Let Us Prey


First, let me apologize to turkey vultures everywhere, graceful in the air and useful creatures they are, then to anyone who’s thought of the pun “Keep Calm and Carrion” before me. I honestly had the idea before I Googled it and saw the 60+ images. Most stop at the pun, but I could not just leave “Keep Calm and Carrion,” as it doesn’t make sense. So I changed it;, subbing “& be” for “and” to retain the grammatical imperative. No one else did that.

More “specialness” for mine: The money bag instead of the crown, and I added vultures as some others did, but mine—to make the pun political—are dressed as 1%ers looking right at you; you, the multitudes who’ll see this post. These plutocratic scavengers command you to shut up and die, so they may prey while you pray for your life, if you are the praying sort.

The prey/pray pun is from “Waiting for the Storm to ‘Blow Over’: ‘Let Us Prey,’” a brilliant editorial cartoon by Thomas Nast. (Harpers Weekly, 1871) Nast’s vultures represent the unelected 1%ers of the day (the Tweed Ring) who controlled a government and made it serve their desires at the expense of all others’ needs . Sound familiar? Nast’s drawing shows them waiting for the hubbub from media exposés to pass, it didn’t.

These days it will. There will be no exposés as the media today can’t really be reform minded, especially when such reforms would affect their masters’ bottom lines. So the 1%ers will continue to prey unhindered. The pun remains funny but in an angry /sad way, as they do “pray” as well—or pretend to—but only when in search of tea party allies.