When I was a kid growing up in a rural neighborhood in central Ohio, USA, we had a neighbor who was a sheep farmer. The subdivision where my parents built a house along with a lot of other post-war GI Bill educated young white collar families was probably originally part of that farm.
Ironically (it seems now), this woman was a rabid McCarthy anti-communist. She would roll down our street in a huge ominous-looking 1940s vintage black Buick, stopping to drop off anti-communist tracts for our parents. My mom always smiled, thanked politely, and tossed them in the fireplace as soon as she was gone.
Madame Sheep Farmer was a scary apparition for the neighborhood kids. She would regale us with horror stories about evil Russians and godless Communists. The one that especially haunted me was about how "children in Russia are taken away from their parents when they're 3 years old and sent to live in Communist schools where they are being prepared to come and take over America". TOTAL CLAP-TRAP, as I would some day learn first-hand. Very much like the brand being served us these days, from all sides.
There was one other scary thing about this buzzard: her big double-barrel shotgun. I think it must have been about 29 gauge. After the Russian Commie Scare of the Week, as she was climbing into her big black Bat Cave on wheels, she would show us that cannon and admonish us: "Now you kids keep yer dogs t'home, 'cause if they come on my land and run my sheep THIS is what they'll get!" And away she would drive in a cloud of sweetness and light, stars and stripes, oblivious to the nightmares she induced in the small-fry in her wake.
Dogs, Sheep, Corporations and Humans
Now the thing about dogs is this: your average cuddly family pet simply doesn't care a flying rat's ass about sheep... not on his own. But let 3 or 4 of these sweet darlings get loose together and come across a flock, the primordial pack resurges and they'll run those critters until they drop dead, and maybe even kill a few outright from sheer deviltry. Sheep farmers don't tolerate dogs "running sheep". Family pet or no family pet, it's ka-powie!
This fact about dogs and sheep reminds me a lot of corporations and humans. You take a bunch of homo sapiens, fundamentally decent, civil, upright, neighborly and all that... who individually would never do anything to distress or harm another person... lump a bunch of them together under the auspices of a corporation, and they can get downright inhuman, perpetrating cruelty they'd never do on their own.
"A Body That Ain't Got No Soul"
Corporations are a slick idea invented by certain sub-types within our species as a means of legally evading personal responsibility for their actions and consequences thereof. They cleverly packaged and sold this load of dingos' kidneys (R.I.P. Doug Adams!) to governments and the public at large, to the point that these days, the complete insanity of the whole notion never even occurs to people. In fact, these snake oil salesmen have hornswoggled their way into having incorporated entities declared legally as people. The slick sleight-of-hand known as "Citizens United" has lifted the Corporation to heights that only some of my compatriots could possibly swallow.
The word "corporation" of course comes from the Latin "corpus" meaning body. It's a special kind of body. As I wrote in my song Corporation Blues, "it's a body that ain't got no soul". Here's the audio stream:
Time to Get Us a Good Sheep Dog
On the whole US political scene, there is one man, and one man only with any kind of serious official rank who has had no truck with this nonsense from the outset, and who has had the cojones to rise up on his hind legs and bark vociferously about this crap. "The Wolves! The Wolves! Wake up! Wake up!" That man is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and he's been barking a warning for decades. A lot of people are just now hearing about him, despite him getting the hush-hush treatment from the US mainstream media. I've been a fan of his since the 1980s heyday of President Ronnie Ray-gun. (Bernie has been around even longer than that.)
He calls himself a "socialist". Now "socialism" is a huge scare word for Americans (the US variety). Admittedly, people in the past have given it a bad name: Hitler and his National Socialist party, for example. When I was growing up, though, a lot of Senator Sanders' brand of "socialism" was just "normal". Public schools. Public highways. Public health. Social Security. The idea that government has a valid role in certain things that every person in the society needs (education, health care, clean air and water, for example) was simple mainstream common sense, and a point of national pride. Sadly, this is no longer the case.
Rarin' Back and Barkin'
At the risk of losing some friends (Facebook or regular), I'm raring back on my proverbial hind legs and supporting Bernie Sanders for President, 2016. Not counting on him winning, but his candidacy will force the Democratic Party to talk about issues that sorely need talking about. (The Republican Party is a lost cause entirely when it comes to even moderately intelligent debate). THEREFORE...
I will donate 100% of the income from my single "Corporation Blues" to the Sanders campaign for as long as Bernie Sanders is in the running.
Now, some people reading this will disagree with my stance. Fine. But don't just snipe nastily. Write your own song, put it on your own site, and support your preferred candidate. That's how it's done. Differences of opinion are tolerated. Except in Evil Communist countries... ha!
Mid-October, 2016 - It's more than a year, and untold millions of wasted $$$ since I posted the above. The 2016 campaign has become an embarrassing debacle to end all embarrassing debacles. For those who are still finding this post and screaming that I'm a "Bernie Bro" and wasting my vote, just read what I wrote: "as long as he's in the running". Senator Sanders told the American people what they needed to be told. He said it in the way it needed to be said. The American people proved they couldn't deal with that message and have chosen the candidates they have chosen.
One of those candidates has just said that if his opponent is elected, ISIS will "take over America". How fuckingly dejà vu. That old woman in the big black car with the shotgun and the boogie-man is still with us. And people are still swallowing the clap-trap. Well, I suppose that's more palatable than coming to grips with corporate conquest from within.