I heard an interesting phrase on the History Channel yesterday. No not “extraterrestrial technology helped put man on the moon”. It was “professional malcontent”. The reference was to Marat, in a program about the French Revolution. But, always looking for new economic niches into which I might fit for financial gain, it piqued my interest. It sounds like a new career opportunity.
Hmmm, could I do this? Could I be a professional malcontent? Why sure. I’m already prickly at the best of times and a few extra cups of coffee could ramp that up into malcontent range. Surely I could snap and snarl with the best of ‘em, and there’s no shortage of things about which to be genuinely aggrieved either. Income disparity, government corruption and incompetence, the many abuses of big corporations, a congress which is openly on the auction block, air pollution, water pollution, misuse of tax dollars, the Kardashians, people who leave shopping carts in the parking lots at the grocery store instead of returning them. The list is endless.
But first, some market research might be a good thing. Is the field already vertically and horizontally saturated? Uh oh. The fly in the ointment rears its ugly head, not to mix metaphors. Seems as though there are an awful lot of malcontents, and they are the one percent, so obviously their crabbiness would supersede my pitiful little nobody complaints.
The one percent has a lot to be discontented about. First, too much can never be enough for these greedy bastards. (The phrases “too much is never enough” and “greedy bastards” are borrowed from Ottis G. Wilson III and Dylan Ratigan. Thanks, guys, I couldn’t have said it better!) And second, they have to listen to a lot of whining by the 99% about such nonsense as “income disparity” “poor people” “foreclosure” blah, blah, blah.
There doesn’t seem to be any popular understanding of the suffering the 1% endures, although that group complains loudly and often enough. They have an itch that can’t be scratched. No matter what they can never be satisfied. And the 99% seems to have become bent on resisting the 1%’s need to pursue ever more stuff, more power, more wealth, more, more, more. Yes, the 1%’s unhappy state is misunderstood by an insufficiently reverent rabble. The 1%’s hair shirt is the un-slakable greed that haunts them day and night, 24/7/365. They can never get surcease from that demon greed which drives them like slaves. The world gives them no sympathy just because they’ve ruined things for everyone else and disposed of the ethical and moral infrastructure which any civil society needs to continue to function.
Everything can’t be regulated by laws, there has to come a point where there are societally agreed upon restraints to certain behaviors. That’s what that whole “social contract” thing is about, you spoiled and unbelievably selfish 1%. But those restraints have gotten in the way of the greedy bastards who want everything while paying back next to nothing.
What do they suppose will happen when their unremitting and overriding greed finally causes the collapse of the foolishly interdependent world economy? Their eternal complaining that they might possibly have to share their toys with others misses the point that, they can’t get along without the rabble and the rabble isn’t going to let them take everything. They will pull down their house of cards and everyone else’s as well.
And they are such great malcontents that they even hire people to complain for them–professional malcontents. (That’s called Fox News, or, as I call it, Faux News.) Their attorneys, toadies, apparatchiks and hirelings in the media, corporate world and government, cry freedom for them. That’s another benefit of being über wealthy–ya don’t even have to do your own bitching, ya can hire people–professional malcontents– to do it.
Maybe I’m not ready for prime time malcontenthood. Even as cranky a disposition as mine would not be able to compete in the rarefied atmosphere of entitled discontent wherein dwell the 1%. They’ve got it all, or almost all, and it’s still not enough.
Take a look at the Koch brothers, the poster boys for all 1% malcontents. They’re already gazillionaires and still want more, more, more, and they have a whole army of people to do their bitching and moaning and feeling sorry for themselves for them, leaving them free to apply themselves to grinding everyone else down into the dirt. They’re the epitome of malcontents. No way could I compete at that level.
If I can’t be among the best at something, I tend not to do it. So I guess being a professional malcontent is out. There’s no way I could beat the 1% at their pathetic game.
And back to the original source of the “professional malcontent” term. Marat wound up dead in his bathtub. The rabble, as often happens when people are pushed too far, became totally irrational and the Reign of Terror, guided by the fine hand and silver tongue of Robespierre, the great orator known as “the incorruptible,” ensued. The rabble turned on him as it always does on its leaders, and he ended with his jaw shattered, unable to speak, and lost his head to the guillotine. And the 1% of his time? Oh they lost everything, including their heads, when the rabble finally realized, there are a lot more 99 percenters than there are one percenters.
Keep it in mind you everlastingly dissatisfied greedy bastards.