It’s Raining Con Men, Fuck!

Why must the better choice be the more difficult one? Always. I suppose if it were as easy to be happy as it is to not be, everyone would be happy and the value of happiness would decrease. Or something like that.

It sure seems like the miserable are better at truly connecting with the everyday man or woman than those who are more attuned to positive vibrations. It’s probably why sad or violent movies and shows or tragic books are so popular.

Feed the people more of what they know, and on the common ground of sadness and struggle we shall all connect.

I would venture to say that almost everyone would prefer to be someone else, living in a different way and avoiding their own personal struggle. If we could walk away from our doubts and fears, our weaknesses and regrets, and the issues in our lives that keep us on the paths of sorrow, we would. But that takes work. Unless… some slick stranger could just do all the work for us.

Enter the new-age self-help guru. The charmer. The motivator. The soulless shyster. The modern profit prophet.

In this age of false prophets and shameless vampires, siphoning money from the bank accounts of the lazy and desperate couldn’t be easier. It’s another perfect industry for evil to monopolize. It’s brilliantly designed to extract as many units of currency as possible from as many suckers as possible in the shortest amount of time. A massive, thriving monstrosity.

So, while the media pushes an engineered narrative fixating on fear, guilt, and impending Armageddon, the masses turn to whatever saviors have the biggest advertising budgets. And who better to trust with your hopeless future when you need to be rescued from the impending doom that lurks around every corner than a rich, shiny, confident stranger?

Fortunately, for the hopelessly lost and lazy, there are a plethora of modern messiahs out there, and they’re more than eager to help. For unreasonably steep fees, of course. All they require before dispensing their life-changing wisdom is for you to cough up all that money you don’t have.

O.M.G! Sign me up, right away! And, just so I’m sure to get in on next year’s gathering, sign me up for that one too. Here’s my credit card.

Now, pleeeeease tell me, oh wise one, what are the secrets to your great financial successes? How do you always seem to keep getting richer while I keep getting farther into debt?

Well, my adoring acolyte, the answer is simple: you! If you would like me to elaborate, it’ll cost extra. Thanks so much. See you next year at the “exclusive” retreat. Buh bye now.

All Hail the Prophet
Prophets for Profit

How many of those self-helpers write books about the trials and tribulations leading up to massive success? Not many. They offer a few tidbits here and there about how things were before, but in no great detail. It must be because they don’t want to dwell in the past, right? On the negative? That doesn’t bolster the quarterly profit margin, does it? It’s much more lucrative to dangle the good-life carrot in front of your nose, tell you a few bits about how they were in your shoes at one time, and then offer to get you from zero to hero with a click of the “submit funds” button.

If I decide to guru one day, maybe you can come to my “Platinum Members” weekend and hear the scripted story straight from the jackass’s mouth. All for the very affordable price of whatever you earn in a decade (based on whatever you’re making now plus whatever the projected inflation for the next nine years works out to be). The cost, calculated on individual income, makes sure that even the poor can make it to a show.

I guarantee that rates will never increase, and there will be a payment plan option available for the losers.

Now that, my friends, is real philanthropy.

I know, I’m a saint. I’d better get to drafting up yet another thank-you speech for whatever humanitarian award I’ll be receiving this time.

Thank you, me, for yet another one of my many selfless contributions to humankind. May my benevolence be a shining beacon of hope for all to see. And may it lead us all to the welcoming shores of grace and harmony.

See how easy it is to be a good person? I wish we could all be so blessed.

Run along now, Harmony, and you go with her, Grace. I’ll be in after the award luncheon I’m hosting for myself. Draw us all a bath, will you? I’ll need to unwind. Yes, you can get started without me. And, yes, I know that mommy’s hired you for the whole weekend but I don’t want to any of us to spend one second not enjoying ourselves.

The gilded doors of my well-deserved opulence set to slam shut as soon as the last well-wisher slithers out the door, into its coach, and out the gates.

Jeeves, could you have the chef do Italian tonight? And I may need some assistance with the ladies later. Thank you, my good man, you’re truly one in eight billion.

All I want to do is be a good person and bring Charity and Joy to my mansion, I mean, to the planet. Would a smile, a couple of genuine laughs, and a harmless orgy now and again be too much to ask?

Well, Bud, you can have those things, but there’s a cost. There’s always a cost. No happy moment goes unpunished.

Sorry, but I’m too terrified of the after-pain to commit to good times right now. Maybe I’ll just bank a few more happiness hours by enduring a little more pain and then take a long vacation when I’ve had enough of the turmoil and strife.

No, actually, wait just a goddamn minute!

There’s been a grievous error in calculations! Someone’s clearly lost a year or ten of banked misery from my file. Yeah, it’s buried under the rubble of my most recent set of disasters. Behind the shame. Dig a bit deeper. Follow the sounds of despair and suffering and I’m sure you’ll find it.

There! Right there! Pull it gently from the wreckage and see for yourself.

Am I right, or am I right? complete with a certificate of applied sadness.

This student has successfully completed Level 33 at the School of Hard Knocks and deserves a break. All of his impressively mismanaged efforts must count for something. Because, folks, even he has got to have learned something valuable from it all.

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