A Mean Bugger
You thought I was mean, and it has taken a long time for me to disagree.
Yes, I avoid pissing my money down the drain by drinking alcohol, or burning hours of labour by smoking. And why should I eat out when I can cook my own food? Why pay for someone else’s house when I want to create my own beautiful dwelling?
It has taken me a long time because finding my roots needed the courage it takes to dig and lay bare my origins. And I grew out of people of the land, people in low places with shrewd eyes, people who were victimised by state and church. Those eyes watched to see how those in power tried to keep them poor through their own weaknesses and despair — work all week for those who pay you, and who then take your money back because your misery leads to drink. It doesn’t matter if it is misery or pride. They profit from both.
My people passed that on to me. Some people called it religion. You know the rules, “Don’t go with prostitutes! Beware of sexual temptations. Don’t steal. Be frugal!”
But I know it’s not religion I inherited. It’s the code of survival amongst powers who try to keep you poor, who grow rich on the weaknesses of the common herd, who manipulate and hold dearly to their power and take your money back in every way they can.
It’s not meanness.
It is awareness.
Copyright ©2004 Tony Crisp