Saturday, 5 February 2011


what was it that old american indian chief said?
the quote that has since graced a thousand branded t-shirts?
only when the last tree has died
the last river has been poisoned
the last fish has been caught
will the white man realize he cannot eat money
copyright nike-gap-adidas
they also say you only notice money when you don't have it
on monday i was supposed to be paid
for the first fruits of my new labours
but the claim got held up
languishing in some in-tray of an overworked and understaffed office
and that day our bank account slipped nonchalantly into the red
come wednesday we were receiving a warning letter
from our 'ethical' bank
it gives us a week to rectify the situation
before hitting us with a twenty squid fine
(at least we got a warning letter)
the concept of debt is an interesting one
intimately linked to an arbitrary value
allocated by the legendary invisible hand of the market
with supply in a titanic clash with demand
where time is money and money is time
where quality is frequently irrelevant
where certain work is deemed virtually worthless
such as looking after others
and other work virtually priceless
for example speculating on investments
those who owe are separated from those who are owed
the result of a grand tallying up of nebulous contributions
a process which calculates the number of zeroes that fall
in the right or wrong column of the balance sheet
those of us lured by the dream of easy credit
rack up enormous cumulative debts
those of us prudent or lucky enough to save for a rainy day
see our savings shrink in value
as bank interest rates plummet below the rate of inflation
a grand corrective that massages the debts of the creditors
money is like roads
the more of it there is the more it gets used
have cash will spend
build a new motorway lane
watch it fill up with cars
the more we earn, the more we consume
the more we consume, the more we need to earn
an endless cycle
until we end up earning
simply to medicate our stress and depression
the shopping binge
the drinking binge
the food binge
the anti-depressants
why do we go on doing it to ourselves
when our survival depends on us doing the precise opposite?

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