The World Go Around, The World Go Around, The World Go Around

Money is death. Ask yourself why banks and currency use the same images as tombstones.

—Lew Welch

Money is deep weirdness. It does not actually exist, but people are dying because of it. As we speak, and all over the world.

In Shanghai, on New Year’s Eve, dozens of people were trampled to death when crowds went wild in avaricious stampede attempting to grasp US $100 bills floating down from a nightclub. The money, it developed, was “fake”—resembling goneUS currency, but bearing the name of club M18. Stacks of the stuff had been placed on tables as festive party favors. Someone got the bright idea to shower it upon the people. And so, the people died.

It didn’t really matter that the money the people died for was fake, because in truth all money is fake. “Real” US $100 bills only retain value because people enter into a mass-hypnosis group-agreement in which they, zombie-like, decide that the small, rectangular, exceedingly ugly slips of green paper are “worth” 100 “dollars.” If they decided instead, via similar group-agreement, that the paper pieces that floated down from the M18 nightclub were the new true “dollars,” then so they would be.

That the people died stampeding for fake money was first widely reported by Chinese media. But the story seems now to be trying to change, with Chinese police officials deciding that the deaths were caused by something else—anything else. But they lie like dogs. Just like police all over the world. What they do not want is this deadly public spectacle vividly illustrating the sorry truth that their allegedly “communist” nation has devolved into a disgusting dung-heap of money-grubbers. The place now infested with more billionaires and millionaires than any country on earth. And, as Shanghai demonstrates, inhabited by people who will actually trample one another to death to get to money. Even phony money.

The Shanghai money-snuff occurred at the feet of a statue of Chen Yi. Chen Yi didn’t do money. When, 80 years ago, Chen Yi tied himself to a tree, so he wouldn’t shake with the pain when he poured herbal medicine into a festering bullet wound in his hip, it was chin on the rightnot so his nation could become a putrid septic tank of billionaires, where people celebrating a New Year’s that is not even China’s—Chinese New Year is not until February 19—would kill one another in a maddened scramble for phony dollars from Yankeetown.

The strain of serving the death that is money is clearly getting to these people. So much so that not only are they snuffing one another trying to pluck it out of the sky, they are also now trying to walk out of airplanes while the things are still flying.

A Chinese airline passenger pulled open an emergency exit as his plane was about to take off because he “just wanted fresh air,” Chinese media have reported.

The man had not realised that opening the door was dangerous, staff members said.

The safety scare on Sunday came days after a passenger on another domestic flight opened the emergency exit moments after his plane landed—deploying the chute—saying that he was in a hurry to get off.

There is growing concern in China that the behaviour of travellers, particularly those venturing overseas, is damaging the image of the country.

Ya think?

How ’bout these people?

On a Thai AirAsia flight to Nanjing, China, from Bangkok on Thursday, four tourists water treatmentbecame enraged after flight attendants told them they could not sit together. The temporary separation, it appears, was too much to bear. The argument quickly escalated, with a woman in the group throwing hot water and instant noodles at a flight attendant.

In a video taken by a fellow passenger, another member of the group, a man wearing a gray T-shirt, is standing in the aisle and yelling that he will “bomb the plane.”

I don’t know. Maybe the gal hurling the hot water was just off-duty from a Chinese prison. Where she’s become accustomed to pouring scalding water over people’s heads, or feeding it into their mouths or noses via tube.

Then we have these folks:

Last year, members of a Chinese tour group made headlines when they pocketed stainless-steel cutlery from a Singapore Airlines flight, initially refusing to return them. In another incident last year, two Chinese men started brawling in a field of lavender in France after an argument over photography locations.

Van Gogh. I can see Van Gogh, painting that last scene. Instead of Wheat Field With Crows, a Somerset Lavender i antonyLavender Field With Nutbars.

Meanwhile, there in America, tantrums are known to be legion among children whose parents cut off or reduce their allowances.

An “allowance” is a money thing where parents give to their children, on some recurring basis, some money, even though the children didn’t really “do” anything to “earn” it. Children, they can become very attached to these allowances. So much so that, sometimes, when a child finds his allowance parental-monkeyed with, it is necessary that the child kill one or more of his parents.

And so it was this past weekend in New York.

A 30-year-old shot his hedge fund manager dad to death in Manhattan because the wealthy Wall Street whiz reduced his $400-a-week allowance and threatened to stop paying his rent, a police source said Monday.

Thomas Gilbert Jr. flew off the handle and killed Thomas Gilbert Sr., 70, after his parents cut his allowance to $300 a week and said they would stop paying rent for his posh Chelsea pad, the source said.

The younger Gilbert showed up at his parents’ multimillion-dollar digs at 20 Beekman Place about 3 p.m. Sunday and asked his mother to buy him a sandwich, the source said.

She left the home and returned to find her husband lying on the ground with the gun on his chest and his arm over the gun in an apparent attempt to make it look like he killed himself, the source said . . . .

After allegedly killing his dad—who founded and ran Wainscott Capital Partners, a $200 million hedge fund—Gilbert Jr. high-tailed it to his own apartment and barricaded himself inside, cops said. He was captured about 10:45 p.m. after cops in riot gear chopped down the door, officials said.

Shit happens. And a lot of it happens in hedge funds. Because hedge funds are among the most non-real of the non-reality that is money. Try to find a har hardefinition for the thing, and you encounter pure gibberish. To wit: “Hedge funds are alternative investment vehicles that explicitly pursue absolute returns on their underlying investments.” Yeah, man. Whatever. Often you are led to believe that, if you’re hedge-funding, you’re Kool. As in: “A hedge fund is an alternative investment vehicle available only to sophisticated investors, such as institutions and individuals with significant assets.” Occasionally you will be let in on the secret that hedging is, at root, a form of Robbing: “A limited partnership of investors that uses high risk methods, such as investing with borrowed money, in hopes of realizing large capital gains.”

It’s just people who play with money, usually other people’s money, to try to get more money, generally by screwing other people.

So this dead Thomas Gilbert Sr. person, as a lifelong hedger, he never really did anything real, or useful. He never built a chair, or drove a bus, or wrote a poem. He was just a sort of massive sucking parasite. Playing with money. To rob the money. From the sorts of people who build chairs, drive buses, write poems.

In the way of the world, he sired a pint-sized sucking parasite. Thomas Gilbert Jr. The son who one day became so enraged that Thomas Sr. was reducing the non-real money Thomas Jr. was by his dad “allowed,” that he killed him. For real.

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When I Worked

January 2015

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