Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a rise
It’s no surprise that they’re giving none away
Money corrupts humanity.
It degrades us.
It controls us.
Chapter 19 of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck explains how the land once belonged to Mexico but was then taken over by the Americans who were hungry for land, and there was nothing more frantic in the world than how much the Americans wanted land.
“And it came about that the owners no longer worked on their farms. They farmed on paper; and they forgot the land, the smell, the feel of it, and remembered only that they owned it, remembered only what they gained and lost by it” (Grapes Of Wrath, chapter 19)
The farmers in Grapes of Wrath have no longer the appreciation of what has once been their food source, and in turn, their life source.
The farmers turn into the owners, and eventually forget the land, and what once was their gratitude towards the land turned to gratitude of money. The smell that of the rich, fertile soil they had once felt between their nails and fingertips turned into the crisp feeling of newly printed cash, and the smell of the clean air intermingled with the scent of the sweet fragrant corn, now turned into the scent of freshly inked money.
“[Their] feral hunger,the gnawing, tearing hunger for land, for water and earth and the good sky over it, for the green thrusting grass, for the swelling roots… They had no more the stomach-tearing lust for a rich acre and a shining blade to plow it, for seed and a windmill beating its wings in the air. ”
We see the farmer’s hunger for land transition to the hunger to a different form of green, which is the iconic “green” of money.
And greed still lives on today, found in the dirty hands of corporations.
“There is only one thing Americans fear: inconvenience.” – FRESH (2009)
We have this illusion, this facade, that everything comes easily, food: a godsend from heaven wrapped in neat little styrofoam packages.
We are alright if the meat at the market is a nice juicy red, and our eggs are perfect little ovals.
We don’t care that we shove animals in feeding cages with barely any room to move, let alone breathe.
We don’t care we shoot up our animals with antibiotics to keep them from getting sick because they’re living helplessly in their own shit.
We don’t care that we feed cows their own dead, because, hey- that chuck steak was only $2.49 a pound.
We are losing touch on where our food is coming from.
“We consume more and more but produce less and less” (The Language of Composition, page 393) .
“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” -Oscar Wilde
I both disagree and agree with this quote. Yes, money is important. We use it to buy and sell goods and services, and to repay debts. Money does rule our society.
But no, money is not the most important thing in life.
Love is, as cliche as it may sound. Money won’t keep you together when times are bad. Love will. Money won’t keep decent people by your side.
Being rich with money isn’t the best feeling in the world, though being rich with love is. If you haven’t felt that feeling, then you’re not living life.
We are the marionettes and money is our great, ruling puppeteer, our master. It’s time to wrap the binding chains on money again and have it do our bidding. Get a grip.