There was a moment – a decade or so back – when two names competed for column inches in the world’s broadsheets; Dr. Jack Kevorkian, or ‘Dr. Death’ as he became known, and Kirk Kerkorian the famed corporate raider, dismemberer of companies, and stripper of assets.
As I recall, fans of inter-cerebral juxtapositions as well as garden variety news junkies hooked on the burning, bleeding present couldn’t shake these two names from their mind’s eye. Nor was it possible, for a few weeks anyway, to rip these two men’s pursuits; euthanasia, Dr. Kevorkian’s specialty, and vulture capitalism, the milieu of Kirk Kerkorian, apart from each other.
Euthanasia and corporate asset stripping became one, as virtually embodied in a combined media-synthesized person who lived in our collective unconscious and spoke to us. Capitalism and mercy killing together at last. We needed to burn the village to save the village. Creative destruction. Leveraged buyouts and assisted suicide overlapped making clear for all to see the basic underlying truth; humanity and corporations were worth more dead than alive and the most humane thing any citizen or CEO could do was to speed up their own, or someone else’s destruction in the name of GDP growth, productivity, competitive advantage and cost efficiency. The Berlin Wall came down. This was our peace dividend.
That was then. We’ve moved on from clunky media-assisted amalgamations in our minds’ eyes. We now have smooth, cornerless professional politicians in Washington and Whitehall touting the ‘ownership society’ and ‘Private Public Partnerships’ that seamlessly blend organized crime, market rigging, stock market manipulation and insider dealing into one patriotism branded, not so great tasting sadistic wine of crushed sour grapes; quaffed daily as broken trains, MRSA super bugs, students topping themselves over top-up fees and hermaphrodite frogs carrying two sets of sex organs caused by the Tsunami of industrial chemicals released into our habitat by corporations seeking ‘growth’; (there’s shrunken testicles and breast cancer in humans too; but not afflicting anyone you might see on MTV).
What about Kirk and Jack? Eighty seven year old Kerkorian is back in action, (his buddy Kevorkian his soulless mate is sitting in jail serving a 10-25 year sentence for murder; too bad he didn’t have Martha Stewart’s lawyers, he’d be out by now starring in his own reality based TV show). Yes, Kirk’s back and he’s dancing on the grave of another dying company; General Motors (GM:NYSE). He doesn’t want to save the company or transform it from an oil abusing societal threat; no, he got wind – probably from one of his
double-dealing bankers – that the world’s hedge funds, an independent lobby of locusts who strip assets from society’s bone faster than pariahs in the Amazon can strip the skin off your arm, had amassed a huge ‘short’ position in GM’s stock (they were betting the stock price was going to go down), and there was easy money to be made ‘squeezing’ these shorts by using Kirk’s gargantuan buying power (amassed buying and selling MGM several times during the previous decades) to force these short-sellers to buy stock – the result being – instant profits for Kirk. No skill. No risk. Just insider information and a will to destroy markets. Corporate euthanasia.
Kerkorian is using the global money markets like a huge anesthetizing needle pumping cash into the corpse like an embalmers formaldehyde; sucking the economic life and vitality of the planet’s financial eco-system. Eco-deadening us with hoards of free cash and lawyers.
All dynamism that supports the competitive juice is being sucked dry by hedge funds and eco-maniacs like Kirk. As the world’s fresh water supply is evaporating so too the world’s supply of non-dictatorially controlled free cash. How many of you reading this are in a net-positive cash position, net of all debts? Probably less than 2%. That’s not economics, that’s indentured servitude. The biggest reason you’re in debt right now is because of the unfettered financial terrorism practiced by rich guys armed with weapons of mass financial destruction destroying the delicate eco-balance that once was capitalism, but has morphed into rape and pillage by empire building sociopaths with friends on Wall Street and the City.
Jim Jones, Guyana, his Kool Aid that was supposed to be drunk to truly ‘get with the program.’ All true. The glaciers are melting, the rain forest is burning, the seas are emptying entirely of the large game fish; the reefs are crumbling, the air is noxious, the atmosphere is poisonous but we don’t notice these things because we are being anesthetized by the likes of corporate euthanasia peddling psychopaths like Kirk injecting our minds with more sleep inducing capital barbiturates. We’re being put to sleep; soundtrack provided by the prose stylings of William Burroughs; slicing magazine and book pages and abutting different words from different pages together on his literary surgical table. It’s the music of one hand clapping; silently springing you into bankruptcy.
Kervorkian and Kirkorian, profits and losses. Euthanasia and corporate raiding. General Motors, CO2, MG Rover and the Phonex Four. All these words become interchangeable after awhile; all words greed. Paint it black.
Let’s face it, the reason we’re not more concerned about the wholesale theft of our humanity and the destruction of the environment by corporations is that their success at depriving us of the oxygen of good sense via market and media manipulation has left us all hoping for a peaceful, kind, Dr. Death to take the pain away and make it all go away for us nice nice.