From whence cometh Lord Mammon?

Mythology abounds and rules our lives.

Paul Krugman wites often about the Confidence Fairie … cut government expenditures, lay off enough workers, and the Confidence Fairie will appear to deliver the Great Economic Rebound.

ABC reports that “Iowa is too close to call,” as if we were a nation of sturdy farmers stepping forth into the January night to determine the future of our government in gymnasiums and church basements in the Heartland, one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

But let us take a break, however brief, to drink a cup of kindness for auld realitie.

If any god rules o’er us, ’tis the Mighty Lord Mammon. His, or her, presence is everywhere. Most certainly it’s in the halls of Congress and in the White House in the City Upon a Hill (oops, gotta keep my myths sorted out here). But he or she also rules day and night over Everyman’s Castle Estates, the ubiquitous subdivision of little boxes on the hillside, each with a 2-car garage to store detritus of a lifetime, with a little sedan and a civilian version of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle parked outside, ready to transport Mom and Dad to work if and when they find a job that pays the minimim wage.

Lord Mammon certainly resides in his many temples constructed not like European cathedrals of ages gone by, but like built-in-week boxes surrounded by pavement. Fixating on Iowa, we many of us did, reminded me of many car journeys along Interstate 80, through that state, through Nebraska, through St. Santorum’s  Pennsylvania. Enter a Little town at one exit from the Interstate, rejoin the highway at the other end of a Main Street lined with empty stores once owned by the petit bourgeoise who now work where everyone else spends their money: at WalMart or, for the fashion conscious, at Target.

Mammon’s reign turns up in unlikely places, like academe. College graduate, are you? Might you be a business major, hoping that a B in Cash Register 101 will be sufficient qualification to be invited back for a second interview? Gotta pay down that loan somehow!

And the myths march on. Near the front of the quadrennial parade is the Presidential Election float, dedicated to the proposition that all dollars are created equal, and whosoever haveth the most can buy the ads on TeeVee that feed the selective data to support the foregone conclusions that support the Great Lies by which we live and in defense of which we eagerly salute our fighting men and women, including our newly militarized polizei, gazing out like robots behind their visors, fingering their MagicTasers, just like Spiderman.

Freedom of speech, of course, so long as nobody hears you! Parks are meant to be the pretty lawns surrounding the temples of power, not places where people assemble. That would be the asphalt in front of SuperMammon’s Everything’s Cheaper Chinese Retail outlet, featuring 20-cents-per-hour trousers from Bangladesh this week. C’mon in and spend yor minimum wages here; doors open at midnight.

Take money out of politics? Why, sweet child, we might as well take WalMart out of Christmas. Come inside out of the cold and watch this week’s clown show. George whatshisname is back on ABC on Sunday morning, don’t you know!

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