The Washington Post

Friday rant: Rock and roll edition

How hard can it be to vent at the rich? Not very, which is good, because I don’t want to do anything hard today. It’s springtime, which is not venting season. Also, I find my life this week to be without sufficient narrative momentum, so am low on energy.

I’ve done enough reading, and writing, and reading about writing (English major!) to know about the importance of narrative drive. It’s a cheap device, but a useful one, to engage a reader emotionally by dropping hints of future trouble to keep the pages turning. Hollywood does this too, having refined it down to a number of minutes (12?) that can’t be exceeded before the first plot twist is deployed. Anyway, my life this week (I should be grateful) feels like an undeployed plot twist.

Yes trouble lurks, but it is the same old trouble I always fret about, and old trouble is boring. (Until just before it kills you.) The old trouble is the rich are making off with all the profits, and nobody can stop them anymore, including themselves. The rich are not only taking all the treasure, but they’re leaving a bag of sand in its place, just like Indiana Jones did,right before the big round stone started rolling. The bag of sand in this instance is a self-justifying “philosophy” about how rewards are fairly distributed, going to the deserving and they’re very sorry that you just don’t make the cut. No matter WHAT the proportions are. This is pernicious and wrong and it not only excuses their greed, but nearly mandates it. But this bag of stuff isn’t quite heavy enough, so the boulder, eventually, will roll.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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