Capitalist Vermin

by Robbie Romu on October 31, 2012

mickeyVermin
(ver-min) noun
various small animals, such as mice or rats, that are destructive, annoying or injurious; the vermin got into our feed and greatly reduced our stock.

Capitalist Vermin
(cap-i-tal-ist ver-min) noun
wealthy vermin, such as Mickey Mouse, who build their nests out of shredded $100 bills; it was a sad day when capitalist vermin purchased Lucasfilm.

I grew up on Star Wars – the good Star Wars.  The Empire Strikes Back remains one of my favorite movies of all time and the most profound film-going experience of my life.  I discovered the true power of cinema: the ability to transport and to inspire wonder and help people escape the cold reality of their own lives.

I didn’t just love Han Solo; I was Han Solo.

By the time Return Of The Jedi arrived in 1983, I wasn’t fooled by the little people in bear suits, but I was still prepared to suspend my belief in impossible things.  I was even willing to forgive George Lucas for the dreadful Phantom Menace, the unwatchable Attack Of The Clones and the soap opera sensibilities of Revenge Of The Sith.

But selling Lucasfilm to Disney is the final straw.

Disney already owns ABC, Marvel Entertainment, ESPN, the Muppets, and Pixar.  They are the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue, have 14 theme parks around the world and show no signs of slowing down.

Enough is enough already!

Look, I understand that I am lashing out at Disney but I am also trying to make a point.  When is big, big enough?  When is our society going to get its collective act together and put our priorities in the right place?  The amount of money involved in this transaction is mindboggling, some $4.5 billion – yes, that’s billion - up front and endless amounts of revenue for years to come.

I understand capitalism on an intellectual level – make as much money as you can – but on a humanitarian level I just can’t wrap my head around this level of greed.  Something is very wrong when we are throwing around numbers like $4 billion and people are starving and homeless and begging for change at the gates of Disneyland.

Most likely, George Lucas and the good people who work at Disney and its multinational subsidiaries donate a lot of money to charity – I get that – but when, as a society, as members of the human race, do we stop and say “what the fuck is going on?”  The system has failed, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, stomped on by gilded boots.  Political parties run massive campaigns, spend utterly obscene amounts of money, promising to raise people out of poverty, and yet nothing changes.

It’s easy to pick on Disney because the sale of Lucasfilm is so fresh, but trust me; they are just another cog in a broken machine.  There needs to be a vast redistribution of wealth and a fundamental shift in our consciousness, or we – all of us – are not going to make it.

There is a tipping point; we ignore it at our peril.

Ultimately, It might boil down to the simplest of things; the thought of Darth Vader removing his mask and seeing Mickey Mouse behind it makes me want to kill myself.

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