Letters to the Bouncy Banker...

Letters to the Bouncy Banker...
...from a struggling artiste.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Letter to the Bank Manager #84 (Only Connect!)

Dear Bullrider,

You should understand by now that you are the recipient of letters. I would hope you appreciate the full implication of this—I have made the effort to connect with you via a  literary form that—though considered quaint in the days of TWITTER—is one that carries some weight, burdened as it is by the brilliant example of those great men and women of letters who have gone before. You are my Boswell, and I am your Johnson (not literally you understand). You are the recipient of the musings of a high minded, if oppressed artist. Do I resort to insults or name calling? No sir! I do not! I merely undermine your assumptions with powerful wit and humor. I insult with dignity. I may spill ink on your shirt collar but never blood! What a privilege! I invite you to step up to the plate! Don’t be one of those who sit upon a balcony, champagne flute in hand, staring down at the masses in their clumsy protestations in Zuccotti Park, with a sneer on your visage. Do not be one of the angry bankers spouting vitriol on YouTube! Instead I urge you to engage. Pick up your pen and respond. Dig deep and surprise us by not being predictable. Think outside the box. Imagine yourself in the shoes of others. Teach us to also pull ourselves up by our boot straps and quit our whining. Show us how it is done—if you can.

E. M. Forster’s Howard’s End tells a story of class struggle in turn-of-the-century England. I’m from England but have lived here in the States for half my life. I’m a duel citizen. When I first arrived on these troubled shores for reasons still not clear to me I was told by the official from whom I picked up my social security card that as far as America was concerned I was American, and as far as England was concerned I was both. “Make of that what you will,” he said, and so I have. I have brought that class struggle to these shores, shores that remain oblivious to the reality of such social divisions. As a country founded on the notion that anybody may come here and achieve anything and that each individual is only limited by the breadth of their imagination it remains a country that offers hope. Many immigrants recognize that and find it to be true given where they came from. They also see the fragility of it, the lie of it and may well grow to become the most ardent defenders of Democracy in a rapidly failing system. I digress. I studied E. M. Forster’s masterpiece in school and never forgot what I saw as it’s central theme: Only connect!

I will persist in trying to connect with you. I understand that you are not personally to be blamed for the financial mess this country finds itself in, a mess that spreads like a virus across this planet. Fires broke out everywhere laying waste to whole classes. Townships and communities the world over have been devastated by the ruinous tricks of a few bad apples. I only implore you, keen as you surely are to not have your name tarnished by association, to root them out. Regulate them into penury! That would be delightful and you’d please a massive segment of your constituency.

Yours most sincerely,

Art O’Connor

PS—I promise to hold your feet to the fire. Take this as the highest compliment.

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