Fret not thyself because of evildoers,
Neither be thou envious against the workers of inequity,
For they shall soon be cut down,
Cut down like grass,
And they shall wither like corn.
–Peter Tosh, Igzibeher (Let Jah Be Praised)
My tens of loyal readers know that I don’t often wax political. I’ve found after years of political debate that one is either preaching to the choir or talking to a wall. People protect their political ideals as vehemently as they do their beliefs on religion, abortion, and who should have won American Idol – and I’m simply too tired to continue slamming my opinions up against those of people I already see as misguided.
And when I read a story like this while I’m paying upwards of three dollars for a gallon of gasoline, it helps to consider Psalm 37 (paraphrased by Peter Tosh in the above quote from his powerful song Igziabeher), though sometimes even these words of comfort do little good to hold my tongue.
HOUSTON, Feb. 1 — Oil prices have fallen, but Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell… reported record annual profits Thursday.
By making $180 million a day between them, the two largest publicly traded oil companies displayed their ability to ramp up production worldwide over the year, even in unstable places like Chad and Nigeria…
Exxon reported annual profit of $39.5 billion, or $6.62 a share, for 2006 — its second consecutive annual record. Once again, the profit was the largest reported by any American company in history…
Apparently sensitive to perceptions, Shell did not announce that its annual profit was a company record… Shell’s income in 2006 was $25.44 billion, up from $25.3 billion in 2005.
What… the… HELL!? When it happened last year and Exxon Chairman Lee Raymond gave himself a fat $400,000,000 retirement package (one of the largest in history) to boot, it made me feel like every time I put the pump nozzle in my tank, I ought to actually be cramming it up my ass. Sideways.
But now, after suffering this BS for multiple years, I have a list of other people who deserve to be violated in the afore-mentioned fashion. Because the American people, contrary to the ignorant opinions of those pulling the strings, have to work damn hard just to make ends meet nowadays and cannot afford to pay astronomical gas prices while bipedal swine like Lee Raymond are sitting on the equivalent of the entire Gross Domestic Product of Samoa. There is no way anyone with even a modicum of ethics can justify this level of greed.
Unfortunately, it seems there is little we as individuals can do to stop it. Sure, we can push for cleaner fuel, go out and buy a hybrid (if we can afford a new car at all), vote for the politicians we think will be least effected by oil lobbyists, and ride our bikes to all destinations inside a ten mile radius. But let’s face it, in the end, all we can really do is truly believe that it is indeed better to be a moral person, live our lives as free of want as possible and take solace in Psalm 37, than to spend every moment considering the next method by which we can acquire more material possessions. For when it all comes to a close and I’m laying on my deathbed surrounded by my loved ones, it isn’t going to matter how much money I have compared to a pig-man like Lee Raymond and all the time I wasted whining about the inequity in the world isn’t going to suddenly be granted me. In the end, all that’s going to matter is how I lived my life and what I held dear during that time. Those things will I take with me when I die; the rest will remain behind…
…to wither like corn.