jacko, goldman sachs, & it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got cha CHING

(4:00 PM EST – promoted by On The Bus)

It almost seems inevitable. That Michael Jackson’s doctor turns out to be a bit of a shadowy figure, another potential blood sucker in a world of vampires, all making promises of happiness while draining our lives away. The police spoke with the good doctor on Thursday, the day Mr. Jackson died. On Friday? The “authorities” couldn’t seem to locate the doctor for further interviews, but they did impound his car, still in Jackson’s driveway, searching it for possible links (code for drugs) to Jackson’s death.

In a seemingly unrelated story, Mike Taibbi reports on the economic terminator that is Goldman Sachs, which is analyzed in Magnifico’s most excellent diary.

One human being, Michael Jackson. One conglomerate of human beings formed into a single entity. What could possibly connect them?

cross-posted at Daily Kos

It’s all about the money, jack. yeah. It don’t mean a thing if it don’t got that cha CHING.

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Desire for money doesn’t really nail it. it is symbolic of whatever resides in us to pursue the excesses. To amass wealth. . .  or power. . . or stuff. The relationship between a guy like Michael Jackson as an exploitable resource and banks who exploit us daily, like Goldman, defines for me the last several decades.

Jacko was a money-generating machine and then a money-spending machine. Perhaps we recoiled at the vulgarity of his excesses, yet we were mesmerized by them. From what i could glean, none of it made him a happy human being. Instead, the exaggeration seemed to expose a freak.

But he was freak who fell off the mass consumer-production line. He hit the big time and showed us ourselves, super-sized. Buying, spending, acquiring stuff. Outspending his earnings. Fighting foreclosures and millions of dollars in debt. Jackson apparently never consulted Suze Orman.

Goldman Sachs is a wealth devouring machine; its core business is to produce consumers. Like the old days, we become serfs, indentured for life with the promise of happier lives via the american dream and home ownership. The catch? Well, it’s structured in such a way as to pay two/three times what the property is worth and, just for good measure, we are conditioned to create even more debt, which will make us even happier, because we can fill our homes with STUFF and our yards with STUFF. Keeping the ever-expanding model of consumerism alive.

I don’t know of any financial connections to Jackson or his estate btw. But the connection, for me, is in what these two entities symbolize.

What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain . . . a huge, highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth – pure profit for rich individuals.

from Tiabbi’s article via Magnifico’s diary

(Jackson’s)… personal finances, at least in recent years, were perpetually in tatters, as he burned through millions of dollars to maintain his Neverland ranch, go on art-buying sprees and indulge in whimsies like traveling with a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles. And he burned through financial advisers almost as swiftly, with a revolving door of characters coming in and out of his life.

It seems to me most of us have been amassed into a Michael Jackson-like entity . . .  for the purposes of generating money for the few. An insane relationship. Because I can’t factor out how anybody wins. Because winning isn’t amassing wealth. Not when you are constantly under siege from those who would kill you/depose you/expose you to get what you’ve got. In this crazy chain reaction, countries and most humans with resources to exploit become targets of companies whose CEOs become targets of underlings … the whole thing forever escalating, its tempo and beat: grab more, take more; kill if you have to, but control more. . . and more more more more… til there’s barely enough left, creating a whole new cycle of who gets targeted and who gets exploited.

Ultimately, this is not about how futile this relationship is. It is really a long way around to answer publicv’s question in Magnifico’s diary… Why can’t we defeat this?

We can. Defeat it. But it must start somewhere. At ground floor. Which is where we are. The ground floor. The foundation. How we spend our money and how we interact with local/regional power and government is, imo, the key.

We need independent-minded citizens who believe in ethics and equity stakes of citizens in politics and policy. We MUST demand that those elected and/or appointed to uphold our laws are held accountable to those laws. And how do we do that? Stop voting party lines. Jettison political brands and stop enabling enablers.

Netroots. Grassroots. Are there reliable citizens out there willing to take back school boards and township committees? Bring fairness and common-sense planning back to zoning boards? Get involved in political county committees? Get involved in regional and state politics? I don’t know of a better platform than working the trickle up thang . . .

And then there’s this . . . the power of one person. Michael Jackson bringing the internet to its limits:

The popularity of the King of Pop was plain to see when some of the internet’s biggest websites ground to a halt.

The power of one person to incite action in others. Maybe we can work on finding, in the rhythm of our words powered by our passion, a way to incite positive action in others. A way to . . . change the game. The board. And the fucking rules.

28 comments

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    • pfiore8 on June 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm
      Author
  1. Yes, I understand the connection all too well.  It’s representative of our entire system and, of course, everything is intertwined.  Personally, I think capitalism has run its course and our democracy has failed resultantly.

    I posted this elsewhere, but it bears on your diary here, as well, I believe!

    At the “core” of the real problem with our system. We are not a democracy — of the people, by the people, for the people! If we were, our screams over the past eight years, though heard, would not have been ignored and we continue to be ignored.

    It has become a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Obama had a ton of corporate backing in his campaign and there’s a price to pay. But without it, you have a Kucinich, who never would have made it, or anyone running without that corporate backing. But it goes beyond that, corporatists “grease” the palms of most of our politicians, while in office, and the politicians willingly accept the “grease” and “abide” thereby. If one of our Congresspersons, such as Kucinich or Wexler, for example, do speak out against what is happening with the wars, torture, etc., then the corporatists with all their power and wealth do everything to try and get that person ousted from office, as experienced by Kucinich and Wexler.

    So, all in all, the people are not a part of considerations as to what decisions are made in our government. And, now, with the “marginalization” of the so-called “middle-class,” the people’s voices will be even weaker, as our funds are further limited and we just can’t compete period!

    Of course, ideally, although you can never remove the need for campaign funds, etc., the only way to deal with all these inequities would be to have a “cap” on campaign funds to be collected by each and every candidate in the instance of a presidential campaign, with equal (free) air-time for each candidate, with run-off voting in the event of votes not more than 50%.

    The same sort of “cap” set up for the election of Congressmen.

    Lobbyists, every single one of them, should also have a “cap” on how much they can contribute, how much time they use! And, frankly, no politician should be offered or accept the “gifts” from corporatists for “favors,” as a matter of law. This behavior represents, IMHO, a conflict of interest.

    At any rate, until such time as we find a way to “crack” the system as it is, I agree, it’s not going to ever be any different. Analogy, the goals of the defense companies will become the goals of the politicians kind of thing, etc.

    If we cannot “crack” the system, then this country will become a country, much like 3rd world countries, the rich running the “serfs” (and we’re not all that far from that as it is); we will find a way to change; or, ultimately, there will be a revolution.

    And, lastly, if we cannot be bothered to prosecute those who break the laws, or, worse, those who have committed the highest level of crimes that could be committed, i.e., war crimes, then how in the hell can we have anything but a corrupt and dispassionate government body? That, to me, is the epitome of a country gone amok. If the laws are meaningless, then on what premise does this country stand?

    During the campaign of Bush and Kerry, I listened to Roy Arunhati, an Indian author and speaker, and in her speech, she said “It doesn’t matter if you have an “oxy-Tide” or an “Ivory gentle” for your president, it’s all the same thing — the United States needs to change its policies!”

    Thank you for this, pf8!  🙂

    • RiaD on June 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    thank you

    ♥~

  2. commerce carries the day……..

    • pfiore8 on June 27, 2009 at 10:19 pm
      Author

    thanks for the bumps . . .

  3. … the protection that was offered for Goldman Sachs was the “conspiracy theory” counter-attack.

    When an organization boasts about doing what they are then accused of doing, the ol’ Conspiracy Theory charge kind of falls by the wayside. And during the boom years, Goldman Sachs quite definitely boasted about being a financial vulture, even if they put it into the technical terms that the vultures use.

  4. Three things MUST happen in order “to change the game”.

    First – “PUBLIC” Campaign Finance reform. Take the MONEY out of politics & then “our” elected politicians can not sell themselves to their corporate “JOHNS”.

    Second – TERM LIMITS. The president can only serve 2 terms. Congress max. 5 – 2 year terms, Senate max. 2 – 6 year terms.

    Third – a president that “really” believes & “acts” on CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN & YES WE CAN – a president that “fights” to PASS the above 2 steps – a president that stands up to the CORPORATIONS & the CORPORATE “owned” politicians & “fights” for We The People – President Obama, are you listening?

    • sharon on June 28, 2009 at 4:04 am

    i try to live it every day, but why do i get blank looks from people (family/friends) when i bring up buy local, call your congress critter re healthcare, let’s turn the tv off and have a conversation instead, and if i see another flat screen tv in a family member’s home (or hear another discussion about it), i may throw a shoe or something harder at it.  not to be negative, but i don’t see many/enough people coming out of their bubbles.  

    all that said, it is a keeper of an essay.  really nicely written and well said.  what a shame this country lost you to nationalized healthcare and what sounds like a lovely homelife.

  5. if Ft Dietrick specifically the bioweapons division will be researching Jacko’s $100,000 a year meds list.  Also strange to me at least is the celebrity hero status assigned to half a billion dollars worth of debt.

    I think of it as the index of change NOT.  It is not the axis of evil governments attacking the internet, nor is it a system purposefully designed to implode upon itself leaving a blue screen of death, the “King of Pop” floods the internet.  We are after all way to retarded a species.  We need a special number “911” to call for help if Burger King shorts our order.

    We have left behind that generation of American’s who proudly stated they would fight for your right to express your opinion.

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