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Zillionaire Tower

Dreamed 2012/2/9 by Wayan
for Patagia and all the other Occupiers

My friend Lou is a gentle owlish nerd. His ambition, his definition of cool, is high-rolling finance. He knows I invest, but I'm just not the mentor for him--I'm a social/ethical investor whose motto is "Get rich slow!" And Lou longs for danger. Behind his glasses lurks a romantic.

One day, Lou asks me to go downtown with him for moral support. He's landed a job/internship interview with a potential mentor he's always admired--a zillionaire in a glass tower.

But when we arrive, the lobby is locked! Lou waves at a janitor behind a glass wall but the guy just shrugs and goes on sweeping. The lobby clock says we're 40 minutes late! Traffic was slow, and he worried we were a couple of minutes behind, but that clock has to be way wrong.

Locked out of the ground floor of investing! First lesson of modern banking. Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: we climb the outside of a zillionaire's skyscraper.

But Lou's stubborn. He pulls little pitons out of his pockets and starts climbing the face of the marble and glass tower. He'll show them motivated! He'll show them resourceful!

He trails a rope, and I follow him up. Reluctant, but I can't leave Lou to risk a solo ascent.

Four floors up, Lou spots our man, pries open his window, and climbs in. Whew! Gasping, sweaty, stowing away his climbing gear, Lou's already talking. He makes his pitch to the man behind the desk.

And it works! He passed the test.

Dream over, right? Well... not quite. I admire Lou's initiative, but as I listen to him and his mentor, their shared assumptions trouble me. I invest to make money--to create new wealth, create new worth by supporting good projects--good for all, not just for me. But I've followed Zillionaire's career, through Lou, and Zil makes no money... he just takes it.

But Lou worships the guy. Ecstatic over his acceptance into the Tower, he swears the Oath of the Intern:

"I hereby swear
To be a sleepless shark.
To guiltlessly sieze prey.
To let the Hidden Hand scrub the blood.
To siphon money,
To raid money,
To gorge on money,
To breathe money,
To BE money...
Lou and Zillionaire chant the last line together:
To get... rich... QUICK."

So shall I lie, congratulate Lou? Or voice my doubts? Maybe. But not here. Not in their glass tower.


LISTS AND LINKS: towers - class - money - business and capitalism - financial-advisory dreams - clocks and time - frustration - initiative - ascent - perseverance - outsiders - tests - mentors - oaths and promises - economics - health advice - my mentor the Magic Billionaire, in The Geyser

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