The final course


Mara Fendrich

From the works of Van Gogh to Monet, every priceless work must be consumed by he who has never tasted wealth; when all else is gone, their final course shall be the rich.

Mara Fendrich, Staff Writer

As the 2020 Oscars approach, in the peak of its “activist renaissance,” I am stuck with two inevitabilities: It’s about to get political, and despite my best intentions, my eyes will roll so hard that I won’t know if they’re coming back.

Year after year I tire of the millionaire monologue. The mouth that holds a dollar bill tongue and gold bars for teeth, speaks fondly of the days it held real flesh and bone, encouraging every eye to seek the unattainable without hesitation. It spits coins of sympathy at the camera and, on the other side of the screen, the viewer claws and scratches desperately at the glass in hopes of making contact. That mouth of money paints itself red with the blood of the consumer and calls itself human, denouncing luxury and applauding altruism. I refuse to feed it any longer.

When the public looks up, searching for a savior, it sees nothing but rows of idols with that same implanted mouth, letting the metal guide them as if they were braces. And, when that scrawny, undermost level outstretches its weakened arm, it is with shock that it finds its heroes are not looking back. Those idols, they look up to see nobody, and it is more terrifying than almost anything. And, although I cannot promise that I would be different were I to find myself in the same position, I can’t stop my hatred for those at the top of the food chain. They are not the same as the silenced prey of Hollywood. As children, their throats were not etched with an untold story that didn’t find shelter any more than they did. That void does not belong to them.

Still, one lurid, heartsick thought stays intertwined with my conscience: What if that void does belong to them? What if they were its creator? Think of Weinstein. Think of all the people just like him that have lurked in the limelight. Think of their possible co-conspirators. Think of Epstein. Think of the Clintons. Think of Prince Andrew. 

Above all, think of the children. Think of those who have been chopped apart and made a throne for their butcher.

Naturally, I dream of those children. Not of their slow, passive recovery, but of their revenge. I dream of the day starving children seize the Met and compete for the first bite of the Water Lily Pond. I dream that when everything else runs out, those survivors will eat the rich. And, when they have no more flesh to devour, they may build a new throne from billionaire bones and sit atop it to rot in peace.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe I should have some empathy. After all, it must hurt to sell your soul.