Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Nazi-Capitalist Manifesto

A friend of mine in Louisiana forwarded me a great little piece written by the owner of her local bar. Written by the proprietor of Finnegan's Wake in Alexandria, LA, the following is a bone-chilling tale of evil, profit-seeking Nazi-Capitalism. No doubt this bar, alongside me, is now on some sort of list. Needless to say, when I visit my friend in the coming months, I will be pleased to buy a beer (or ten) from this man, and shake his hand.

"Our Scary 'Nazi Capitalist' Manifesto"

When one stands behind a bar, or when one owns that thirty foot sliver of wood between the worlds of drink and drunk, one hears many, many things. Of course, I never expected all the praise to be good; in fact, I expected little of it to be good. But there are things removed from the personal that I never expected to hear. There are times when I actually would rather hear a personal attack– it would be less painful.

This is written for the little brain-dead children who dared called me a “Nazi Capitalist”. I do accept the “Capitalist” part of that moniker. I am proud, beyond proud, to be called a Capitalist. They say a man never really knows another man until he walks a mile in his shoes-- so before you name me and my shoe size, I want you to understand just where I and my other “Nazi Capitalist” in crime came from before we were big fat cat Capitalist jerks.

My grandfather on my father’s side was an uneducated oil worker, and on my mother’s side, a simple farmer. My mother, as a child, picked cotton for extra money, and wore to school patterned flour-sack dresses sewn by my grandmother. She and her five siblings lived with my grandparents in a small, three room frame house. My mother’s family didn’t have indoor plumbing until the mid-1960's. Both my father and mother were the first to go to college in their family’s history. They grew up poor and lived in a worse fashion than those now on government assistance, and yet still managed to grow up decent and straight and strong and true in a trying time (WITHOUT government assistance), and passed on those lessons about hard work to an unworthy son. I learned my lessons in my own time.

My business partner also comes from humble beginnings. His mother served you your food (perhaps a free lunch) during your elementary school education. His father built strong houses with steady roofs over the heads of your neighbors. He did a fair day’s labor for a fair day’s wage– he never asked for more or less, and nor did his son.

I was the first of my clan to have the honor of overseas travel (thanks to the money my father stashed away in a pipe in the barn for my education), which I was able to do fairly extensively. I graduated college with 257 hours, two bachelors degrees, with graduate degree credits at Oxford University (yes, the one in England), and years of travel broken down between most all of the countries in Europe. (Turns out I wasn’t a complete dummy.) Not a bad spot of work for someone who is the second generation college attendee in a line of oil workers and farmers. Not to mention my sister, who hails from the same humble upbringing, who is now a PhD.

So now that we’ve thrown our credentials around, maybe we can get down to business, the primary question being– what have YOU really done?

Myself, and my evil, Nazi Capitalist business partner, decided to open a pub. We opened a business in a location where all others had failed. We sowed our seed where all others had gone fallow. Why? Simple– we knew the seed we were planting was better than any others that had ever been laid on that soil. We knew our idea was worthwhile; we had the arrogance to know it would succeed. It is for those reasons that we risked what little we had to make something better. Here’s how it happened...

We worked. We worked like demons for nine months, with nothing else than what was in our pockets. At first we shopped around. We asked for money from government entities– from the state, from the city, etc. No one would loan us anything, because we didn’t fit their categories of race, gender, or “need”. No one would loan us anything because we wanted to make a “profit,”--like the idea of profit was something horrible and dirty.

Eventually, I sold my property, a house (which thanks to my labor, effort, and investment was worth double what I paid for it, but that’s another dirty “capitalist property improvement story”), and we worked double shifts to earn enough money to finish the pub. Galen worked full time almost the entire time we worked on the pub. It’s hard to believe that months of back-breaking labor and sixteen hour days can be summed up in such a short and flippant statement as “we worked hard,” but I guess it can. We opened Finnegans Wake with only $200 left to our name, just enough to turn into change for the register for the first night’s business. The rest you know– we made it.

It’s still hard to run the business. Anyone who thinks that we “business owners” have it easy is simply someone who has never owned a business. It’s a seven-day-a-week-job. When you don’t see us there, it’s because we’re operating behind the scenes, making sure your whiskey is stocked, your beer is cold, your bathroom is clean, and your chairs are holding your unappreciative ass up off the floor. I’m up early every day making sure that everything is being held together for you. I wipe down your bar. I fix what you break. I scrape up what you drop on the floor. I clean the puke off your toilets, the floor, and sometimes the wall. I take out your garbage. I sweep your cigs out of the gutter. I stock the coolers. I find your bands. I arrange the events. I am the blue collar worker you claim to champion, and I am the white collar Capitalist bastard you rail against. But when you have a hard time sorting out what to think of me, just remember this– you are sitting in a product of my making. You are sitting in my vision. You are sitting in something built and maintained by my mental capacity, by my business acumen, and the product of my hands. What you see is not just an idea, but also a manifestation of the skills I learned when I was a laborer. Not only did I envision the pub, I built it. I not only talk, I do. You academic bastards, you just talk. You champion labor, but you can’t work. You call yourself intellectuals, but you barely think. You call me close-minded. I’m not close-minded, I’m RESOLVED, and there is a great difference between the two, because I’ve read, I’ve walked, I’ve talked, and I’ve seen, and I’ve come to my conclusions after much thought and much study and great personal struggle. What do you think comes after school, little ones? Life, that’s what, and I can’t wait to watch it eat you, because it will. It will drag you from your ivory towers and eat out your tongues and tax the living shit out of the pittance you try to bring home to sustain yourself.

I hope that you will continue to enjoy the amenities of our labor for many years. But realize this-- when you sit at my table (that I bought and then refinished by hand), and drink my beer (which I bought at my risk), from my employees, (whom I pay from my pocket), in my building (which I pay rent on monthly)– and then rail against the very CAPITALISM that provides the aforementioned– you cannot honestly expect to have friends here.

You immerse yourself in the products of my labor, then call labor evil.

You partake of my property, and say I have no right to the profits.

You call me the Devil, while sitting in the Devil’s chair.

You are going to learn that A = A, and that ideas have consequences.


  1. Nice piece. Dugg it. Thanks for posting. I'll link it on my site. Clyde - patriotroom.com

  2. Its a nice post but have you really not think that we are quite a victim of capitalist...

  3. I actually know this guy and would find this rant more believable if it were true. This guy's parents gave him the $$ to open the bar and after bleeding them dry to pay for huge amounts of debt he already had, they sold their family home and gave him a portion and then cut him off. This is the house he's taking about when he says "I sold my property, a house (which thanks to my labor, effort, and investment was worth double what I paid for it."

    I call bullshit.

  4. Ooh, I love controversy. I may need to obtain a counterargument. Sit tight.

  5. I wonder if Greg is part of the small minded population that permeates this city. I wonder if he's part of the political machine here in Alexandria that resents Shannon's ability to run a successful business without kowtowing to the good ol' boy politics of the South. I wonder if you don't just resent his ability to effectively practice his right of free speech and eagernes to question the government at every turn.

    Agree with Shannon or not, you should respect his ability to intelligently debate his beliefs with anyone willing to take him on. He does this with facts, not emotions.

    Shannon knows the consequences of lying and I can barely entertain the idea that he would misrepresent himself to the degree that you want us to believe.

    I call bullshit on you, Greg

  6. whoa. I gotta call that sarah. I've seen shannon get plenty emotional when arguing his point. and if he wants ban me from the pub for stating that...then god bless america. thats his little corner to do that


  7. That would indeed be his little corner to do that. Unless of course you claimed to be gay. Then banning you from his business would be hate crime. But that's another topic...

  8. Yes, he gets emotional about his argument - as anyone that is passionate about thier beliefs is apt to do - but the point is he bases his opinoin on facts. I don't believe he would honestly ban anyone from the pub for having an opinoin other than his. (If he did, I'd have surely been kicked out long ago.)

    I believe the original reason behind this post was that people were criticizing him outside of the pub and not debating with him.

  9. we all criticize people when they aren't around..come on. we won't solve anything here pretending to be saints...


  10. Gotta start someplace, Trey. A good, stiff shot across the bow is as good a place as any. If this was directed at anybody in particular, perhaps they've received the message by now and can move into discourse...that or haymakers, one of the two.

  11. For anyone interested, Shannon's response to "Greg" may be found here: