Matthew 6:24 is a prominent driver in my novel. It basically says you can’t serve both money and God. It doesn’t matter whether you’re agnostic or atheist. That’s not the point. To prove it, replace God with Mankind–or anything “good” in the same context that the idea of God is “good.” The rule from this verse in the bible still applies. What happens when we make money more important than God or people or anything “good” is that we literally place money before those other things. Which, in my view, is the core problem with this country. We’ve taken the idea of capitalism to the extremes. That’s why you have elected politicians who secretly take money from big insurance companies at the expense of people. It’s normal. It’s good business, in America. Because we’ve become a society that prioritizes personal wealth above, well, everything. It’s so fucked up I can’t even.

So yeah, this is a major lesson that Jim Christianson (the protagonist in Minor King), and Jim Mitchem (me), continues to learn. But the problem with learning it is awareness. Awareness changes how you see everything. And when you are absolutely embedded in this machinelike culture with no reference point to anything else, it makes you sick. And the ones playing “the game” “the best” keep you sick by telling you we’re the Greatest Nation on Earth.  Or rather, we will be. Once the rich get every little fucking thing they want. And you know what? People will eat this narrative for breakfast. Why? Well dogma, of course, but also because we are bordered by oceans and even build walls against anything that might conflict with what we’ve known all our lives–that money leads to happiness. And the more you can get, the happier you’ll be. Which in itself is a lie. Money and happiness are mutually exclusive. Don’t believe the lies. Find something else to worship than money. Anything. Fuck capitalistic terrorism. It’s time we rise above it.

***

You must rise above the din of the machine,

or else transform into the bubbling black mass

that eats everyone

and serves nothing.

You must rise above to see things in a new way.

To recognize the traps,

and the truth.

Especially the truth.

Rise.

Rise.

Rise.

Rise.

***

Jim

A Gratuitous Use of Power

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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