Excerpts from CR Wiley’s “Man of the House”

This is a short story from CR Wiley’s “Man of the House” in which he compares corporations to huge giants devouring our youth.  Last post, I talked about boycotting many of these corporations financially.  Wiley also recommends we compete with them through small business and in-home production as far as possible.  This also allows us to train our kids in the family business and deprive corporations of them.  Corporations don’t want to hire Americans anyways.  For all their talk about attracting top talent, the true amount they want to pay their workers is zero.  As the United States continues to decline, expect indentured servitude to follow corporate wage slavery.  We can avert Plantation America if we choose to. At least, those of us who want to can.  The Bible warns you not to become a slave and to buy your freedom if you are one (1 Corinthians 7:21-23).  Americans are in-between slavery and freedom, but we’re ready to become slaves since we’ve lost the ability to govern ourselves and our own households.  Let’s turn around.

Now to Wiley’s allegory.  My experience in corporate America agrees with this perfectly and I’ve wanted to start my own business for a long time.  I think this book has finally convinced me to try it rather than think about it forever.

There were giants in the land in those days, but fewer people than there used to be. Now the giants were the typical sort—lumbering and hungry. But the people were very odd, most anyways. It wasn’t uncommon for a giant to reach right into a house and pluck up one of them while he watched television. No one seemed to mind. Sometimes it was even an occasion for tears of joy. Still, a few people managed to keep clear of the giants, and one of those people was named Jack. About this fellow Jack; he loved a farmer’s daughter. One day, as he crossed the countryside on his way to her father’s farm, he daydreamed of the daughter and the house they would build together. While he did, he came upon a freshly-ruined house. Flames had consumed its members and all the signs pointed to a giant. When Jack saw that the trail of ruin ran straight away towards the farmer’s house, Jack ran after. But he came too late. The giant had come and with the farmer’s daughter it had gone. The farmer-father remained and he wore a big smile.

“Yep, she’s gone,” he said, “and she deserved it too. Her grades were good, she’s worked hard—we’re very proud.” “But she’s been eaten by a giant!” said Jack. “And a big one too! One of the biggest around, isn’t it wonderful?” But Jack did not hear the farmer’s words. He was already running after the giant. And the giant wasn’t hard to track. Wherever it had passed, things were uprooted or broken. He found it towering behind the crest of a hill. It really was a big one. And it was impeccably dressed. It was lowering the farmer’s daughter into its capacious mouth just as Jack ran up. There Jack found himself in a crowd of people, each person shouting up, “Eat me, eat me too!” “Giant, spit her out!” Jack said. But he wasn’t heard over the others. “Fee, fi, fo, fum!” the giant said, its mouth full of farmer’s daughter. “We have one more opening; who’d like the job?” “Me! Me!” all the people said. When the giant reached down Jack saw his chance. He shoved a middle-aged man aside and grabbed onto the giant’s hand. “Age discrimination!” the man cried. “Fo, fum!” the giant said. “This one is a real go-getter. I can use his kind in sales!” At this point Jack could see that the giant was made up of people. Each digit on its six-fingered hand consisted of human bodies hopelessly twisted together—legs, arms, torsos—all knotted—either heads buried, or eyes blank. Being part of the giant looked painful, and as Jack rose into the air he heard whimpers. Now that he was high up he could see for miles. Wherever he looked he saw more giants. Some of them fought, rumbling and tumbling, crushing small towns and smashing family farms. Some were so large their heads were in the clouds. Still others were like mountains, with mouths like open volcanoes, other giants tossing things into them. Yet others practiced cannibalism, hunting smaller giants and eating them. Before Jack could be afraid, he was in the giant’s mouth. He found himself in a waiting room lined with white chairs. The farmer’s daughter was there. “Jack, what are you doing here?” “I’ve come to take you away.” “We’ve already discussed it—I have student loans, I need a job.” “Not here, not with a giant. Everyone is miserable here; can’t you hear?” It was hard to miss—groans came from every direction, the floor, the walls, even the chairs. That’s when the Mouthpiece rose from the floor. She was dressed in a red suit. “Welcome to Giant Corporation. I’m here to help you find your place,” she said. “Thanks, I’m ready to get started,” said the farmer’s daughter. “Stop!” said Jack. “I thought we had a future together, we talked about building a house.” “Jack, be practical.” “You don’t have to choose between a house and Giant Corporation,” said the Mouthpiece. “If you want to buy a little home our credit union can give you a loan.” “You see, we don’t have to choose, we can have it all,” said the farmer’s daughter. “That’s not what I mean,” said Jack. “Let’s get out of here—this is no place to spend your life.” “But how can we live if I don’t work?” “That’s it—giants take your life, and when you are all used up they just throw you away.”

“But you’re forgetting advancement and recognition,” said the Mouthpiece. “There are many opportunities in Giant Corporation.” Until this moment Jack had ignored the Mouthpiece. But this made him angry. “Recognition? From whom? People she doesn’t even like? Advancement? What’s that supposed to mean when nothing you work on is your own? Besides, a wife’s place is with her husband.” “Jack, please—you’re embarrassing me; we aren’t even married yet.” A clicking came from the Mouthpiece. Her head was turning and another face appeared. This one had eyes of flame, her hair stood on end, and her voice sounded like a raven’s. A finger of accusation rose. “Patriarchy! Oppression! Rape! Shame! Shame!” Jack began to tremble, but not with fear. “Hell no!” he said with so much force the Mouthpiece stepped back. “You are the oppressor! And you are a thief! You steal people from their homes!” Then Jack took her finger and bent it back on itself. “Shame on you . . . ,” Jack said. There was no cry of pain from the Mouthpiece, just more clicking as the head turned again. A new face appeared. This one was made of metal and had holes where eyes should be. “Business is business,” it said. “Nothing personal, but we’re going to have to let you go. Please leave by the nearest exit.” “Glad to, but I’m not leaving without her.” “Jack, I don’t know. It’s so risky.” “Come,” the robot said to the farmer’s daughter, “you must be processed.” It began pushing her toward a back door.

The room began to move. The ceiling lowered and the floor rose and the chairs revealed themselves to be accountants all in a row. They were chanting, “Crunch the numbers; crunch the numbers.” Jack jumped after the farmer’s daughter to pull her away, but instead they were both swept through the door. Then they fell. Down, down, Jack and the farmer’s daughter fell until they landed with a little splash into fluid, ankle-deep. They found themselves at the end of a line. Someone came up carrying a clipboard. Its voice was high and it wore shapeless bag-like clothes. “Oh my—aren’t you a buff fellow?” it said to Jack. “And you, with that shape, no mistaking you for anything but a woman now, is there?” it said to the farmer’s daughter. “No, won’t do, no need for any of that here.” “What is this place?” Jack said. “Processing, of course,” it said with hands on hips. “Didn’t they tell you upstairs?” “What’s the wet-stuff on the floor? It burns my feet,” said the farmer’s daughter. “That’s what we use to burn away anything that isn’t useful to the giant.” Jack looked at people further up in line; they all seemed bleached and limp. “Will it make us like them?” “Of course! Oh, I know what you’re thinking; don’t you worry, you two can still have your fun—after hours, mind.” It nudged Jack and sidled up to him. “We don’t judge here, you know, how you get your fun is none of the giant’s business. Why, I imagine a fellow like you gets lots of attention.” The farmer’s daughter took Jack’s arm. “We’d like to have children some day.” “Children?” it said taking an officious tone. “That’s wonderful, I suppose. Let me make a note of that. I should think a liberated woman would not want to limit herself in that way. You are liberated, aren’t you?”

Just then some liquid fell from the ceiling as from a bucket. “Ow!” the farmer’s daughter said, “My whole front is burning!” Jack felt the burning too, just lower down. “Oh, everyone says that at first,” the thing with the clipboard said. “But soon the burning goes away. From the looks of you that may take a little longer than normal, but don’t worry, eventually you won’t even remember what those parts are for.” Another deluge fell and the farmer’s daughter cried out in pain. “Quick, hold on to me,” Jack said. “I’m getting us out of here!” The farmer’s daughter wrapped herself around him. “Oooo, you two are a problem. We can’t process you this way!” the clipboard thing said. It tried to pull them apart. Jack reached up and grabbed an appendage that protruded from the wall. Then he saw that it was someone’s arm. Again he saw that the giant was nothing but people—all knotted together. He pulled himself up, the farmer’s daughter still clinging to him. “Stop!” the clipboard thing said, feebly trying to hold onto Jack. Jack kicked it away and then began to climb. He saw the hole in the ceiling and he steered toward it. Once he passed through it he looked up and saw that he still had a long climb ahead of him. Fortunately he got some help along the way. People in the walls, those whose heads weren’t buried anyway, pushed them along. A few even wanted to come. “Please take me with you,” one face said pitifully. “I don’t like it here, I’d do anything to get out.” “If you don’t like it, why did you come here in the first place?” said the farmer’s daughter.

“When I was young,” the face said, “everyone wanted to be part of a giant—it just seemed the thing to do. And I believed what the Mouthpiece said. Now I know it’s all lies.” “I can’t carry you and her, “ Jack said. “Besides, you need to work yourself loose.” “Well, I don’t know about that,” said the face. “Won’t I fall?” “Maybe, but it’s a risk you’ll have to take if you ever want to get out.” When the face heard that, it was sorrowful. Then a rumble came from above. “Ahem! I seem to have something caught in my throat!” the giant said. Inside, great spasms welled up from below and Jack and the farmer’s daughter were thrown up and out into the light of day. Still clinging to each other, they fell onto a soft patch of ground. The giant looked down at what it had spat out. “An indigestible bean!” it said. With one of its massive feet it pressed Jack and the farmer’s daughter down deep. The indigestible bean was now hidden in the ground and the giant went on its way. But the bean put down roots and began to grow, and up sprang a leafy vine. In time it came to shelter Jack and his wife, and even feed them. It would be the joy of their life together and they tended it every day. Why, it even lived on after they died, and over the years it managed to shelter their children and their children’s children. And that’s about as happy an ending as can be hoped for in this world.

Wiley, C. R.. Man of the House: A Handbook for Building a Shelter That Will Last in a World That Is Falling Apart (Kindle Locations 1062-1072). Resource Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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