Classical Music, Classical Liberalism

Commentary, Featured

It’s often hard to think about genres of art as belonging to distinct philosophies, and there are always exceptions to whatever philosophical designation we try to apply to a particular type of art. However, it intuitively makes sense that some types of art are better suited for certain worldviews than others.

For example, ancient Greek sculptures were fairly expensive and required a high degree of technical skill. They were also limited to static representations. Those limitations meant that they were not particularly suited to celebrating vulgarity or day to day life. If the number of sculptures people could make were limited, one would not expect to find too many sculptures depicting someone drinking or harvesting a crop. Furthermore, since one could not easily show the sculpture’s subject against a background, the social context needed to depict a vulgar (ordinary, everyday) subject isn’t easily provided. A sculpture showing a person drinking by themselves or hunched over in farm labor would seem bizarre without a group setting or pastoral landscape. That’s not to say, of course, that such sculptures couldn’t exist, just that they would not seem the most natural subject for a simple, expensive expression. People would naturally want something somewhat profound in an expensive work, and something fairly simple. Religious figures would make good sense in that regard – they are beautiful to look at, eternal, important, and somewhat easily typecast in the Greek world. Athena will have her wisdom, Mars his war, etc. Thus, we can argue that the medium of ancient Greek sculpture naturally lends itself to a pagan religious expression.

Within the field of music, different genres even more clearly lend themselves to different worldviews. Take rock and roll for example. Usually consisting of something like four or five instruments (most of which are some form of electric guitar), a rock band can not hold or explore very complex themes. There’s certainly room for technical expertise to be displayed in virtuoso solos, but the themes themselves are not usually explored in too many different directions. The singers usually just tell us how to connect the simple theme to a vulgar idea and that’s that. The instruments and singers are emotive in a sense, but they can’t express an intellectually stimulating or sublime idea because (a) there are not enough of them and (b) perhaps as a consequence, there isn’t a tremendous amount of variation within the instruments. We thus hear a multitude rock songs about day-to-day activities (e.g. “Takin’ care of business”), shallow grief (e.g. “I see a red door and I want to paint it black”), or outright mockery (e.g. “Dude looks like a lady”).

What kind of philosophical ideas can you express in that kind of music? Nothing too complicated. There’s pretty much only room for philosophies based primarily on emotion or celebration of vulgarity. Socialism is one such philosophy. It stresses the importance of equality, which can usually only be achieved by making the great things small rather than the small things great. Some religious expression falls into this category too, the more basic proclamation of affiliation with a particular sect. Mike Huckabee plays base, after all.

The experience of rock and pop music is also primarily social. If you’ve ever been to a rock concert, you know that it’s hard to just experience it on your own. The crowd is a very important part of the experience. One hears the crowd as much as the singers. Perhaps because of the crowd (or perhaps as an integral part of rock music itself) is the sheer volume of the music. Giant electric amplifiers blast the music at the crowd like a broadside from a galleon. This is the musical equivalent of shouting and screaming. People generally do not shout complicated ideas. They only shout when they are angry, emotional, or upset.

If rock and pop music are better suited for somewhat collective themes, what music expresses a libertarian or individualist perspective? Classical liberalism – a celebration of freedom to achieve to the limits of one’s own ability – obviously does not fit comfortably with rock music. It’s a complicated idea. It is not intuitively obvious that men are better left to govern themselves and that the government should not oversee all aspects of our lives. Paternalism is such an old, basic idea that at some level it’s probably imprinted on our genetic code. Complicated ideas like freedom often take more time to explore. The idea that people should be free presupposes that people deserve to be free, that they’re capable of running their own lives. Thus, classical liberalism demands dignity from its music. It’s hard to feel dignified or important in a crowd at a rock concert. Classical liberalism also demands an appreciation of the sublime, of the great heights that people are able to reach.

To summarize, classical liberalism needs music that can express (a) dignity, (b) complicated ideas, and (c) the sublime. Classical music, particularly of the Romantic era, fills those needs nicely. With dozens of wildly varied instruments and much more time to work with, a classical composer can introduce a theme, build it up, explore the variations, and express a synthesis.

The experience of classical music is also given to a more individualist perspective. If you go to a classical music concert, the crowd will almost never be part of the experience. You might as well be alone in the concert hall.

The great works of classical music certainly fit the bill of dignity, complicated ideas, and sublime expression. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, virtually anything by Rachmaninoff, Dvorak’s New World Symphony, and dozens more such pieces meet those requirements.

One obvious problem with this analysis is that it’s hard to decide whether the popularity of the medium determines what people think of to express through it or if people have ideas and find the medium to express them. In other words, were Americans in the fifties and sixties expressing a growing social consciousness (i.e. a need to be accepted by peers) by embracing rock and roll or was rock and roll simply a new, interesting medium that had to be experienced socially and so adopt vulgar themes? Ultimately, it’s hard to answer that question, but does it really matter? For the person trying to find music to express their ideas, the chicken-and-the-egg argument about whether the medium drives the message or vice-versa is irrelevant.

I don’t want this to come off sounding elitist, I like rock music sometimes and it’s certainly better to run to than (most) classical music. However, when I think of music that expresses deeper and more fundamental ideas of mine, I can’t think of any rock or pop songs, and I think there is a reason for that.

Once you have a dignified, sublime view of man, it’s much easier to give him the freedom to control his own destiny. By contrast, glorify vulgar subjects often enough and it’s easy to forget man can do anything great. That, in essence, is why modern rock and pop music go well with collectivist ideas and classical music and classical liberalism logically fit.

Book Review: Noble Vision

Featured, Reviews

Written in 2005, Gen LaGreca’s debut novel, Noble Vision, is both a boldly inspiring tale, and a stark warning of what the future of medicine in the United States may hold.

The novel follows brilliant neurosurgeon David Lang who, after 7 years of heartbreaking work, finally believes he has discovered a process to regrow damaged nerve tissue. This procedure could allow paralyzed patients to walk again, blinded people to see, and might also cure hosts of other neurological diseases. Unfortunately, Dr. Lang practices medicine in the state of New York, which has just passed a landmark healthcare-reform bill called “CareFree.”

CareFree intimately resembles Massachusetts’ RomneyCare, as well as its close cousin, ObamaCare, in its socializing and centralization of medical costs and decisions. In an effort to control its already skyrocketing prices, the Bureau of Medicine, which oversees CareFree, refuses to allow Dr. Lang to continue his research, citing the low numbers of people it would help (as opposed to say, providing contact lenses to the thousands needing better vision). To add insult to injury, because of animal experimentation concerns he is forbidden even to continue the research with his own money.

But when a beautiful ballerina, whose shows David has been attending in secret for years, falls victim to a tragic accident that leaves her blind, the doctor must choose between obeying the law and saving her vision. When he chooses the latter the stage is set for the inevitable clash between him and the vast bureaucracy of the State’s healthcare system.

It is this conflict—at root a philosophical one—which gives the story of Noble Vision its life and its engaging amount of tension and drama. What, in the end, is better for human flourishing: the freedom to set one’s own prices and conditions for work, or the control of those prices and work by a large central bureaucracy? While current debates about healthcare are often couched in the language of economics (“we need to reduce healthcare costs and allow the uninsured to receive adequate medical care”) they rarely drill down to the underlying ethics involved.

This Ms. LaGreca does admirably, clearly presenting the basic moral principles at work in the minds of her protagonists and antagonists.  Such a principle is well illustrated in the following exchange between Dr. Lang and a state bureaucrat:

“If I’m not permitted to finance my own experiment, then my patient will gladly pay her own medical bills to keep the surgery out of the purview of CareFree.”

“She can’t pay! That’s against the law. If we let patients pay with their own money, then we’d be back to the old corrupt system where only those who can afford it get treatment.”

“You mean it’s corrupt to pay for the services of others but right to expect them for nothing?”

While the writing is at times clunky—for instance David’s secret-admirer letters to Nicole are wince-worthy—on the whole the story moves along at a rapid clip, losing little time in boring exposition or scenes which do not further the plot. In fact, I devoured the whole affair in two days, staying up late the second night to reach the conclusion of Ms. LaGreca’s work.

Noble Vision has been called “the Fountainhead of Medicine” and if you liked Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead there’s plenty to enjoy here. Both chronicle the vicious struggle between a principled individual who insists on living life on his own terms and a formless collective intent on denying him the freedom to do so. Both authors share the same philosophy and the same reverence for the human spirit, liberty and capitalism. At times one can see shades of Rand’s writing style in LaGreca’s (I’m thinking particularly of the rapid-fire exchanges between coldly rational David Lang and the simpering, often tyrannical bureaucrats who seek to restrain him). Even the title of LaGreca’s book is a respectful nod to a line from The Fountainhead that reads, “Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man’s nature and of life’s potential.”

On the whole, I would highly recommend Noble Vision to anyone interested in personal liberty, the role of the state in medicine, or just a well-plotted drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Noble Vision can be purchased at Amazon and Ms. LaGreca has promised a second liberty-themed novel is in the works, news of which (when it becomes available) can be found at Winged Victory Press.

Revolution, Chapter One: The Shop On the Corner, Part Four

Featured, Original Works

This is chapter 1 of a serialized novel appearing on Ars Gratia Libertatis weekly.  Read from the beginning here.

Sindamo consciously willed his hands not to shake as he set the pan down on the counter.  The man with the dress shirt asked, “Business good today, Mr. Sindamo?”  After trying with limited success to wet his suddenly parched throat by swallowing, Sindamo croaked, “Yes, sir.  May I help you?”

“Good to hear you’re doing well.  Not everyone is doing so well.  You may have heard about the unpleasantness at the Kwange Marketplace.  It’s really a shame.  All we wanted was a bit of their profits to help the less fortunate.  After all, where would those merchants be without the protection afforded by their government?  They owed us.  We only wanted what was ours.”

Sindamo did not have the courage to point out that the man had contradicted himself.  All Sindamo wanted was these men out of the store that he had worked so many years to build up.  He was willing to lose much in order to make that happen.  He thought, just leave me enough that I can rebuild. He said, “Yes, they didn’t have to be so unreasonable.”  Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his bodyguard George wince at that.

The man in the dress shirt smiled.  “My sentiments exactly.  We’re hoping that you can be more sensitive to the needs of your fellow citizens.  Now, we had in mind a donation of two thousand dollars and whatever bread you’ve got on hand.  After all, the people are going hungry and you look like you’ve got more than enough.”

Sindamo felt as if a vile of acid had spilled in his stomach and was slowly eating its way down.  In addition to twenty-seven U.S. dollars in the cash register, He had $1939.91 hidden in the building.  It represented the entire profit of his life to date.  He had gone into debt to buy his bakery and get it up and running.  If he didn’t convince this man to take less of his money, he would have to start over.  It had been an incredible, breathtaking gamble to accept a loan on the Lomboko black market, the only source of capital available to the citizens of Oraanu, when he had wanted to buy the bakery.  He would have to run the risk again just to buy supplies for the next day until he could make enough profits to get back on his feet.

All of that flashed through his mind in a split second.  He was about to say that he appreciated the plight of his fellow citizens, but just didn’t have that much money when something totally unexpected happened.

There are certain moments, often totally unrecognizable when they are occurring, when the course of an entire nation, continent, or world is altered.  In these moments, the rudder controlling the ship of fate is turned, and though it often takes a long time to see the ship begin to turn, the movement becomes inevitable once the moment of decision has occurred.  George Hela, an unknown, quiet, not particularly bright bodyguard from a nondescript slum in Lomboko, was lucky enough not only to witness his moment, but to cause it.

No one had paid enough attention to George to see his brows furrowing in fury as he listened to the man in the dress shirt.  George shouted, “No!  Who are you to steal money from Mr. Sindamo?  Without him there would be no money!”  For a second, the man in the dress shirt stood in stunned silence.  Then, he erupted.

“Shut up, you damn idiot!  What do I care about your crappy little nobody bakery?  We need that money, and we’re going to get it.”  The man turned around and pointed at one of the soldiers standing in front of the doorway.  “Sergeant, remind this punk who runs things around here!”

“Yes, sir,” the sergeant intoned.  He unslung his rifle, took two steps toward George, and raised the rifle as if to hit George with the butt.  George, acting perhaps on instincts long since instilled by life in the slums of Lomboko, lashed out with his fist, punching the sergeant hard square on the nose.  The sergeant staggered back, blood gushing from his broken nose.

The other two soldiers promptly unslung their rifles and fired.  They were about fifteen feet away and could hardly miss.  The bullets slammed into George’s chest and he was dead before he hit the ground.  He uttered no brave last words, and the only consolation he might have had was that he had died where he worked.

By now the man in the dress shirt was screaming.  “Just as I thought, a nest of traitors here!  Kill Sindamo and take the money!”  Sindamo wanted to object to this order and put up his hands placatingly.  He had time to yell, “No! I don’t –” before one of the soldiers fired a three shot burst at him.  The first bullet struck his extended hand, ripping off his left ring finger.  The bullet kept going, embedding itself in his chest and breaking a rib, but not penetrating further.  The sacrifice of the ring finger saved his life.  Sindamo fell to the floor, shocked by the impact of the bullet.  The other two bullets in the burst smacked into the wall behind him.

Sindamo played dead to the best of his ability while the soldiers were in the building.  The soldiers were in a frenzy for the next two minutes, smashing open cupboards and display cases, looking for money.  They took what was in the register and found about half of the money Sindamo had spirited away in various locations throughout the building.  Sindamo concentrated on not moving or breathing loudly.

Meanwhile, the man in the dress shirt was beginning to settle down and think about what had happened.  Things had spiraled out of control.  His superiors wouldn’t care about the shooting, but he knew that Sindamo was a well-known member of the tiny Lomboko middle class.  Everyone knew him, and everyone would be upset to hear about his death and angry at the government.  The Hamilton regime would not look kindly on a mid-level official who had stirred up popular outrage that would have to be bought off with more handouts of precious food supplies.

The man in the dress shirt snapped his fingers.  Of course.  Burn the bakery down.  The papers would report a terrible accident — a cooking fire that had claimed the life of Thomas Sindamo and his bodyguard.  The man in the dress shirt gathered all the rags and paper he could find in the building and stuffed them into one of the ovens, leaving a rolled up edition of the Locketon Gazette stuck in the oven door.  He told the soldiers to take whatever they had found and wait for him outside.  As they left, he lit the newspaper and turned on the oven.  He ran out the door and took the soldiers with him just as the first onlookers were gathering to find out about the gunshots at the bakery.  The men from the government hurried away, secure in the knowledge that they had done their duty.

*  *  *

The building began to burn in earnest, and Sindamo still lay on the ground.  Why get up?  The bakery was destroyed and with it all of the money and equipment he had spent his life accumulating.  He had no family or job and no prospect of acquiring either.  No one hired new workers in Oraanu.  If he crawled out the door before the flames claimed his life, he would be just as dead as he would be if he remained.

Suddenly, from the deep recesses of his mind, he heard that song his ears had not registered in decades.  He was back in the office with Sister Schiller, hearing the song on the radio.  He heard the melody again and the voice declaring the word.

That was all he needed.  He had a purpose again.  He crawled to the front door, away from the bakery that was already in his past.  Every plank of wood on the floor, bought with his ingenuity and work, was now just an indicator to show that he was moving toward his goal.

And then he breathed fresh air and knew he had escaped from the shop on the corner.

A Second Opinion, Chapter Three: Decision Made

Featured, Original Works

This is chapter 3 of a serialized novella appearing on Ars Gratia Libertatis every two weeks.  Read from the beginning here.

Chapter Three: Decision Made

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

–Roy Disney

Morales didn’t sleep well the next week. He would find himself lying in bed next to Shelly, uncomfortably aware of her measured breathing and occasional snore, staring at the ceiling as his mind raced.

He had continued his search for public records of the Fremonts. The mother-daughter pair didn’t appear in any of the tax databases, and had apparently never made a political contribution or even applied for a credit card. Lysandra had also been right that they didn’t appear in any of the medical databases (so it was obvious they would never be admitted or qualify for specialist care). Morales even called in a few favors with some government employees he knew and learned that there was no record of them in the Social Security, National ID, Collective Pension, Civilian Registry or Friends of the State databases. They didn’t even appear on the Terrorist Watch List!

According to the myriad, hydra-like branches of federal, state and local government, the Fremonts did not exist. Which, in this day and age, was impossible. After the passage of the Internet Safety and Accountability Act you couldn’t even log on without someone having a record of who you were and what you were doing (not that Morales minded this, of course; he had nothing to hide and it kept terrorists and pedophiles at bay).

Though John spent his evenings in search of information on the mystery visitors, this was not what kept him tossing and turning long hours after he had brushed his teeth and settled into bed. Instead, he found himself thinking about events that had happened during his day at the hospital. Little events. Insignificant events. Things that, before, had not occupied a single neuron’s-worth of thought in his brain.

Things like the firing of a nurse for her online journal criticizing the government’s handling of the healthcare crisis. Or a young man being refused care because his stomach pains weren’t “serious” enough, or yet another good doctor suddenly retiring from stress and overwork (though he said it was to spend more time with his family). Or three full rooms of patients being cleared out to make way for the State Attorney General who thought he was having a heart attack (it turned out to be gas). Or the faces of the people waiting in line outside the emergency room. One or two had even put up tents but the security guards had taken these down before the media could show up.

One incident that week struck Morales’ mind above all the others. He had been delivering a discharge form for a patient of his to the nurse at the front desk of the ER and had passed through the waiting area on the way there. As he made his way through the seated patients and their families he overheard two children arguing over a game. Their high pitched voices had spoken in hurried, petulant tones.

“I’m daddy, you hafta be the doctor!”

“But I don’t wanna be the doctor!”

“I already picked daddy, so you hafta be the doctor” the older of the two insisted.

“I don’t wanna be the doctor! I hate doctors!”

Morales wasn’t quire sure what had so unsettled him about that episode. It was only rational that a child, taken away from playtime by a sick parent or family member may come to resent the ever-present apparitions in white coats; the people who were the most visible reason for his being cooped up in a hospital. Still, John couldn’t help contrasting that with his own childhood awe of the medical profession.

Of course, thoughts of that nature soon led to thoughts on his current malaise regarding his work, on why it wasn’t as enjoyable as it once was, and on what, exactly, had changed in the intervening years. He had thought for a long time it was himself who had changed, but Alyssa and Lysandra’s comments had opened a crack in that line of reasoning. A hairline fissure that was slight, for now.

********************************************************************************

The appointed day arrived. Exactly one week from the evening visit by the strange pair. Morales had still not discovered who they were or where they were from, and was driven by curiosity, if nothing else, to see them again.

The snow had melted, except for some dirty piles in the parking lot and by the sides of roads, and John Morales had made up his mind. The fact that he had done so didn’t ease the feeling of vertigo he endured in his stomach that day as he attended to his duties at the hospital. When he sat down that night to finish the paperwork required for Thomas’ visit the feeling had only intensified. It was with an odd sort of trepidation he listened for the knock that would announce their arrival.

He glanced out the window often, hoping to catch some glimpse of the Fremonts, his curiosity making it almost impossible to focus on the paperwork in front of him. He saw nothing, but at 7:30 there came a knock on the front door.

He wasn’t going to help them. That much was clear. He’d taken an oath on becoming a state-licensed physician to obey the law and uphold the collective good. And the law was very unambiguous in this respect; you may not offer specialist medical care to people who were not eligible for it. Especially when so many who were eligible for it had to go without for want of enough doctors and medical equipment.

He couldn’t break the law just to help a pair of people he was intrigued by, no matter how much he wanted to. The system may be flawed, yes, but this was not the way to fix it. He’d thought through it over and over again in the last week. The right way was to work within the system; to reform it, not rebel against it. He could organize doctors, maybe start a political action committee to bring some of these issues up in the next election. These were the the ways to actually effect change, not some silent revolution for two people he’d only just met. He didn’t need to be a martyr.

All these thoughts went through his head as Morales walked slowly to the front of the office. He opened the door and they were both there, just as he remembered them; bundled against the cold and looking at him piercingly. The yellow-orange glow of the streetlamps in the parking lot silhouetted the pair.

Lysandra opened her lips to speak, but before she could say a word Morales whispered softly, “I’ll do it; I’ll help you.”

Revolution, Chapter One: The Shop On the Corner, Part Three

Featured, Original Works

This is chapter 1 of a serialized novel appearing on Ars Gratia Libertatis weekly.  Read from the beginning here.

An hour and twenty-five customers later, Tangwishon was still talking with his friend.  Their conversations were like European wars of the 17th century.  The eager participants often covered the same ground, but there was always a new twist or variation that had to be worked out.

Sindamo and Tangwishon were some of the very few citizens of Oraanu who had received an education of sorts.  In addition to his years at the mission, Sindamo spent most of his personal profits from the bakery on second hand books from Ben Linkarf’s store.  Characteristically, Tangwishon never explained where he learned about astronomy, philosophy, politics, or any of the other subjects he and Sindamo talked about.

The original conversation about the hornets had gradually turned to government generally, then to other governments.  They were at the heightened pitch of an argument about whether the European Union would survive the latest debt crisis when the bell rang, announcing another customer.

It was Martha Togo and her eight year old daughter, Mary.  Tangwishon smoothly transitioned from his conversation with Sindamo and gave an expansive greeting.  “Hello, Mary!  You’re looking lovely today!”  Mary smiled and shyly murmured her hello to Tangwishon.  “And Martha, good day to you too!  You’re looking well well, so I guess that means everyone else is worse off.”  Martha couldn’t help grinning at this very old joke.

Martha was a rarity in Oraanu — a single woman who ran her own business.  The only reason this could happen in her case was that too many powerful men owed her favors for anyone to think of robbing or violating her.

She was a doctor of sorts.  She hadn’t gone to medical school.  Indeed, she hadn’t even gone to high school.  However, someone had taught her how to read and she had devoured every medical book she could get her hands on as she was growing up.  After apprenticing at the Lomboko Hospital for a few years, she had known enough about medicine to open a shop where she set bones, treated whatever diseases she could with the limited drugs she had access to, and gave medical advice.  Tangwishon always said that Martha did better business when the people of Lomboko were suffering from more illnesses, and he was right.  The country of Oraanu was poor enough that Martha never lacked business, and so could afford luxuries like Sindamo’s treats.

Martha responded with the very old response to Tangwishon’s very old joke: “Well, John, we can’t all be good-hearted, pure mercenaries like you.  I have to settle for healing people.”  She looked at Thomas.  “And how are you, Thomas?  Anyone die from eating your bread today?”

Sindamo gestured back to the kitchen and answered deadpan,  “Not too many.  You’ll have to wait on the human heart pie you ordered.  But, I do have some chocolate chip cookies if you’re willing to settle for less.”  Mary’s eyes lit up at the mention of cookies.  Her mother noticed the cue and bought a half-dozen for the rest of the week, giving one to Mary at once.

“You’re quite the salesman, Thomas.  I’ve got to drop off Mary at school and then head over to the Kwange Marketplace.  The hornets are getting feistier than usual.  They killed a couple merchants and wounded a dozen people.  I’m going to go see if I can help.”

Before Sindamo could say anything, Tangwishon responded.  “Are they still there?  The hornets, I mean.  It could still be dangerous.  I’d better come with you.”

Martha nodded, trying not to smile too obviously.  “Thanks, John.  Thomas, thanks for the cookies, and have a good day.”

Sindamo nodded.  On his way out, Tangwishon said to him, “Listen, we’ve got to figure out something to do about the hornets.  Let’s have dinner together tonight and talk it over.  I’ll get us some meat in the Marketplace and you can cook it.”

Sindamo agreed, wished Martha luck, and watched the three of them leave.  He sighed inwardly, regretting that he hadn’t offered to help Martha.  He wasn’t as quick-witted as his friend John.

Sindamo was not Tangwishon’s opposite; he was merely unremarkable in every area where Tangwishon was distinctive.  Tangwishon was tall, Sindamo was of average height, maybe even a little shorter than normal.  Tangwishon’s face was manly and handsome, complete with the lines and scars proper to his mysterious background.  Sindamo had the kind of reserved, intelligent face more proper to a librarian or a serious professor.  Tangwishon was solidly built; Sindamo was, like many of the citizens of Oraanu, underweight.  And, unfortunately for the moment,  Tangiwshon was suave and smooth talking and could act quickly and decisively.  Sindamo was more of a planner.

Sindamo shook his head and got back to work.  He had more food to prepare.  Two hours later, he was taking a batch of harder, cheaper loaves out of the oven for the afternoon rush of workers when the bell rang out front, announcing another visitor.  When Sindamo returned to the storefront holding the pan, he saw three rifle-armed soldiers in army fatigues standing behind a tall man wearing a dress shirt, tie, and suit pants.

The hornets had arrived.

Cannibals, an Original Poem

Featured, Original Works

Cannibals (or: “Eating Atlas, a tale of bailouts”)

Cannibals chew no human meat
In our enlightened age.
Instead they loot the balance sheet,
Destroying page by page.

They gather round the boiling pot
To cook away our rights.
They sit and stir and while they plot,
They chant throughout the nights:

“If you are sick you’ll need our aid;
We’ll take from those who work.
We’ll ‘eat the rich’ to get you paid,
We worship those who shirk.

We need our fix, we want much more.
Producers we will gut!
For every tax from rich to poor
We’ll take most of the cut.”

The CEOs, the head honchos
Now hear the tolling bell.
The parasites; their mortal foes,
Are leading us to hell.

“You’ll work for free, you’ll work for fun,
You’ll give us what you owe.
No profit now, so says our gun!”

Drooling cannibals crow.

They are so quick,
To praise the sick
And damn those who have health.
But who will feed
Their reckless greed
When they’ve ate up all the wealth?