you and me. They are vicious cocksuckers who will do anything, and I mean anything, to maintain their rule over the earth.” (Resounding whoops and cheers from the chorus rocked the venue). And let me add, the next movement that comes along and targets us won’t just get a pepper spray facial. Why do you think we are buying up.. I mean, privatizing, all those prisons? Why do you think we’re spying on your asses? Come at us again and we’ll make what we did to the Black Panthers in the ‘60s look like a picnic. Get to your next question, peon.
Me: A singin’ fella named Woody Guthrie once said, “Some men rob you with a six gun; others rob you with a pen.” Who has the biggest pen among you thieves?
1%: All right boys, take out your pen and let’s see who has the biggest one of all.
Me: (Man, these guys loved competition. They all reached into their pants and pulled out their pens and started comparing — it was hilarious.) My next question is, since you have taken “dead peasant” insurance out on us workers so when we die you can retrieve all the low wages you ever paid us, is there no low to which you guys won’t stoop in order to fleece us working people?
1%: No. Why, just recently our research indicates that you stiffs bury a lot of valuable stuff in your loved ones’ caskets. We think there’s a great amount of money to be made in buying up cemeteries and then robbing — well, it wouldn’t be robbing since we now own the property — I mean, retrieving those valuable items, bundling them as securities and selling them on the market to investors. We’ll package the bones and sell them as dog treats. (Instantaneously they all grabbed their crotches, which was an involuntary response when they smelled money-making opportunities.) Does that answer your question!? Now wrap it up, peasant!
Me: I want to thank you all for allowing me to really get to know you so up close and personal. I believe I speak for all us peons when I say on our behalf, that if there is a hell, we hope Lucifer, Beelzebub, King of the 1%, or whatever you call him, has a nice gated community in the hottest section of Hell just waiting for your sorry asses. But if your beliefs tend toward reincarnation, my bet is you will come back as urinal mats so that we peasants can return the favor.
And before I exited from the high and mighty, I turned around, dropped my drawers, and loudly sang out, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s my ass cheeks,” in the hope that whenever they gazed upon a bright, full moon, they would remember my parting gift to them. (My apologies to the songwriter of “That’s Amore.”)
And off the stage I exited, to take a long, long shower.