Attention Billionaires: Get Bent

“And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.”

― William Gibson, Count Zero

Attention billionaires: get bent. As the recent “Cheerios” kerfuffle illustrates, Minnesota billionaire Karen Kathy Cargill is acting like a terrible neighbor in Duluth. Google her name to see the universally bad press she has unleashed upon herself. Basically, Mayor Roger Reinert had the temerity to point out that Cargill was not actually being helpful, and she ran crying to the Wall Street Journal, like ya do. It was there Cargill laid bare her toxic billionaire’s view of the world: “The good plans that I have down there […] forget it […] I think an expression that we all know — don’t pee in your Cheerios — well, [Reinert] kind of peed in his Cheerios right there, and definitely I’m not going to do anything to benefit that community.” Imperious much? Get bent.

“Don’t pee in your Cheerios” is a misuse of the term by someone trying to sound like a normal person. You don’t pee in your own Cheerios. Others pee in your Cheerios. People then ask you, “Who peed in your Cheerios?” or they say to each other, “Who peed in their Cheerios?” Corn flakes make a good substitute. In this case, as to who peed in Mayor Reinert’s breakfast, the answer is: the billionaire demolishing local housing during a housing crunch and keeping mum about it. It’s textbook sinister. Sinister enough to blame the mayor for peeing in his own cornflakes, when it was her all along. Get bent.

Billionaire-as-public-menace is a well-earned trope. A quick survey:

Jeff Bezos is so rich that he’s scared of a unionized workforce. Jeff, baby: you can afford it. Get bent.

Has Elon Musk settled that nasty business of his racist factory operation? Or was he too busy welcoming racism into Twitter, and then filing SLAPP suits at his critics because he’s such a free-speech guy? Hey Elon, while you’re busy being the country’s most obvious national security threat, why don’t you get bent?

Sam Bankman-Fried, aka SBF, just got sentenced to 25 years in prison. Sam: that’s 25% of what you should have gotten. Get bent.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg: get bent like Bezos. Goddamn Bond villains everywhere.

The right wing idolizes billionaires, unless those billionaires are left wing. Thus George Soros has been demonized for being the wrong kind of philanthropist. He probably wouldn’t even mind if we raised his taxes. Anyone the right wing hates is okay by me.

Can we tax the rich yet? When that happy day arrives, watch as the billionaires pee in our Cheerios. The mega-rich act like they won’t be able to afford Eisenhower-era tax rates, Eisenhower being too socialist. They can buy anything — from social media companies, to rocket ships, to as much of Park Point as they want — but pay higher taxes? All of a sudden, they can’t afford it. Elon does this thing that Trump does: not pay his bills. Billionaires stiffing people = one of humanity’s most disgusting sights = get bent.

Those billionaires whose sub imploded at the Titanic had the right idea if they were trying to build a billionaire disposal system. The only billionaires I want in Duluth are Rihanna and Taylor Swift. George Soros: call me. Everyone else can get bent.

An index of Jim Richardson’s essays may be found here.


Dave Sorensen

about 3 weeks ago

Some of Kathy Cargill's sports cars cost a million bucks apiece. In this video she shows off her crappy garage in Colorado. It would fit right in on Park Point. 

Jim Richardson (aka Lake Superior Aquaman)

about 3 weeks ago

UPDATE: I would like to apologize for calling Elon Musk "the world's most obvious national security threat." I misspoke. I meant to say the second-most. The title is held by a certain other litigious billionaire I shall call Agolf Twitler.


about 3 weeks ago

What a delightful way to enjoy my coffee. Thanks for the great read.

Dave Sorensen

about 2 weeks ago

This article by Beth Bartlett is sooooooo good! 


Jim Richardson (aka Lake Superior Aquaman)

about 2 weeks ago

I didn't even mention Epstein.

BTW I got a comment on this column, over on the "Duluthians of Zenith" Facebook group where it had been posted. The comment bravely defended the rich and powerful, saying "Mind your business" and "if it wasn't for billionaires like Jay Cooke, Duluth wouldn't even exist."

I'm glad they brought up Jay Cooke because he's a perfect example. On the one hand, he helped win the Civil War which all right-thinking people agree with. On the other hand, he almost single-handedly crashed the economy of the Western world, an international great depression that lasted four years, because he was overleveraged on his railroads or some shit. At what point does it become "my business"?

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