The Algebra of Greed

NOTE: These are, to me, respective equations of our Right Now. We all struggle to make ends meet in a world where to Rise is almost considered an insult. What thing Wicked this way comes, lurching toward Skyscrapered Babylon? Ugly or Beautiful, the best we can hope for is that it will be entertaining…and maybe even line our pockets with a bit of God.

OF GOVERNMENT: Two politicians are behind their respective podiums, deep in a debate about the “issues”, lobbying for themselves. The Democrat, Asmodea, belches about his favorite topic, Welfare. “You’re all a bunch of slaves, you know. Better to sit at home and produce soldiers for the Machine. Get a birth license, and be a True Citizen.”

Romstrain rebuts: “Slaves, of course, but you’re supposed to be working for ME! I’m sick of paying you to sit on your asses. This guy,” he says, pointing at Asmodea, “he’s not good, he’s out to steal your ethics and suck your soul. I just want your cash. Gimme the cash!”

He makes a grab for Asmodea, and Asmodea grasps his wrist, twisting it in paintbrush fashion and drawing Romstrain in for a kiss. Their tongues frolic in lavish ecstasy, and their faces twist, convoluted flesh merging and mixing colors and eyeballs, until their bodies follow suit, spiraling together in perfect symbiosis.

Astrain, the New God-King, says to the Press: “Well, the choice is clear now. Vote Pro-Lazyrape.” And the conference ends with the Press walking out, scratching their heads with wonder at the odd spectacle they have just witnessed. Some of them, terrified, will go home and drink themselves to death.

OF BUSINESS: Janulis Crow works for “A Family Company”. He tells his secretary to hold all his calls and slams the phone down in its cradle. The door to his lavish office bursts open, and before him stands his long-haired, greasy skeleton of a son, trembling in over-anxious junk-yen. The son’s guts grind in sick need-peristalsis, and his bowels release, soiling his pants in the immaculate room. He kicks a bit of smegma from his pants leg to the carpet.

“Damn you, you fool!” Mr. Crow says. “I just had that professionally shampooed! I’m nervous now, I’ll need another Mugwump to hop in and dose me, on the double.” He picks up the phone he had earlier slammed down.

“Pay me now! I need cash,” the son says, scratching through his skin down to the bone marrow.

“I’m not giving you a red cent. You can get out there with the Suckfish and beg, at least it’s something like work.”

“Fine,” the son says, pulling a nine-millimeter pistol from his jacket. He shoots Mr. Crow in the head. Mr. Crow’s head explodes, shards of bone fragments knocking the son back to the wall. Tentacles fly forth from his wobbling, oozing neck and latch around the son, lifting him up, bringing him forth to the toothy mouth salivating between the tentacles.

Crunching sounds reach out the door and to the secretary. By the time she calls, Mr. Crow’s head is beginning to re-form, a lump of mismatched slunk that solidifies into the freshly-shaved, botoxed face of the uber-businessman. He picks up the phone as his lips realign.

“Is everything alright, sir?” The secretary asks.

“Fine. I just had to eat my son. That buffoon isn’t getting any more of my money.”

“Well played, sir, I was wondering when you’d get around to doing that.”

“Cancel the ritual sacrifice to Belial tonight. I don’t need it until next month now. Oh! And make sure the commercial with the cute baby airs tonight. And call Dr. Puttadin, I need some of that fine secretion.” He hangs up the phone, opening the right-hand drawer of his desk, removing a bottle of Glenmorangie.

OF SLAVES: The Whipper is a short, stocky man of indeterminate age. He has a bit of respect from the slaves because he is one himself. The slaves understand that, on high, there is a Janulis Crow distributing orders from an Office in the form of a Memo.

When they feel the lash of the Whipper’s cat o’ nine tails they smile with broken teeth, some of them still spitting in the sick morning, wondering when they’ll get a break from the wheel so they can score a little fuel from the Man…sixteen hour workdays require a little help from chemical friends. The human body can only take so much punishment.

The Salver runs around with a bottle of anesthetic Nu-Skin to rub on the slaves’ backs so they’ll heal over the course of their eight-minute break (long enough for two puffs of an iCig and to score from the Man, who stands outside the break room like a giant Pez dispenser), and they go one Wheel at a time. The Wheel makes food, shampoo, and other products to facilitate the Evolution of the Species.

All good slaves know that their wages are not fair, but they fear to speak of it because it is worse to hang from the rafters by the neck until dead and be left there to stink and rot until slippage causes your flesh to drip back to the floor and be sucked up by the Fishes. Besides, if they push hard enough for only five years, they may get a two-cent raise.

OF ADVERTS: The Neon Sign Screams in burning green hope: SMOKE! DON’T SMOKE! HUMP! PRAY! FEED! KILL! REPEAT! All adverts accented with hard-bodied Adonis-men and D-Cupped Aphrodites, all promising a quickie in the green room if you only Buy This Product and Worship This Flag. Join the Armed Forces, a Global Force for Good. Eat These Workout Pills and Look Like We Do.

Or, barring the sex angle, there is the child-angle: Protect Your Children with the Watchdog Chip! Make Them Obese with McWendyKing’s! Yes. Make them obese so they can grow up and buy the Diet Pills.

And barring both of those there is the confused teen-to-twenties group to attack: Attend This College! Learn All About Debt! Start Now, Stay Off The Wheel! Or, Join The Global Force….

All of it enough to make the Writer vomit as he trolls through the mishmash of slaves and Businesspersons droning their way through the light-sectioned blocks to the Office, to the Wheel, to the School…the Man passes the Writer a packet of Washed Caffeine and he hits the stall.

Opening his laptop, he makes to write what the Muse is whispering in his ear; he shivers in Poison-Buzz glory as he types like a machine-gun. He strives to finish the Piece, the all important Piece.

It has kept him separate from the main Equation, giving him the illusion that while he struggles to pay the Rent before the Pigmen can break his door down and feed him to the Fishes that he is somehow not connected to ( or is even above) the Algebra of Greed.


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  • The thing about the advertising reminds me of the time that Bridgestone had the temerity to try and sell tires with sex appeal. Because nothing goes together quite like tires and boning . . . .

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