FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hymn to the Koch Brothers

by DAVID MCDANNALD

Dear Esteemed Brothers,

On the way back from my father’s village, I’ve decided to take time to think over topics connected to our common interests. News of your conquests in America first reached us here in the backwater like word of a distant storm. It was in the mouth of Yoweri Museveni that I first heard your name. My friends, I beg you. Listen well. The goat with the keenest ears never ends up with okra in the village stew.

If, after my envoy arrives at the palace, an adviser bursts in to inform me that a band of rebels wearing helmets made from peanut shells has seized a police station in the swamps of the south, I will dispatch the army. But I will do so without fear that the palace will fall; savagery does not yield to hope, nor stone to bamboo. But let us imagine this adviser bursting in with news of some great parasite that has been draining nutrient from every vegetable on my farm, some shadow administration working wizardry within all branches of my government, drowning the judiciary in money, backing candidates to run for parliament, tonguing their dialect into local laws. After hearing such news I would dispatch, not the army, but the imperial guard. Therein lies the joy of power. And your first tardy lesson in it. Don’t be ashamed, my Koch Brothers; the world is full of students who’ve begun to lose a grip on their bladders.

Beyond my motorcade a great forest is passing, third growth, I regret, but the ministers’ wives have a taste for crystal. Your contributions to the science of corruption are impressive. American laws, of course, are by design
the-last-great-ape-final-000overly complex; add enough spices to the soup and no one will notice that the chicken is gone. But why when you have an endless appetite for seizing power within the state, have you no urge to seize the statehouse? A thousand years of dubious lobbying is outdone in an instant by one blow from a cutlass. To weaken your enemies through the funding of faux science and anti-voter campaigns is to slip into the house like a jinn. And now I read of this effort to ban the filming of chickens? David and Charles, you are involved in too much unpleasantness.

Do not forget that I write as a friend, that I wish you both what is good and what is useful. As my envoy travels toward the distant glow of the capital, I worry that your stratagem has all the glory of baboons stealing potatoes in the dark. Men have known for centuries that justice is the will of the stronger, not the most conniving. To  have your vassal bring you a virgin every night for three years, that is to know power. One tooth bites from anger but another bites from love. Please, my brothers, cease to be parasites and become dragons.

It is with the taste of wild game on my lips that my Mercedes has finally reached a road I could not help but pave. You don’t seem to know the parable of the farmer who grew so rich in yams that he died before he could find his way through his yam piles to fetch a woman to cook one for him. In the village the poorest son says, “What use is great wealth when a man has but a single mouth?” “Yes,” says the middle son, “but in a year he uses it a thousand times.” The richest son retorts, “To be a tyrant is to be free of math.” Calculators, Kochs, are for money changers. And a chill in the spirit means you have married a woman who gathers too little wood. So untame yourselves. One does not have to be born a pharaoh. Become sackers of cities.

But remember what they sing in the mountains of our neighbors, that even the spider who learns to snare birds is still the junior brother of ‘Ngai. Divorce yourselves from contingencies and stealth and the failure of mind to field an army. But turn your eyes away from Washington; neither man nor cashew tree can hold such an empire in his roots. Move south. Cross the border. Go for Guatemala. When you turn and fly toward the sun, the people will see that you have all the colors of the peacock in your wings.

Your humble servant,

His Honorable Excellency Chief Doctor Jonah

David McDannald is the co-author of The Last Great Ape, recently published by Pegasus Books. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as TriQuarterly, Sierra, and The American Scholar. 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail