I just purchased a shirt “Kill and Eat the Rich” from the Punk Patriot’s Etsy store, and yes, I do plan on wearing it in public.
Let me explain.
First of all, I need to confess, if there comes a time for violent revolution in this country, it is not going to be me that leads that charge. I don’t have the stomach for it. So I’m NOT trying to incite murder here.
My reason for purchasing the Punk Patriot’s shirt “Kill and Eat the Rich”, truth be told, has more to do with my need for something to wear when I attend La Boehme at the Metropolitan Opera in January. The multiple layers of irony involved in wearing that shirt to an opera that centers on impoverished artists while sitting in $320 Orchestra seats seemed to delicious to pass up.
Also, as many of you know, I am interested in the potential synergistic effect of art and activism, and the Punk Patriot shared with me, by way of introducing his shirt, a fable he has in mind.
A fable, by that way, is a short story wherein forces of nature are given human qualities and illustrates a moral lesson.
A fable is also a kind of art.
And art, it has been said, is a lie that tells the truth.
Here is the Punk Patriot’s fable:
They told us when they took our jobs overseas, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”
They told us when they destroyed our 401ks through gambling with our money, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”
They told us when we fell behind on our mortgage and foreclosed on our house, kicking us to the street, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”
As more and more people were forced on welfare, the government’s budget started to look grim. When they cut welfare spending entirely so that they could enjoy bigger tax cuts to “stimulate the economy,” they told us, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”
Then the poor had nothing left to eat, and no place to go.
So they had to kill and eat the rich.
They descended on Wall Street by the millions, stopping all traffic.
Their numbers were so large; the police couldn’t do anything to stop the massive crowd of the disenfranchised. They flooded the buildings of Wall Street, the halls of DC, of the McMansions of Texas, and like a horde of zombies, they tore into the flesh of the horrified wealthy, who screamed and shat themselves, knowing that they were powerless to stop the oncoming mass of gnashing teeth and hungry mouths.
And as the poor picked the bones clean over the burning piles of money, the poor said to the bones:
“No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”
The moral lesson behind this fable, methinks, is that it is obscene to make choices where “business” outweighs all other considerations. Oh, and turnabout is a bitch.
Not that I think any of my friends at the Opera will “get that” when they see my shirt. But it sure will make for a great photograph.
My hope is that you – members of my audience – will respond creatively to this as well. Write a song, make a video, a painting, anything creative – and send them to The Punk Patriot by clicking here.