Monday, December 7, 2009

And All The Trappings...

My little brother sent me a news article the other day.

It was about this cat who ran a Ponzi scheme, and was spending his last few months of freedom stuck in his $10 million Manhattan apartment. The guy'sscheme was similar to all the Ponzi schemes that are being exposed these days; he took people's money and promised them a lot more.

See, Bernie Madoff may be most recognizable thief in the financial world, kind of like Jayson Blair in journalism, but he's far from the only scam artist operating. Every week I get a report about large and small Ponzi schemes being operated by smooth talking, suit-wearing, older white men.

Clearly the 00s were a con man's paradise.

Anyway, the story my brother sent me ran in Vanity Fair and kind of profiled this guy, who was a lawyer and who managed to steal several hundred million dollars. The old guy, Mark Drier was his name, used Vanity Fair's national platform to explain how he got caught up in trying live the lifestyle he and everybody else wanted him to live, but that he couldn't afford on his regular salary. Basically, he stole because other people expected him to be a baller, and he wanted to meet expectations.

The trappings of success.

The Bible says that the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are the Devil's three main ways of tripping up all mankind. I think if all of us take a few seconds to ponder those three categories, we can see that almost all sin is related to them in some way. Better yet, if we scan the daily headlines, we can see real life examples of how they work.

What's surprising is that despite our knowledge of how we will be attacked, so many of us still fall victim to Satan's schemes. I imagine him laughing at how the same old tricks manage to confound every new generation of mankind. He's like a wily old pitcher throwing a knuckleball. You know it's coming, you have some idea about how it works, but yet you still can't handle it. Swing and a miss sucker.

The dude in the Vanity Fair article admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong, but said he just felt like he needed all those things to be successful. The house in the Hamptons, the foreign cars, the property, and all the other trappings of wealth. He needed those things like junkies need smack.

I wrote a blog a few months back about the plague of materialism in our world. It doesn't appear that things are getting any better, despite the recent recession that should have made us all reevaluate our lifestyles. Instead of people changing their lifestyles, they're just finding more and more creative, and often illegal, ways to get more things. Everybody is so caught up in what they have, they aren't paying attention to what it takes to get it.

It seems like the trappings of success often are really just a trap.







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15 comments:

T.A.N. Man said...

Word ...

Mr. Noface said...

Couldn't have put it better myself. It's the "American Way"!

Thordaddy said...

Lil' man,

What do you expect when very few know the God-ordained nature of Capitalism?

Big Man said...

Thor

Explain the God-ordained nature of Capitalism.
Without a rant about radical autonomy. If that's possible.

Thordaddy said...

Lil' man,

It's real simple and explains this very exchange, your blog and almost everything about you. You seek to accumulate, increase and preserve your credibility. Credibility being the intangible aspect of capital, you are therefore ALWAYS seeking to accumulate, increase and preserve your capital. The dude with the most intangible capital HAS THE MOST CREDIBILITY. If you are anti-capitalist then you are against accumulating, increasing and preserving your credibility.

The fact that most believe the essence of capitalism as greed and pursuit of the material is evidence of a corrupting materialist worldview, i.e., liberalism.

You should ask tiger if he's getting a lesson in real capitalism?

Thordaddy said...

Dude asks... He receives... Has a BAM moment... And doesn't say thank you... Radical autonomy... Going against the proper order of things...

Brenda said...

I must be a psychic because I knew Thordaddy would find a way to put Tiger's name in his comments. LoL!

The Original Wombman said...

I have to agree with you. It's very troubling to me that this recession/depression hasn't made Americans change what they value. Rather, it's made Americans find more "creative" ways to get more, more, more (so many folks were just ecstatic about the return of layaway since credit is a bust). I happened to be watching television one night and saw an Ebay commercial. The message? No one likes or wants handmade/homemade gifts so if money is the issue, win it for "cheap" on Ebay. What a Christmas message! Reminded me all over again why I won't let my kids watch live tv.

Big Man said...

Thor

Interesting.

Your defintion of capitalism, is that something you developed personally, or do you have another source for it?

I'm curious since you referenced the corrupting influence of liberalism on capitalism. So, that would imply that the definition you're using was the one used before those damn liberals got their hands on the dictionary. Just point me to a historic source using your definition of capitalism.

Thordaddy said...

Lil' man,

If you're in a state of unknowing concerning capitalism then what explains this state of existence?

Capitalism IN ESSENCE is the purposeful pursuit of intangible capital, i.e., credibility.

Do you have another version that isn't corrupted by the notion of nondiscrimination and tolerance? I mean, with those first principles YOU CAN TURN CAPITALISM INTO ANYTHING YOU WANT and such is the point.

If a person were to argue the greatness of socialism, how would you respond? Would you assert your intangible capital (your credibility) in arguing that centralization is the road to tyrranny and the quickest path to delegitimate the credible individual? Then you would be arguing in defense of capitalism. Or, you could bow to the socialist playing capitalist (he's asserting his credibility on issues of socialism) and be fooled into believing he was anti-capitalist when he is really an extreme liberal, i.e., a radical autonomist.

Big Man said...

O, so this is a Thor created definition.

Just wanted to be certain about that. You created a new definition that is different from the definition historically used. Cool beans.

Thordaddy said...

Lil' man,

Sometimes you're cool and sometimes you're just plain sorry.

I can no more make up a FALSE definition of Capitalism than I can make up a FALSE definition for God. Truth doesn't allow its own manipulation. That fact that your definiton of capitalism is entirely unknown or a simple product of the corrupted thinking of black liberationists, i.e., radical autonomists, DOES NOTHING TO CHANGE THE ESSENCE OF CAPITALISM or negate it as one of the fundamental paradigms of which WE ALL OPERATE.

Ask tiger how true my definition of capitalism is?

Big Man said...

Thor

There is a dictionary definition of capitalism. Sure it's debated, but the truth is that none of the divergent definitions of the world reflect your definition.

That's something you created because it works for you.

Cool. Now, if you're going to tell me that's the ONLY real definition of the word, then that's just your problem.

I know who God is. Other folks are convinced he's something else.

You have a bad habit of deciding that everybody should agree with your opinion on everything and if they disagree they must radical autonomists intent on advancing a liberal worldview. Only you've also defined radical autonomists and liberal worldview on your own as well.

You're as bad as Denmark Vesey with "sistas" and "blackness." And, just like I don't argue with him over his definitions, I'm not going to argue with you about yours.

I'll tell you the same thing my daddy told a cat who tried to convert him to Islam.

"Look, Jesus is getting done for me. Now, if Allah is helping you pay your bills, keep your family together and raise your kids, then you should stay with him. But, anytime he starts failing you, then come talk to me and I'll tell you about Jesus."

Thordaddy said...

lil' man,

Which came first credibility or the means of production?

Which came first the labor or the credibility behind it?

Which came first the inCREDIBLE man or the capitalist?

Just because fools have been manipulating the notion of capitalism (a fundamental paradigm) to serve their purpose is no more a reflection on the Truthfulness of Capitalism than the manipulations of God are a reflection of His Truth.

If the ESSENCE of capitalism (predated all dictionaries and ideologies) IS NOT the accumulation, increase and preservation of intangible capital, i.e., one's credibility, THEN WHAT IS THE ESSENCE?

Exploitation?

LOL! Your blog is exploitation... Knucklehead!!!

Thordaddy said...

Lil' man,

Your liberalism (adherence to nondiscrimination and tolerance) leaves you both unable articulate the essence of capitalism while at the same time implying the truthfulness of its antithesis, anti-capitalism. Anti-capitalism being the destruction of one's capital as evidenced by the tiger saga.

The point is that liberals have you believe that we don't, can't or shouldn't operate in a capitalist paradigm. The reality is that they convince you to take yourself out of the game. They leave you fighting a paradigm that you can't possibly topple and therefore you represent the useful idiot for a radically autonomous elite.

Raving Black Lunatic