Friday, December 23, 2011

St. Nicholas the Banker

In honor of U.S. total debt reaching 100% of GDP (officially at least) on the winter solstice.


Hard times for he who thinks of himself as God
And every year pretends he’s not a fraud,
The middleman from a land of endless fleece,
His conspiracy unraveled piece by piece.

He’d told the slaves he’d teach them all a trade
As if it was OK they were not paid.
He called it all a global charity
For the oil-rich, offshore, tax-free territory.

When he asked them to don green felt hats and bells
To endure the sting of sawdust and the turpentine smells
It taught them every year that they were fools;
Their student loans were never paid in full

So they worked to smelt lead, sew shoes, trim elastic
And fill their lungs with fiberglass and plastic
With no health care or dental, for some children overseas
Whose parents paid five times their homes to please.

How money good turned bad he wouldn’t say,
Maybe when he discontinued real gold in his sleigh
Or maybe he created a dependency,
A sense of entitlement to drive his Ponzi scheme,

All we know for sure now is the gold is gone
And shoddy toys each year are left too soon in front of lawns
Yet each of us must fill the stocking yet again for Santa
A starting out down payment of two hundred fifty grand, a

Pittance when compared to what we really owe
To this mysterious Kringle who makes gold out of tinsel
And has nothing left to show for all his usury
Except our souls bound in perpetuity.

For this one Christmas we will owe a thousand
To fortify his compound in the northern wasteland
And so we can believe that he is real,
His bubbles all still made as out of steel.

We’ve given him the mint whose coins are cold, thin air
Leant back to us for payment at three times the share
Yet somehow we believe he can’t exist,
That coincidence could not allow such a perverse plot twist;

It’s so much easier to believe he’s a delusion
Than to know exactly what he does to children.
We lack respect, he says now; this greatest of all men
Has to hide his gifts of course in gilded wrapping.

He offered once a hope to a world torn up by war
That if we were more good each year we would gain a reward,
But these things he leant to us became what we were,
His boxes were empty of what really mattered

And chaos has ensued, the mother of all profit
That spins and spins until there is nothing left of it
And hard times have come now for even Santa Clause,
A time that should give every one of us pause,

A time to look the gift horse in the mouth,
A time for polar north to vibrate south
To rediscover our love inside the light
And bless the final passing of the long, good night.

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