Posted by Dr. Amrit Chadwallah in Charge of Hidden Meaning
Well then! From the Epilogue I can only assume that Wealth Bondage is officially 'over' and that we as consumers are now free to leave and return to the real world outside the spell Wealth Bondage has cast over our eyes and over our very lives. Of course Wealth Bondage remains an immortal work of art. Having touched us deeply it lives on in us, as great art always does, determining our perception of reality. Art, as Oscar Wilde noted, does not imitate life, but the other way around. In the case before us, Wealth Bondage does not imitate life, but life imitates Wealth Bondage; so even outside Wealth Bondage we remain in Wealth Bondage, if you see what I mean.
Looking upon Wealth Bondage as a freshly concluded work of art, its contours now finished, its perfect symetry realized, I feel like a primitive hunter who has with a single throw of his spear brought down a massive Mastodon. Now it is up to me to carve up this immense, and now rotting carcass, to lay bare its bones, trace its entrails and isolate the hidden meanings that now like maggots as thick 'round as your middle finger writhe and copulate in the rotting flesh.
What then did Wealth Bondage mean to its contemporaries, the Dumpster Dwellers, who like a band of nomads camped here for five or six years, 2000-2006, years fraught with history? We can only speculate since these men and women who proudly called themselves Losers are now lost to the dark mists of time. What we can say with some confidence based on the extant record of over comments, not including the thousands that were lost over the years, is that an immortal work of genius like Wealth Bondage is not limited to whatever meaning it may have had to a Scruggs, et. alia, Gerry, Debbie, J.J., Philanthropoid, Rollo, Ahfuckit, Klaus, TV, No Blood for Hubris, or Flipper. Mere human readers come and go. The limits of their necessarily finite understandings can not and must not limit the infinite abundance of meanings overt and covert now festering and breeding in this enormous carcass. The meaning of Wealth Bondage belongs to all humankind and will be revealed only in the fullness of time, I reckon, if time permits. Meanwhile, I do find the Staff symbolism connecting Prospero with The Happy Tutor quite intriguing. The Tutor beats his students, particularly the rich and spoiled, with rods, as Prospero "binds" them, particularly the foul beast Caliban, with magic constraints. Either man then uses a Rod to restrain what is low and bestial in us. Is Tutor then, or was Tutor then, a kind of "alter ego" for the Author Function, as Prospero has long been acknowledged to be a stand-in for Shakespeare? Could it be that Shakespeare is in fact the missing Author Function? Or, is the The Author Function the true author of "The Tempest", as leading scholars, like Tom Matrullo, have long suspected? These are not questions I can hope to answer today with any certainty, since Wealth Bondage remains an enigma, but I would like to be on record, if I may, for having raised these questions and called dibs.
O my friends there are no friends! Do not grieve for the End of Wealth Bondage! Like the End of History, or nausea, it comes and goes. There is, as Dr. Johnson noted somewhere, something about the end of anything that makes us melancholy for it reminds us of our own mortality. But - attend! - Wealth Bondage was and will always be always already over and yet never yet begun. You see what I mean? There is no 'outside' of Wealth Bondage, no origin and no end in time or in space. Wealth Bondage reigns forever: Eternal and Unchanging and yet, like the running figures in that poem of Keats about the Grecian Urn, forever new. Gerry, yes, this will be on the test. Class dismissed.