Sunday, August 28, 2011

How To Be A Good Capitalist

"There's room at the top
"they're telling you still;
"But first you must learn
"how to smile as you kill."
-John Lennon

Records Bar - B Q Inc - Oak Cliff ( Dallas ) Tx Demolished

Doesn't matter where you put me, I'll always be an outcast. Whether it's the mean streets of Oak Cliff or the lush landscapes of Plano I just don't belong. This makes my cage rather small. Having no money restricts me to Oak Cliff. And being an outcast there dumps me in with the equally disfavored: the Koreans. Naturally, I didn't particularly fit in with them well either.

I've done jobs before that would rip the heart out of Jesus, leaving him begging for the release of crucifixion. So I've had practice at staring down the gates of hell our savior escaped. Mentally, one battens down the hatches and reverts to survival mode. It's all about making it through the next hour - while watching mobile phone commercials of teenage girls giggling and talking to their father in London. Man, hard to believe those people are even on the same planet I am.

Back in the day, an emotionally disturbed homeless man grabbed a cop's gun and held him at gun point. His peers taunted him, urging him to shoot the cop down. Years of frustration boiled over at the uniform they saw as a tool of oppression for the rich and a system that killed them off slowly one by one. These kind of people are immune to our daily propaganda of "how great America is". Pain, misery and fear have a way of speaking louder. In the end, the cop was shot and the police hunted that crowd for years. Everyone believed they had the right to do what they did.

Mean Streets of Sesame

So it wasn't far for me to fall in with the Korean gun runners. What intrigued me at first was their frank speech, mocking the hypocrisy of the world. Only "good" countries should have weapons declared the hypocrites. But just as with the hypocritical drug laws, where there is willful blindness there is money to be made. Serious money. People think of North Korea as the savagely poor country that it is but a large part of that is due to the amount of resources detoured to the military. And the U.N resolution banning the importation of weaponry only made them want it all the more.

Men who make "moral" resolutions like this are fanatical in keeping up the facade of godliness. They have built their lives and reputations and families on it. If it were to come to light they weren't one of the "good guys" (Never trust anyone who speaks in terms of "good guys" and "bad guys") they would lose everything. So what they mean when they speak of "making the world safe" is making their lies and hypocrisy safe from exposure.

The idea of exposing that very much appealed to me. Not that I had any delusions about my cohorts. They were just this side of animals, modern pirates leading desperate lives. But they had no pretty lies to sell and more importantly they had a sense of us outcasts all being in the same boat and that meant acknowledging the need to band together as one - which is more than I ever had in the streets. And from there, I flew halfway across the world but it felt like crossing the entire universe.

The Russians were our suppliers and the waypoint was Cavite City in the Philippines. Do you want to know the mind fuck of a lifetime? Try traveling from living day to day in a homeless shelter to landing in Manila on your way to meet Russian gangsters. Getting my head wrapped around that almost drove me to the breaking point. All my life I never doubted for one second God would never ever let me leave the streets. In a way, these gun runners now seemed more powerful to me than God.

Looking at the sights along the way to the meeting point is a surreal trip imprinted on my brain till the day I die. What would they think if they knew a homeless American was traveling past them on his way to an illegal gun deal? What a reversal of fortune to see the poverty bound souls walking past me just as I had for so many years before the passing cars and buses of Dallas. I heard stories of children sold into slavery either as prostitutes or at hard labor. My cohorts laughed at those stories.

I was mostly quiet at the exchange but I stuck out like a cue ball in Harlem with my white, homeless aura and that spooked the Russians. "Don't worry about my goddam ass!" I snapped back, ready to rip their throats out if they dare question me one inch further. No way was I going back to the streets. They liked me after that, offering me drinks as we all gathered at a bar afterwards. These Russians gangsters weren't so tough after all - thank God. It almost felt as if coworkers were gathering after a day at the office.

There's a line from The Godfather Part II that I've always held dear even before I heard it: "Always try to think the way others around you think." How far could I trust these guys? It was the next part that had me worried. The Russians were dumping their massive overstock of AK-47s but if we were going to make any real money we needed the heavy stuff and that was guarded in a warehouse back in Manila. That's where I made my first kill.

The fence was 15 feet high with double rolls of razor wire at the top. The warehouse was a good 30 feet in all directions from the fence. The guard carried a remote signaling device that he could push at the first sign of trouble. He pushes that button and it's all over for us. The only solution was to shoot him from a far distance, before he could spot us. I told the gang I would do this. Partly to prove myself to them - and partly to prove myself to myself. We'd been practicing for a week in the jungle until finally the guys decided I was ready.

Problem was on the night in question a high wind had kicked up, the beginnings of a typhoon. But when I complained I got no mercy. "Just shoot the fucker - and don't miss!" I knew if I did miss the guard would raise the alarm and we'd be out a small fortune. I decided to suck it up. Picturing in my mind how the bullet would curve and travel through the wind, I aimed at a spot to the right of the shadow that had stopped to eat a snack. Time to find out of these men really were bigger than God.

With divine guidance the bullet reached its target dead center, the figure dropping to the ground. In quiet celebration the men congratulated me. At last I was a hero to the world! "L" (we all went by first initials) was the first to reach the body. "Great shot, H!" The fallen guard was just a kid and I expected to feel remorse or guilt or something bad. But all I felt was contempt.

Did he really have such disregard for his life to risk it for so little? If he'd grown to be older he'd never be so foolish to take such a job, I remember thinking. Doesn't matter what anybody says, there's only one rule in this world and that is 'money rules'. No one mourned Vinnie when they found his dead body in a dumpster after an overnight freeze. The world does not believe in love.

Certainly my band of brothers understood that as we efficiently carted off the goods on our way to the North Korean coastline. Aboard the ship, I examined the new Harry. How many pretty lies of my own had I sold? Once I had railed for social justice amid the mafia that is the world, tying my fate to the deaf ears of luxuriating criminals. What would my death had proven? Would they have woken up and said, "See who we have destroyed? We must change our wicked, wicked ways!" Good luck with that!

Our exploits made the paper. Now I was news of the world. I remembered seeing a cartoon once of American soldiers decked out Nascar style with Exxon and Haliburton badges and whatnot sponsoring their uniforms. It was their pretty little lie to believe they served their country. Killing for profit is certainly a growth industry as the world goes through its death throes. No wonder so many soldier's heads came back as mush as reality collided with their religion. Sorry, Mr. Afghan, it's nothing personal, just business.

That's all I felt too. Like a CEO laying off employees to their doom I claim there is no other way. One simply cannot get in the way of a dollar and expect to survive. Yes, my killing of the guard was considered unsanctioned by the powers-that-be but I knew my crime was no different than the sanctioned killings I saw praised each and every day. Stockholders cheer the death of the homeless and suburban warriors cheer the death of those who stand in the way of the oil god. It's all a scam as we pretend to honor one another's holy mask.

The world is a criminal enterprise. And that's why for seven years I was able to successfully run munitions to North Korea. What they do with those weapons is on them. Eventually, my intelligence was recognized by the gang and I became a leader of sorts, reducing our work to a science, never to romanticize our endeavors. Keep your eye on the prize and you'll always make out, I preached. Difference with me was once I had my "out" money I was gone with the wind. Them other guys just didn't know how to quit.

I'm dictating this story to my miniature recording device as I drive back from the Belgian Grand Prix (my favorite track!). My Audi A8 is a blast to drive as I head back south to my out-of-the-way Switzerland villa. It's the dream life for me. I'm welcomed wherever I go, I'm a pope of the monetary religion. Kiss my ring - it's a Cartier. Hard to imagine the days of old when I feared not being able to get a tetanus shot after a rusty nail gouged me on a day labor job.

Now I have no healthcare worries or straining for shelter and food. My skin has cleared up and my overall condition improved dramatically. Like a Greek god on Mount Olympus I look down through the clouds at the deceived masses vainly struggling against the inevitable weight of self-contrived misfortune. Scared rabbits ask only for a job and nothing more. Never questioning, never asking for change, "respecting" the abuse given to them so that they too may be called responsible. What a farce.

In the end, who is not an obliging killer? From President to peasant collude the voices that crucify. Those who hammer the nails do good by "just doing what we're told." Those who give the orders do good by saying "never have I held the hammer." All these bodies crucified but no one is responsible! I sit back and marvel as death by pretence slaughters millions in its guilt and shame. Each day I thank Truth I breathe the free air. It's not a matter of right and wrong. It's a matter of facing facts, of facing that which we really do.

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