QUARTER MILE QUARTERLY P&L

“They’re seeking ways now to drag us all under
but there’d be no such wars, were there nothing to plunder.”
— Epigraph for Pieter Bruegel the elder’s 1567 print “The fight of the money-bags and strong-boxes

A DRAG RACE between a left coast hipster entrepreneur and a right coast ivy-league inheritor is “The Fight of the Money-Bags and Strong-Boxes.” updated four and a half centuries. Both competitors are now racing not fighting in a zero sum event, the winner of which is not determined by measuring speed over quarter mile but profits and losses (P&L) over a quarter of a year.

In this allegory, (subbing drag racing and pro wrestling for economics) the hipster is relatively speaking self made, and he projects the pro wrestling style persona of the “[baby]face,” the good guy; while the inheritor by being possibly the scion of a real robber baron assumes the opposite role, the “heel” or the bad guy.

The hipster is willfully in the public eye more than the inheritor and that allows him to cultivate a more positive aura as an admired celebrity than the inheritor whose chosen image is the behind the scenes manipulator, a more negative look. It doesn’t matter much because: 1) It’s all “kayfabe,” and 2) Both strategies are pretty much equally successful. 

Man became a cog in the vast economic machine—an important one if he had much capital,
an insignificant one if he had none—but always a cog to serve a purpose outside of himself.
― Erich Fromm, German social psychologist

We are the vehicles for these elite racers. They profit at our expense, abusing employees first, then customers and finally investors, if necessary. We are the insignificant majority who were not lucky enough to have the right parents or simply not lucky.

And this: Most of us are burdened with worrying too much about what others think of us. Neither the hipster or the inheritor are. Empathy limits success in a capitalist society; sociopathy enables it. High functioning sociopaths take advantage of their low functioning morality.

“If a person has no conscience, it’s called being a sociopath.
If a corporation has no conscience, it’s called capitalism.”
― Quentin R. Bufogle, USA author/artist

We to them are means to ends. And worse, were we merely used, one human by another, we could use them back, as we all have that ability to varying degrees. Of course losing most of the time, but winning enough to keep trying.

But new levels of inequality of wealth and power created and enforced by purchasable technology means upward mobility—the winning part—is just a corporate sponsored fantasy designed to get more for less. It’s all about losing less for us now.

Sadly, big government is all we’ve got big enough to take on big business, so some politicians on our side who perform what they promise would be nice. Oh, never mind.

[ . . . ]

This image is in an entirely different style than the one posted before it. They both began as doodles in a journal, then they were recorded as words in a digital file, so to be remembered long enough to be recreated as a more finished version in a post.

Why did one get the ‘90s x-hatchy looking like a pen on paper treatment and the other get the ‘00s photoshop native look? I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just one of those “Butterfly in Brasilia/Hurricane in Houston” things, the decision being done with a subtle mood shift I was not even aware of until well into the process. 

That’s not a good plan for a would-be pro artist who must develop a unique style to market to be successful with spec work in fine art zones or work for hire in the commercial realm. Flipping from one style to the next as the mood takes you is a recipe for disaster there, but if you don’t want to or have to play that game by those rules, who cares?

Further reading: