All ye who seek money and power – Is this all you have?

Mar 4, 2012 by

As many of you know I suffer from some unknown illness that severely incapacitates me from time to time. This week was no exception and I lay for hour after hour suffering and wondering, “How long can something like this go on until it manifests in the way I dread and the hand of death rests on my shoulder?”

Yet through all of this the words of my friends, family, people that I love, run through my mind as you would run your fingers through the hair of someone you love, or the fur of a favorite pet who rests their nose on your arm after a hard day. These are memories that warm my heart and I can hear the voices that are with the memories as if they are beside me – every moment of each day.

And I wonder, and wonder.

How could anyone find accomplishment in the neverending acquisition of money? What is it that makes some so powerless that the only satisfaction they find in life is to work 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, week after week, month after month, year after year? When is there enough? Will there ever be enough? What will you sacrifice for something that doesn’t really exist, a placeholder of value? And yet you let this manufactured placeholder consume your life.

A roof over thy head is not enough, no – you must have a bigger roof, and a bigger roof, until you live in a house of a hundred empty rooms. You seek the kitchen, and the cook you gainfully employ, looking for a sense of reality in your mad rush to fill your empty soul. “Please can I have a grilled cheese sandwich, tell me about your children, and the songs you sing with your family on a sunny afternoon. Please don’t go… Cook, succour me , what a noble life you lead. I must go now, I must, I must. The earning must never stop!”

I know you wonder, just like I, when that day will come that you will die. How many times have you asked yourself, “Will it all be worth it?” And at that end, which comes for all of us, will you be alone? Will someone be there to hold your hand and will your fist finally release its unyielding clench on the dollars you worked so hard for, and will they scatter to the floor, will you see them as the wind picks them up and scatters them away? I wonder.

What made those who seek money and power so different than people like you and I?

We now live in one of the most oppressive societies in history. Our rights, our earth, our futures are pillaged a little more each day.

What an odd place to be. Struggling and clawing for the words to share this lament. How to word such things so they don’t run like an angry river that can never be taken seriously? All these dams we have built will surely hold this vitriolic torrent at bay, at least for another day.

Why is it people, such as myself, are never taken seriously by the clawing, mauling, backstabbing middle class? We are thought  fools, romantic fools out of touch with reality. And I ask, just what is this reality you proudly defend each day as you pay a little more for everything and yet earn a little less? What is this North American dream? Can you define it? And may I ask, if you are brave enough to pick up a pencil or pen from your desk and try to define this thing, does it make sense to you what you have written? Answer yourself honestly, at least once, and if no one else shall ever see this honesty, you may set it aflame with the spark of a match. When those embers burn down, will you realize this reality of yours is just as easily burned down and when it is – what will you be left with my friend?

Surely you will have listed such things as I work hard, and sacrifice time, and let’s repeat that so you get it: sacrifice time, one more time, will you get it? sacrifice time with my husband/wife/children so that they may struggle less. Have you ever asked what is it that they might struggle for? An even better question to ask yourself is if, on your quest, you have merely created a new struggle? Have you ever thought that the definition of what is enough is set only by you and that your desires fuel the desires of those who will follow you?

Oh, the words of a social activist you say. The words of someone who was never able to attain that which I have, the words of envy. All of you only covet that which I have. And this is what you tell yourself, and yet, even with all of your assurances to yourself, and they are yours alone, you are left wondering.

Wondering like I do.

The difference between you and I, wealth chaser, is I’m not withdrawn, sallow, and tired. Even though I have fought 15 years of illness my eyes are filled with life, and I wake each day with anticipation to seize the moment, to seize the day. My life is not filled with false apparitions and endless acquisitions. I have all I need, and what I don’t have is within grasp if I choose to take it. But here again, I will let these things slip through my fingers, easily,  if I feel that they will take from that whichI believe in – if the acquisition, the chase, the drive to consume might, even on the smallest of chance, extinguish the brightness of my eyes and the fire that runs though my soul. These are the things that make me whole and I never worry if the economy or a career will come to a crashing end. All the things I have, the things of true value – they simply can’t be taken away from me. Will your world come crashing down, will your marriage end in ruin when the money tree withers and you are left barren, bereft of the aphrodisiac that fueled your shallow world?

Yes! Damn you I am an artist!

Does that make me some whiny piss ant who can never know how the world works? In 1996 I had already written the entire OSI protocol stack in C++. What is that you may ask? At that time it was close to a million lines of code. It was the internet as we know it today. Had I found any fools to support me, and thankfully I didn’t, as I have grown much wiser since the,n I would have beat Netscape and Microsoft by over 2 years! I was sending packets over the internet on packet switchers that cost $2000.00 a month; this was before we had Cisco routers stuffing little old ‘0’s into frame boundaries – we had to stuff them ourselves.  Can you believe it? I had the code written and functioning and I couldn’t find one person who believed me that the world would be as we see today. Well I did find one, not a person: Shell Oil in Calgary, Alberta, Canada wanted to finance me for a pittance of 50K dollars and own everything. I told them to, well, fuck themselves. I have never looked back. I know you don’t believe me… It’s alright… I forgive you…

I  just wanted to make it clear that however smart you may think you are there are people out there who you would never expect who may just be smarter than you and I. Ever wonder why a brilliant man like Leonardo spent so much time painting? Well you already answered your question – Leonardo is talked about today. Why? He was passionate about art and giving something beautiful to the world. Will you even be relevent tomorrow? You may not believe it,  but mark my words, Mark Zuckerberg will be a minor entry in the page of history! Mercurial, greedy, powerful men/women and institutions are only remembered in the context of the history they took part in.  They think they make history, but among the most powerful intellects of all, whose ken if you will is the past, are the historians, and what will they say these historians? Yes these men and women will have a few more paragraphs written about them than maybe you and I – but ask yourself what in fact will be written about them. Sometimes dying in anonymity is better.

Let’s get a couple of things straight while I wrap this up. I’m not a Socialist or a Communist for you readers who are new to my particular polemic.  And as Adam Smith, of the age of enlightenment, rolls in his fucking grave, the idea of Capitalism has been perverted beyond recognition. This isn’t Capitalism at all, it is a Plutocracy that has been warped beyond what we could have ever imagined. We are at the point where a new word needs to be made up to express the world we live in. This isn’t some conspiracy that some romantic, idealistic activist has made up because they want you to cozy up to some communist/socialist ideology. I despise these as much as this current incarnation of capitalism….

I’m not just a romantic fool.  If I don’t write I will die of a heart attack. I look forward, daily,  to being attacked, assailed by those who dare, manufactured by the jesuit designed school system, indoctrinated into being good little earners and consumers.

I will take on anyone, any day, anytime, and debate the false value system that we have been forced to live under.

Until next time,



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  1. Dean

    Missed you Rod. Hope health improves for you my friend.

    • RedIron

      Thanks Dean, You have no idea how honoured I am that you and so many others come back day after day. Perhaps one day people will just not read but join in so that we may have a dialouge about this crazy world we live in. I hope all is well with you and look forward to chatting again in the future.