MANN TALK: The Capitalists' Sugar Snare

by Perry Mann
In the wilds of North Carolina, sportsmen buy half-ton blocks of candy from Hershey Foods and bait bears with it luring them to the sweets so that they can sportingly kill them
 when they come to have a lick. The bears have become junkies and the effects are cavities, hair loss and lethargy, not to mention the multitude of other ailments that will eventually afflict them from their addiction, if they survive so long.

 It appears that the bears will have to join a “Candyholic Anonymous” since the state commission plans to crack down on the practice.  The news report of the sugar snare adds this admonition to the bears: “…they’ll just have to revert to berries for their sugar fix.” Gratuitous advice from a member of a sugar-addicted generation.  

 Maybe man can deny bears half-ton candy blocks and reduce them to squeezing blackberries or raiding beehives to gain their sugar, but for certain the bears nor anyone else is going to force man to eat blackberries or any other kind of fruit for his sugar fix. Man has been refining sugar for ages from all sorts of fruits, vegetables and from every other source that has sweet in it. Sugar blocks of a sort have been man’s comfort probably even before he had fire to sit before and lick his sucker or had some other kind of sugar-tit of whatever refinement so long as it helped to alleviate the void of the present with a sweetness to the tongue.

But since “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker,” man developed wine and all kinds of other spirits to do more than just sweeten the tooth. He concocted something that sweetened the brain and made today the moment to live and tomorrow some far off time that hell could have for all he cared. Man, like the bear, long ago became a junkie and established a place junkies could go to talk about how hard it is to not have a block of sugar to lick or a six-pack to imbibe. Or how hard not to have some kind of refinement just so long as it helped to alleviate the void and nothingness of now.

Capitalists, aware of all man’s weaknesses and predilections, resulting from an intense psychological study thereof---with profit aforethought---began to bait man with sugar blocks ages before the time that hunters, too lazy to sweat to hunt, dreamed up the scheme of baiting bears with half-ton sugar chunks.  Hunters, then, could sit in camouflage, eat candy bars or drink the fermented essence of berries or corn, and shoot the sugar-addicted bears as they licked the sugar bait. Capitalists didn’t shoot the animals that came to their sugar blocks they just charged them a price for a lick or a swill and their profit from it all was something they could deposit in the bank with interest instead of in a freezer with no interest. Thus, came civilization when man could snare his fellowman with sugar and alcohol and every other substance that afforded man happiness for an hour but  misery for a month.  

Purveyors of sugar and its etherealized cousin alcohol have profited generously from the sale thereof; and those whose work it is to repair the damages caused by sweets and alcohol  have profited as well. Mars and Jack Daniels sell theirs wares and dentists and doctors repair and remedy the downside effects of consuming them. Prophets discovered long ago that it was futile to tell man that he should get his sugar fix from berries or apples or figs or from any sane source in which nature naturally stored sugar in amounts sufficient to nurture man with no ill effects. Man has never listened to nature obediently any more than Adam and Eve obeyed God’s prohibition against eating the forbidden fruit. Refinement of nature’s gifts has been man’s chief occupation since his eviction from Eden. No god, he vowed, would make him live by the sweat of his brow so long as he could entice or enslave others to sweat for him or so long as he could avoid nature’s commandments by some artifice, contrivance, or by sacrifice of another species.    

Not content with the profits from refined sugar and distilled drink, capitalists have created a pharmaceutical paradise, a pill for every pain, a tablet for every tic, and a drug for every distress and dread and downside.  Pain has been nature’s signal and  alarum to one suffering that he was in violation of her statutes or a victim of her necessity. Man has through refinement and drugs attempted to enhance every pleasure and to negate the natural consequences of every indulgence. The whole of the posture of capitalism is the sale of a way to have in abundance the pleasures of life without having to endure the costs of the pleasures. It’s the sky-lift mentality: man loves to ski down the slopes but cannot abide the walk up. So he invented the ski-lift so he could have the thrill down and avoid the pain of  the trip up.  In short, capitalism has devised every imaginable device, machine, concoction, contrivance, procedure and product with the pitch that man can have his cake and eat it too. A pitch that baits a snare. 

Since nature cannot be bought, cannot be enticed, cannot be induced, coerced, trifled with, prayed to or in anyway swayed to suspend its mandates for anyone for any reason, man cannot have his pleasures without his pains equal in quantities and qualities.   No man-made god --- and all gods are man-made---can suspend or supercede nature’s laws. Man cannot through the agency of clerics and their rituals and sacraments be heard in his appeal to a supernatural entity to ameliorate, mitigate, reduce or forgive his sins against nature.  If man, like the bear, consumes refined sugar, or whatever, in amounts in violation of nature’s measure, he will pay the price of the sweets regardless of his repentance, prayer, conversion, drugs or modern medical miracles. Nature’s judgment cannot be appealed to and heard by a higher court. The snared pay the price.  

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Perry Mann is a former teacher, a lawyer, a former prosecuting attorney of Summers County and a columnist for Huntington News Network. He lives in Hinton, WV.
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