Corrupt capitalist kingpin. Is that an oxymoron? Capitalism breeds corruption the way the country music breeds dorky-looking guys in cowboy hats. We are talking about the DNA here. The DNA of capitalism is run through with chromosomal damage known as runaway greed. In some cases, of course, capitalistic corruption runs amok. Such as with these very models of modern-day capitalism. The kingpins of corruption from the land of free enterprise. Are these characters heroes or villains? Depends on whether you get your news from Democracy Today or Fox, I guess.
Mr. Burns: The Simpsons
For some people, Mr. Burns is the ultimate example of the corrupt capitalist. (I still say that’s an oxymoron!) For others, Mr. Burns is so beyond the pale that he doesn’t even work as a satire of real capitalist corruption. The latter are those who are the most dangerous people in America. True, as far as we know, no CEO of an American conglomerate has yet tried to block the sun in order to boost the rates they can charge for supplying power. But anyone who suggests that the CEOs of the various companies who work under the umbrella conglomerate known as the Southern Company would not jump all over this possibility were it to exist is living in a fool’s paradise. The owner of which is one C. Montgomery Burns. He’s not a parody of a corrupt capitalist; he’s just the cartoon version one underestimates until it is too late.
B.P. Richfield: Dinosaurs
“Dinosaurs” was a ripoff of “The Simpsons” and there can be little room for argument on that. But what separated “Dinosaurs” from “The Simpsons” was its laserlike focus on satirizing the voracious cannibalistic quality of capitalism. Zombies are the ultimate monster to symbolize capitalism and one day maybe we’ll get a movie that fullly engages that instead of just another bunch of brain eaters. The thing that “Dinosaurs” go so perfectly right about the cannibalistic nature of corrupt capitalists is that the desire to dine at the all you can eat buffet extends even to putting that desire to eat ahead of survival. B.P. Richfield was always a perfect representative of the true targets of the satire of “Dinosaurs” which was the oil industry. Drill, baby, drill in real life became let’s usher in the Ice Age that will assuredly cause our own extinction because we’ll get rich in the meantime selling heat.
Walter White: Breaking Bad
See, here’s the thing about Walter White. It is easy to get all upset with his fall from grace because he was selling meth. But a thousand Walter Whites produced a thousand times a day would still fall far short of causing the amount of damage caused by the corrupt capitalists who head up corporations that sell cigarettes and alcohol. Walter White is a corrupt capitalist because he reaches the point where he only cares about money. Well, not entirely true: he cares about providing for his family. And so did all those tobacco company executives who looked Americans in the eye and said their product was not addictive. What I’m trying to you get to infer is that Walter White is pretty low down on the list of corrupt capitalist kingpins in comparison to the real thing.
Mom controls the universe. Or, at the very, most of it. On the outside, she’s a frumpy looking little old lady. Behind closed doors she’s a sleek senior of the hot granny variety. Deeper inside, Mom makes C. Montgomery Burns look like Warren Buffett. Yes, Warren Buffett is still a corrupt capitalist, but at least he’s trying. Somewhat. As opposed to Mom, who looks to control every facet of the lives of those on earth in the 31st century, but who presents herself as the devil spawn of Betty Crocker and Papa John before Schnatter stupidly revealed himself as the real life counterpart to C. Montgomery Burns, even down to living in his own Xanadu. Beware Greeks bearing gifts? Hey, welcome to the 21st century where you must beware corrupt capitalist kingpins running food-based corporations who hype themselves as a member of your family. Whether it’s Mom or Papa John, corrupt capitalist kingpins are evils to be avoided.