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The Wizard Saruman – Job Creator

August 20, 2011

Time rolled up on me like a dense fog
Takin’ little bites of night while I slept with my eyes open
I was star gazin’ like I often did and
I learned to twinkle up there with the best of ’em
From Little Dipper to Big Bear I grew
Became some old complicated shit like Cassiopeia
Caught me out there between Pluto and
A galaxy two doors down from my childhood
Lead me out of my mind

See, I don’t know if I was born with this affliction
Or if it was born out of necessity
And I don’t wonder if it’s a curse or a blessing anymore
Because reality crashed down on me and
Ripped the Faust face from mine
I get bits and pieces every now and then of how it happened
Which makes me think TV should be banned from the ghetto
Since it be from all the smoke and fog that ate up my life
The real one
The one I wouldn’t recognize now if it knocked on my head three times and shook my hand

Once when I was a kid I stuck my head in a vise
Sandwiched it right between The Brady Bunch and Beaver Cleaver
I kept turnin’ the screws, tryin’ to make ’em fit
Would’ve been nice if my eyeballs just popped out
And released all the pressure through my sockets
But God’s got a real fucked up sense of humor sometimes
Now I’m walkin’ ’round with two screws stickin’ out the side of my head
A cross between Frankenstein and My Favorite Martian
Trying to use tools that don’t work down here
Guess I’m lucky Earth people got eyes that don’t see

I used to move a lot
Thinkin’ that maybe I was just in the wrong place
But I have moved through classes, races, genders and marital statuses
Through drugs, prisons, gods, sexual identities,
Heavens, hells, worlds, bodies, spirits and minds…
Just your regular old, run of the mill, recycled, reincarnated, reinvented miracle

But still I’m caught
Somewhere between you gotta want it bad enough and payin’ my dues
Somewhere between a will and a way
Somewhere tryin’ to make it happen
But why doesn’t anybody tell you that wills and ways are for the rich who
Buy sell and trade dreams like they playin’ the stock market?
That “hope” is a peso on Wall Street and
Mixed up little black girls from the ghetto
Who are low on confidence
Can’t use self esteem for collateral
‘Specially when it’s been whipped out of you
Just stolen right from under my nose

While I was jumpin’ rope, playin’ kick ball
And thinkin’ I was a kid…
Well everybody else was playin’ pretend
Playin’ like I was a grown up

Once you swallow that American Dream shit, it ain’t goin’ nowhere
Yeah, it can turn into some ole’ Afro-Centric, multi-cultural, humanist type manifestation
But still it’s there
I have fucked my self so many ways tryin’ to get-it and get-rid-of-it
That I have turned into a sub-terranian, dream bingeing and purging, mirage-aholic
And even after I’ve whipped out my fierce, psychoanalytical, constructionist, kung fu moves,
It’s still there
The last surviving remnant of the internalized, sub-atomic explosion of 1989
Just a big… fat… cockroach
Nibblin’ away at my consciousness
And I be damned if I ain’t right back where I started
Tryin’ to live a dream
And bein’ sentenced to life instead

Fini Dolo Featuring Sonja SohnBig Dipper To Little Bear

CSO LOTR

CSO LOTR

Last night, The Baumeisters invited me to watch their girls perform at Ravinia. They, along with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performed the music from the first Lord Of The Rings movie while the movie played on a huge screen above the stage. It was awesome! I think every movie should be shown this way. 🙂

Door County Breakfast

Door County Breakfast

I’ve been getting out as much as I can, although work is always trying to interfere it seems. Back in the middle of July, John and I hosted Grif and 4 of his high school buddies up in Door County for a birthday getaway.
A Game of "500"

A Game of "500"

There was much swimming, grilling, X-Box playing and the like. John and I were ostensibly going to do some work around the cabin, but mostly we just got a leaky sink fixed. I guess the dishwasher and ‘fridge swap out will have to wait for another time. Maybe when the economy is better. 🙂

South Shore Line

South Shore Line

I’ve been traveling to the Michigan side of the lake for work lately. We’ve got a client with a vacation home over there doing some outside upgrades. On the way over there, I travel through all the industrial areas that are and once were. American Bridge Works, US Steel’s massive Gary Works, a huge coal-fired power plant, and “America’s last interurban”, the South Shore Line railroad. Great idea, the interurban, but they started to arrive in America at the same time as gasoline. Frank Sprague developed the electric trolley motor in 1886, right on the heels of Sylvanus Bowser’s gas pump in 1885. I guess we all know which one proved more popular. The South Shore survived mostly because it was able to run freight, had multiple cars rather than just a single car per “train” and it ran right into downtown Chicago. Sorry for the history lesson, but when I’m interested in something I Google. I’m taking medication for it.

Eastern Shores of Lake Michigan

The Opulent Eastern Shores of Lake Michigan

In any case, the trip through the industrial to the opulent this past week has had as it’s backdrop both the Ames straw poll for Republican candidates, Rick “Parry’s” entrance into the race and the furor at Fox over Warren Buffet’s Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on Sunday the 14th.

Distribution of Wealth

Distribution of Wealth - 2007

I watched in wonderment John Stewart’s dissection of Fox News’ coverage of Warren Buffet’s Op-Ed. I can’t top that, it was a marvel to behold. Fox even went so far as to question whether or not Warren Buffet is a socialist. Awesome. Stewart cited several things in his bit, one of which was a graph from Business Insider which I looked up. It has some fun facts about wealth and inequality in America which you should see.

Finally, Senator Tom Coburn (R Okla) said in a town hall meeting on the 18th that, “The government actually is killing the potential for recovery in our country through regulations”, calling the Environmental Protection Agency “Idiot Bureaucrats”. He had previously voted for a resolution blocking the EPA from regulating green house gases.

So I had all of these things in my head as I watched in awe as the CSO, along with several Chicago choirs (including the Baumeister girls’), perform the score to the first Lord of the Rings movie as it played. It was while watching the movie that I saw the Conservative vision for America come into it’s full. Fortunately, Saruman didn’t have to deal with any of those pesky environmental protection regulations. He was free to turn the once green valley below Orthanc into a place “now filled with pits and forges”. He was a Job Creator. Someone who I’m sure Ayn Rand would find “deserving” of love.

A Once Green and Pleasant Land

A Once Green and Pleasant Land

Let’s look at the contributions Saruman made to the ungrateful people of Middle Earth. As I stated above, he was a job creator. Not only that, he introduced automation and mechanization into a world that was bogged down with the needless frills of “craftsmanship”. Treebeard describes him as having, “a mind of metal and wheels”. He brought this problem solving ability to bear on the question of how best to raise an army. Granted no one likes war, but if one must fight they may as well get the task accomplished as quickly and efficiently as possible. So what if a few trees have to pay the price to fuel the forges of Isengard? That is simply the price one must pay to get the job done and no damn tree hugger is going to stand in the way of progress.

And what of the Shire? Saruman tried to bring a new industrial base to the flagging economy of the Shire, with precious little thanks I might add. He was trying to institute the same changes that fueled Isengard’s rise to power in the small, rural community that was in desperate need of jobs. Just how far the modernization had come was evident from the many factories that must have sprung up. No hard numbers are available, but their growth was described in that, “smoke rose from many points round about”. Thank God that damn Clean Air Act wasn’t in place to stunt their growth!

When “Sharkey” Saruman took charge, the Shire was filled with uneducated hicks who were seemingly stuck in a “First Age” mind-set. Most of the inhabitants of the Shire were grinding out corn *BY HAND*, for Radegast’s sake!! They were completely under utilizing their resources and their efficiency was well below sub-par. Saruman brought modernization and mechanization to the once backward community. Granted a little water may have been fowled, but I can assure you that the Brandywine was *never* in any danger. Such is the price of progress, none of which would have been possible had the restrictive regulations of the Clean Water Act been in effect.

The Price of Progress in the Shire

Merely the Price of Progress in the Shire

And what of the benefits this expanded economic base provided to the population apart from the boost to the unemployment figures? Well, some of the older, unsafe hobbit houses had burned to the ground, proving what a danger they were to the community. Saruman developed new housing with a line of beautiful, white houses all along Pool Side. These homes were marvels of engineering in that they were easily produced with inexpensive materials and generated a terrific profit for Isengard Property Ventures and it’s shareholders. A great buy for the newly homeless, former owner of the older, fire prone homes. Of course none of those community benefits would’ve been possible if those intrusive building inspectors had their way. Thankfully, in the streamlined economy of the new Shire, more than ample tax breaks were given to the Isengard Corporation in order to convince them to relocate to the Shire and as a result, funding wasn’t available for those idiot bureaucrats in the Housing Department.

For a while anyway, Middle Earth must’ve been a Conservative politician’s dream. Rather than let them live that dream here in America however, I say we sentence them to life instead.

– G

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