Monday, May 9, 2016

The Fall and Rise of the House of Salim - 3

3
A Visit

So they began to hunt for a third wife. The first two wives knew they could run the business empire better than Salim, so what they really wanted out of the third wife is that she would keep Salim busy in bed, and therefore out of trouble. When they asked Salim what he wanted, he merely made a gesture cupping his hands in front of his chest.

“Oh,” said the first wife, “he wants a wife who is prominent.”

“That's not so bad,” commented the second wife.

Salim, for his part, felt very empty. Yes, he was very grateful to God for giving him two such devoted wives, and a thriving house with many business ventures, but he was, still, empty. This was because he could never see how anything he had done right had resulted in good, and he could not see how any of his prayers had ever come true because of the prayer.

On the other hand, he found that he could read the Koran cover to cover faster and faster all the time, and it made him proud how when it was a boy it took him a whole month to do it, and now he could do it in just 25 days. This, he decided, was a miracle.

God is good. God is Great. Peace be upon you those that understand the mysteries of God.

So Salim decided he was going to take a trip to see his last remaining grandmother, who he remembered kindly, despite having humiliated him when he was a child.

The first wife looked at her handiwork, and she was well pleased. 

4
The Miracle of Utter Rubbish

After five years, Salim was only 17, but already, because of the tireless efforts of his wives, he had managed not to become the poorest man in the small city of now six millions, and so was by default one of the richest men in the small city of now six millions. It seemed appropriate that Salim become more involved in the affairs of the town, and despite his youth, because of his rapidly growing wealth, he had a reputation for brilliance. All anyone knew is that he constantly entered businesses and left them, and each time turned out to be richer and more influential than the time before.

So, since he was so rich, he had to be smart.

There was a hunger upon the city, and so the new city elders, the ones that replaced the ones that had disliked Salim so much, came to Salim, and asked him what he had helped accomplish the last time. He told them that if you tried to help the poor things would get better before they got worse, but if you tried to hurt the poor, things would better before they got worse.

The city elders were very confused about this, and asked Salim for an example. So he told them: “Once they took the bad grain, and they fed it to the poor.”

“Oh, this is terrible, how inhumane!”

'The poor got sick and died, and the city was free of poor.”

“That is brilliant!” They exclaimed, “Why didn't we think of that!”

“What is more,” he went on, “burying all the dead was very profitable for a while; so many grew rich."
“That is amazing!” said the town fathers, almost pissing themselves in eagerness to enact this plan
.
“But then no work got done, because with out the very poor to do everything that no one wanted to do, there was no one to do everything that everyone wanted done, but no one wanted to do. So when the last poor person died, who was there to pay 10 rupees to bury the poor, and charge 100 rupees from the pauper's burial fund, or to beg for it from other people?”
“But,” the town fathers asked, “aren't there always more poor? Won't more just come here?”

“No,” he said, “because the poor attract the poor.”

“So what about the other way?”

“Well if you feed the poor, there will be more poor.”

“Ah, so it is inhuman to be humane.”

“So it seems.”

“So how do you resolve this?”

“I have thought long and hard. My blessed father told me that the right thing to do, is the wrong thing to do.”

“That seems strange.”

“Stranger than you might think.” Said Salim.

“How so?” The town fathers asked.

“Consider. If you do the right thing hoping for a reward, does not the holy Koran say that it will be the wrong thing?”

“Well if you are muslim.”

“So I am. Is it so?”

“It is so.”

“Very well then. If you do the wrong thing, it is also the wrong thing.”

“Yes.”

“So if you do the right thing, and hope for gain, it is the wrong thing. So you should do the right thing, so it becomes the wrong thing. And so the right thing to do is the right thing to do, because it is the wrong thing to do. So you shouldn't do it.”

“That is terrible. And if we do the wrong thing, does it become the right thing?”
“Yes, but then it is the wrong thing, because you hoped to do the wrong thing.”

“Such a quandary!”

“Yes, but I have found an answer.”

“Tell us, O wise, rich Salim.” But they repeated themselves.

“God wants what is easy, not what is hard.”

“Yes, so it says.”

“So the easy thing to do is to do nothing about it.”

“Yes.”

“So do whatever is easiest, and don't think about the consequences, because then, if it is the right thing to do, it is virtuous and will be rewarded, because you did not hope for benefit. And if it is the wrong thing to do, you will gain because the wrong thing to do is the right thing to do.”

“How brilliant!” And so the scribes copied it down, and the sermons repeated it, and the town father's had it written on the city gates: “The right thing to do, is the wrong thing to do.”
And it became the motto of Udder Prudish. The official policy of the government was to take the easy way out of any problem.

Soon industry was booming and there were no problems with the poor, because the air was so polluted that people died quickly. This also balanced the state's pension fund, because with people dying so quickly, they cost less in pensions. Because the prognosis was so poor, they saved money on the state health insurance system, because treatments were declared to be “not cost effective.” The more this happened, the more money the state saved. The next step was to take the garbage from all of the other parts of Longwindia, because Salim told them how he had made money on shitty glass. 

So soon the dumps of the state were bulging with needles, and thorium sludge and everything everyone else would not take. When the garbage dump exploded, they gave honors to the plant manager for his saving millions of rupees in health expenses, pension expenses, aid to the poor, and school education expenses. The town fathers remarked that it was amazing how cheap government could be if you didn't have any people.

Soon the state was being written about in the Economist as the model for the “Boom in Shitty Longwindia.” There was even a vote to change the name from “Udder Prudish” to “Utter Rubbish.” It passed overwhelmingly, but the Super's said "No."  By 5 to 4, of course, with one conservative setting with four liberals.

All of this even rated a chapter in the new edition of “The World is Fat.”

God is good. God is great. And garbage is his profit.

Salim was a minor celebrity; he was interviewed by television stations, and even a producer came from Holeywood, in America, to see if this life story would make a good movie. The producer sat down with Salim, and asked him about his life. Salim spared no detail, including having four wives, and how he had gotten success by poison grain, loose sewage, and prostitution. The producer wrote all of this down and called his executive producer, who listened intently and said that all that sex would never do to keep an “R” rating, and asked if they could change it to Salim popping his wives' eyes out to keep it down to a PG-13.

The producer asked, but Salim said that he couldn't imagine such a thing.
The producer called his executive producer back, and they tried asking about amputations with chainsaws, peeling skin off with scalpels, burning hair off with gasoline, and dunking them in acid. All, they assured Salim, would be rated PG-13 or less in America, and so a big box office smash.

They were very disappointed when Salim said “No.” Imagine, though the producer, a film about a man having sex with his wives. It would cause western civilization to collapse if people saw such heinous acts on screen.

But never fear, a producer from Mumblebuy, came, and a Follywood movie was made, only all the names were changed, and the women were all better singers and lighter skinned than Salim's wives. It did very well, especially in Africa. So a studio bought the rights to this, and turned it into a slasher film, proclaiming it “based on a true story!” It made a great deal of money around the world, especially in America. After all, all you need is love.

God is good! God is great! But God is no longer rated G.

There was so much savings in government, that the bond rating of the state of the nicknamed Utter Rubbish was slashed, and the interest rates they had to pay went up. The Wall Street Journal said that this was because of the high corporate tax rate of 1%. So the government lowered taxes to −10% on corporations, paying 10 rupees for every 100 rupee that a company made, since how could people be expected to invest in the state which was called Utter Rubbish, unless it was rated AAA by Standard and Poors.

Begrudgingly, the rating was raised back, but they were warned, that now that revenues had gone down, they needed to cut services to match revenues. So the government scratched their head. “Our people don't have clean water, most don't have electricity, and only a few have telephones. How can we cut services?”

They needed more revenue, so they came to Salim. He said that the government of the state should find a way to get at all the freeloaders who the state buried, taking up precious land resources. He also said that high death taxes should be cut, because, of course, high death taxes would discourage people from dying. So they ended inheritance taxes and went on by imposing a “Final Destination Fee” for dying inside of Utter Rubbish. After all, why should people slack off by such a dodge as dying.

But even this wasn't enough, so they came to Salim. He said that the government of the state should sell the water rights, because of all the success he had had in sewage. So they sold the water rights. People were arrested for walking out in the rain, because they were stopping water from getting to its rightful owner. There were disturbances, but they were put down harshly. Even the old Marxists came out and declared that there was never an excuse for violence. Except when there was, like when Christopher Hitchens pissed his pants over something.

But even this was not enough, so they came to Salim. He said that the government of the state should remove all laws on guns. First he said that if you never did anything wrong, you would never have anything to fear, and then pointing out that every death was a savings against the spiraling pension costs, and every shooting created work in taking care of injuries. They could also cut the police, and the court costs as well. So that is what was done, and the government launched the program under the slogan: “Kill People, not Jobs.” And “In the long run, you are all dead.”

But even this wasn't enough, so they came to Salim. He pointed out that people always needed to breathe, but that clean air was very costly for all the businesses that created jobs. And so the public air rights were sold. People had to buy private air licenses from meters, and any time the wind died, the state of Utter Rubbish had to pay an abatement fee to the private company for compensatory damages. People started to hold their breath as they ran from building to building. When the managers of the air rights realized this, they started putting televisions tuned to Fox News on every street corner, and so many people burst out laughing, and gulping down air, that it more than made up for those who could ignore the screens.

But even this wasn't enough, so they came to Salim. He pointed out that it was terrible the people would cast their shade on the creative people. There was only so much sunlight, and it had to be allocated in the most efficient way possible. Who knows what great idea would be inspired by a lovely sunset, that would be ruined with other people in the way. So they sold the sun rights in Utter Rubbish to a foreign private equity firm, because, after all, the free market can do anything better, and who knows if the sun will go out if there aren't people with a property interest in keeping it going. Of course, astronomers might say that there is enough hydrogen to keep the sun going for billions of years. But who knows if that is true, after all, the sun has gotten colder and hotter over time. After all, policy should never be made being influenced by a cabal of junk scientists.

God is good. God is great. And god is definitely in gilts these days.

With all of this the economy of Utter Rubbish virtually collapsed, and investors happily bought up bonds because of the model policies they were pursuing. They were sure that the confidence faeries would be stepping in to buy any time. The governor of Utter Rubbish cut the state pension system again, saying that “the demand for cat food will lead our recovery.”

Salim's First wife followed all of this carefully, and she took a razor blade to many, many verses of the Koran. Salim was pleasantly surprised, when he found out that it took him only 15 days now to read the Koran from cover to cover. He was becoming a holier man all the time.

However, not everyone was so happy with all of the savings going on. Specifically the people who were being saved were not so happy. Soon they were marching on the cities of Utter Rubbish, once called Udder Prudish, but there was a great deal of confusion. Soon there were two warring factions. One wanted to tax all people born on odd days to pay for the benefits of people born on even days, these were called the “Evens,” and the other faction demanded that people born on even days be taxed to pay for people born on odd days. These were called the “Odds.”

There was a huge rally one day. From one side of the city, there were huge banners for the evens. They proclaimed, “We are getting even, while they are getting odd.” The main speakers all proclaimed that it was perfectly fair to have the people born on odd days pay for the people born on even days. Their plan was to bring about change by doing all of the wrong things.

From the other side of the city, there were banners for the Odds. They proclaimed, “You'll never get even, if you are already odd.” These speakers proclaimed the injustice that people who were so foolish as to be born on an even day should have a free ride on the backs of people who were born on an odd day. They presented a comprehensive plan to bring about change by doing none of the right things.

They met in the middle, and there was a horrible clash. But finally they compromised, and agreed to do all of the wrong things, and none of the right things.

So unified, they began to terrorize the town, telling everyone if the other party won, there would be horrible consequences. “If our party wins, we will compromise with them. But if their party wins, they will compromise with us!”

And so the partisans of both sides, when they weren't screaming at each other, were screaming at everyone else.

Seeing all of this, Salim told his wives that it was time to prepare, in case something happened. But they were all happy with how things were and did not listen. Salim, however, hid a small box of money in the old grandmother's house, and made sure that his copy of the Koran was in a safe place in the house, it being the one thing that he felt was truly his.

There were desperate negotiations, and finally their leaders came up with a compromise, and all were joined together in one front, though of course they would run as two parties, so that there would be no third choice, which both agreed that the only thing worse than having two parties to choose from, was having two parties to choose from. The united front was called “Socially Progressive Austere Majority.” They proposed an immediate program of raising taxes on the young, and raising services for the old. Satisfied that they had finally found a compromise for the clash between evens and odds, they were immediately dubbed the “Olds".

They objected to this, and insisted on being called the “Betters.” The Olds rioted in favor of their platform, and threw in jail as many young people as they could for not paying their school loans, house loans, job loans, water loans, and air loans. “We were here first!” Was their rallying cry.
God is good. God is great. God smiles on those who peacefully hire other people to beat other people to death.

But finally all of this boiled over, and the olds began smashing into buildings. They reached Salim's house, and smashed everything. They looked for Salim, but he was not there.

You might think that a young man with four wives who has money and time would be at home being happy. But not Salim. He was not at home. Instead he was at a brothel on the corner of town. You might think that a man with four lovely wives, hand-picked by a Madame, would be paying for sex only with a woman more beautiful than any of the others. But not Salim.

Instead he was having sex with a fat woman. A truly almost morbidly obese woman in fact. Total tub of lard, such as might come from Mississippi. He was fascinated by how here large floppy breasts bounced up and down and smacked her shoulders and then her round belly, and how her hips shook up and down. It was like watching a mountain fuck.

Salim heard the noise and the confusion, and when the mob broke in, his young face was fortunately smashed between her hips while his tongue was seeking her spring of moisture. The mob assumed he had to be old, and left him alone.

Salim was terrified, and he grabbed women's clothes off a hook, and covered his face, and raced around the city. He passed by his home, and saw it already had been looted, and that his wives were already gone. Heartbroken, he went to all of the businesses, and found that they had all been looted as well. Finally he found that even the sewage plant had been broken into. In panic, he only had time to grab his personal copy of the Koran, and then he ran out of the city, still wearing women's clothes, and out into the country side.

That night, the new leaders of the town held a meeting, and determined that the only way to save their children and have a future, was to kill all the young people. They couldn't afford all the costs of them.
God is good. God is great. And God is very old.

And so it was done. For the children of course. All for the children. But for Salim's most of all.