Greed

Even after the weekends harrowing experience, I am duty bound to carry on. It’s gonna take more than a couple of the Churches redneck stooges to scare me off.

My nerves were steeled getting locals and diplomats on the choppers during the fall of Saigon, my meddle was forged riding shotgun on PT-109 during double-ya, double-ya two…. like I said, punk yokels need more than a weeny roast and dunce hats to scare me. It’s just that important, giving you the information you need to make an informed decision. What you do with it once it is in your possession is entirely up to you.

I’ll admit to having a little fun, Friday night when I caught one of the stragglers trying to bolt – in the confusion I guess he missed his ride, so I hog tied him carried him into the woods behind my place threw him over a log, pulled his pants down and said… you got a pur-tee mouf and laughed like the dickens as he pee’d himself. Perhaps Yes, I had taken it too far – but I never meant any harm, only to teach him a lesson, a sort of scared straight if you will.

The real trouble didn’t even start until that rutting caribou came storming out of the woods in a frenzy, looking for love and there was Gomer, all tied up ready for love…. I tell you this, I saw a lot of awful stuff in the trenches, fighting in the Napoleonic War, but nothing came close to what that big buck did to that poor fellow. It will haunt me, always.

So on with Today’s topic and Deadly Sin number 3, Greed, or Avarice…

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Greed is an excessive desire to possess wealth or goods with the intention to keep it for yourself; Greed (Latin, avaritia), also known as avarice or covetousness, is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess.

Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas, who just can’t seem to keep his fat mouth shut on the “Seven Sins” said of Greed: “it is a sin directly against one’s neighbor, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them. Oh boo-hoo, so obviously his neighbour always had a new lawn-mower or some such and he was stuck with one of those cruddy push types.

Hey, Tommy, news flash – noone likes cutting the grass but it ain’t gonna cut itself and if you can afford one of those fancy rear-baggers with mulch etc – then why not? Besides, if we don’t differentiate in society between who can afford more expensive stuff, then how would we know who to look down on?

I’ll tell you what, millionaires and billionaires do not NEED more money. How much is enough? Is there any end to the greed? The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer – because money and power attract money and power. This is true, yet everyone indignantly condemns Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and recent whipping boy Mark Zuckerberg and all the rest, amidst choruses of “how much is enough” – here’s the point – in most cases, they earned it.

There is a comment made in the Facebook movie, The Social Network – where Mark is being sued by a couple of brothers who claim he stole Facebook from them – he looks them dead in the eye and says – “If you had invented Facebook, you would have invented Facebook” Awesome!

Yes he wasn’t very nice, a jerk even, and went about things in a terrible way, but he also put the work in… and paid a price, with no friends, no life and being universally reviled. I don’t imagine people like Mark and Bill are driven by greed. Most of them are just plain driven. They are so rich, money doesn’t even mean the same thing to them as it does to you and me. Believe me, I am kicking myself now for just giving my sketches, prototype & the ensuing rights to the Ipod to Steve Jobs for free… huge mistake.

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According to Gordon Gekko, in possibly the most famous Greed speech ever “Greed is good. Greed works.”  In contrast, “Then [Jesus] said, ‘Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own’”… Ummmm Jesus, I’m sorry to break the news to you, but just watch CNN for like 10 minutes and you are almost guaranteed to hear a story about someone, somewhere with a crap load of money, doing something wrong and getting off scott free. So clearly – how much we own does make a difference, this contradiction begins to weaken the case for Greed as a mortal sin.

Your punishment in Hell for committing the sin of Greed will be: boiled alive in oil for eternity, funny that, seems to me at some point you’d be done…. do they heal you – then boil you again? I hope they put you in a nice light tempura… mmmmm

Here’s the thing, this sin makes no sense and has no basis in modern society. I won’t say all greed is good right across the board, but back in the days when these sins were written, most people didn’t have two sandals to rub together, the rich were few and far between and therefore an easy target. Once you had a mud hut, there really wasn’t anything else you could wish for, everyone around you had exactly the same stuff as you. It wasn’t like Ian was sitting outside in the sweltering heat daydreaming about getting his hands on a Gulfstream Mark IV personal Jet.

A little bit of greed can have a motivating effect, most people are willing to work towards a goal, or buying something you want or need.

Because there are no half measures with sin, it either is or it isn’t – this sin doesn’t pass muster and therefore is invalid… see what I did there, now we are down to four deadly sins and heaven and earth doth quiver. Besides there are boundaries, checks and balances hard-wired into the system – Does anyone remember the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette? Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Oh and eventually Gordon Gecko went to prison.

Have a Great Day…

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