[News] T.S. Eliot's Catastrophic Bear Market
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jun 9 10:21:07 EDT 2010
T.S. Eliot's Catastrophic Bear Market
Although a financial regulation bill is in the
works, our economy continues to tank, and nobody
can figure out what to do. Except me, of course.
I have discovered that Western literature is a
major cause of our economic crisis.
You see, most people, as victims of various
liberal arts programs, fail to notice how
centuries of depressingly sensitive poems,
novels, and plays have struck at the heart of
venture capitalism. In order for America to
triumph over socialism and regain its place in
the world, we need to revamp the literary
classics. I shall, therefore, using my newly
patented Free-Market Literary Criticism, attempt
to unpack some Love Song by a dude named J. Alfred Prufrock:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table
Whoa. Let me stop you here, J. Al. So far, your
poem indicates only moderate returns. Your first
line is your best, as it shows a take-charge,
can-do attitude, thanks to the action-packed verb
go as in, You GO, then, Prufrock! Kudos,
too, for the dare-devil strategy of leveraging
the word you before I. Its not often that
positioning yourself in a subordinate tier
accrues to your benefit, but this time the risk
pays off, as it allows you to rhyme I with sky. Awesome!
Unfortunately, at line three, the net worth of
your poem plummets. For without warning, our eyes
are unpleasantly gob-smacked by the whacked-out
imagery of a huge sick person, plastered across
heavens firmament. People just dont like to see
giant, comatose hospital patients, unless these
patients are being expertly sliced open by
incredibly good-looking actors who are highly
paid to simulate sex with one another on Greys Anatomy.
It is also unclear, given President Obamas new
health care plan, just what kind of medical
insurance this patient has been forced to buy. Is
it Aetna? Blue Cross? Alas, the reader will never
know. Alas also, that Greys Anatomy isnt on TV
right now, forcing us to return to your poem:
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
[Skipping some lines here, yadda yadda
Oh, do not ask, What is it?
Let us go and make our visit.
I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for a MacArthur
Genius Grant if I were you, honey. Your choice of
an adjustable, not fixed, poetic meter is
high-risk and indicates an overall subprime
quality to your work. If you want to write a
Love Song, J. Al, you need to deal in mergers
and acquisitions. So, incentivize make the
reader a tender offer attempt a hostile
takeover anything but sit there, looking
derivative. Above all, man up. Going forward,
what say we drop that gloomy, underdog persona
and wax poetic like a WINNER? Perhaps you meant:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the bailouts are spread out against the sky
Like a CEO on Wall Streets profits table
Oh, do not rue the shame or onus,
Lets just go and grab our bonus!
You see how proactive that sounds? Somebody
reading this stanza on a crowded subway would be
empowered to open up their Wall Street Journal
extra-wide, spread out onto two seats, then push
and bite their way out of the car, to arrive, in
a timely fashion, at the free-market workplace of
their choice. This is how democracy will be
saved! So lets turn the page and see if your poem improves:
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
Here, we pause to ask the poignant question, So
what? Shoulda, woulda, coulda nobody gives a
rats ass for your suffering, pal. The real
tragedy here is that your parents didnt force
you to go to Harvard Business School.
Please stop writing like some seedy, downsized
loser, staggering around an anonymous Iowa
landscape because your crystal meth lab just
exploded. Come to think of it that may be the
reason youre hallucinating overhead invalids and
oceanic mutants. Next thing you know, youll be
whining about oil spills in the Gulf. To continue
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo. [Yadda
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I think I have discerned your big problem: You
assume that you are some kind of artist.
Chances are, when you were in school, you were
programmed into believing that you were unique
that human pain and perception can be
transformed through Art. But that was before
the economy nose-dived, proving once and for all
that the ideal of self-expression is anathema to
the profit motive. The minute you start wondering
whether you should eat that peach, Al, you stray
into communistic psychological realms that must
be vaporized if society is to advance.
Millions of people get this. They have gone cold
turkey off writing, painting, dancing, etc., and
are busy turning their inner children into
full-metal-jacket killing machines. Unlike you,
Al, they know that, in order to survive in
todays market, you have to murder the part of
yourself that most wants to live. Because:
Money is truth, truth money, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Actually, thats kind of poetic. And so very, very true.
© Susie Day, 2010
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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