Back Off, I'm a Corporate Whore

Published on
by
the San Francisco Chronicle

Back Off, I'm a Corporate Whore

Here's what you should know right off: there is no secret handshake.

I was, to say the least, slightly disappointed. There is no secret code, no password, no futuristic RFID chip implanted straight into my retina allowing me instant, bar-coded access to gleaming glass corridors in the NSA, Goldman Sachs and the U.S. Treasury. There's not even a diamond-encrusted golden key in the shape of a dollar sign that opens recessed steel doors to underground lairs or private cocaine stashes stored in the perfect vaginas of flawless Brazilian supermodels. Alas.

Also, no blood. No swapping of any bodily fluids whatsoever, no ceremony where you go to a sweaty, fur-lined conference room, the lawyer stabs his palm, you stab your palm, and you chant some sort of dark incantation to the gods of filthy lucre, offshore bank accounts and D.C. lobbyists. As you shake bloody hands, you swear to oppress the workers, exploit the tax code and patron multiple Vegas whorehouses and/or LA fetish nightclubs for your Republican Party/NRA donor slut-fests.

But none of that really matters. Despite the lack of expected ritual and violence, I now officially own your pathetic and meager soul. It's true. I have joined my corporate brothers in holding draconian dominion over all you see and hear and say and do and read and believe, forever and ever. Amen. Just the way it is.

Let me explain.

See, I have become a corporation. A real one. I have launched a full-blown company, with shareholders (me) and a president (me) and a full board of directors (me, me and me). And we are, all of us, in total and complete control.

This is how I discovered all the above insights and secrets -- and a great deal more that I cannot really share with you meager commoners -- as I transitioned from lowly, average tax-paying citizen just like you, into giant, megalomaniacal corporate fat-cat tyrant just like, um, Saudi Arabia. It was kind of fun.

It happened, as such transformations are wont to do, somewhat unexpectedly, surprisingly, the pieces falling into place like Satan's dominoes, the Dark Fates of capitalism slapping me on the back and welcoming me into the gilded halls of power and influence, even as they calmly removed a huge chunk of my soul. Didn't feel a thing, really. Except for all the screaming.

After the act was done, they handed me the deed to what's known as an "S" corporation, so termed for the portion of the American tax code it happily exploits so that I -- or rather, my fine corporation -- may now purchase many rarified American goods, such as congresspersons, Supreme Court justices and Malaysian sweatshop workers, without remorse, guilt or concern for pesky trifles known as "ethics."

You perhaps think I am joking? I am not joking. The name of my corporation is Rapture Machine, Inc. It is a publishing company, so formed to help me issue my first amazing, tell-all book, the dazzling mega-compendium known as "The Daring Spectacle," which is available for purchase right here, right now. Have you ordered one yet? Have you ordered, say, five? Do you know any angry Republicans? They'll love it. Give them two.

Why go corporate, you may ask from way down there, in your lowly status as pitiable worker cog lemming creature I no longer have to concern myself with in the slightest? Simple: because it was the best way to organize my life and finances as a freelance writer, author and now, overlord of all that is and ever will be. It just made sense.

See, as I was preparing to self-publish my epic book, I was informed that some of the larger printing houses preferred to work with "real" companies, not individual authors. So I started Rapture Machine as a tiny sole proprietorship in San Francisco. But one thing led to another, and on the advice of sage tax accountant counsel, I decided to go all in, and become the Man.

A small pile of lawyer's fees, an initial shareholder's meeting, and an $800 annual filing with the California Attorney General later, and I have my "S" corporation. Just like that. Just like Exxon. Just like Wal-Mart. Nike. I can feel what's left of my soul shriveling away already. Just like Dick Cheney.

As you might guess, it was quite the unexpected transmutation, from humble writer and yoga teacher to heartless totalitarian kingpin, all in a matter of days. But I have to say, it's been completely wonderful so far. Except for the nightmares. And the spiders. And the zombie clowns. Otherwise, awesome.

No longer do I walk among you as an equal. No longer must I concern myself with petty nuisances such as fairness, justice, human decency. The Supreme Court said so; I no longer have to care. Like any American corporation worth its inbred cronyism, my company is only really beholden to one entity: its shareholders. Of course, as I am the sole shareholder in my corporation, that means, well, me.

Hence, I am only beholden to me, to making me as rich and mercilessly profitable as my shareholders demand that I be, for me, as far as I know. God bless America.

Perhaps you think I cannot really get away with this. Perhaps you think there are regulations and laws governing such wanton behavior, that I cannot, say, hire employees for pennies per day and make then mix me fine whiskey drinks and crawl around on all fours wearing only boy shorts and a smile, as they recite poetry and fulfill book requests and update my Facebook fan page.

What are you, high? Have you not been paying attention? Did you see how many of my vile brethren over on Wall Street are mocking Congress and Obama alike, still giving multi-million dollar bonuses as they engage in the same behavior that nearly caused the fall of the empire? Are you not watching the oil titans continue to rape the land worldwide? Nothing has changed, plebe. And it never will.

In fact, we corporate gods laugh in the face of your puny pleas for, um, whatever the hell it is people like you plead for. Decent wages? Health care? A tolerable ending to "Lost"? Whatever. I can barely even hear you from way up hear on my gilded throne of sticky, glorious evil. It's the American dream. Hey, want to be my intern?

 

Mark Morford

Mark Morford's new book, 'The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism,' is now available at daringspectacle.com, Amazon, BN.com, and beyond. Join Mark on Facebook and Twitter, or email him. His website is markmorford.com. Mark's column appears every Wednesday on SFGate.

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