With all the piggies offering post-mortem press releases since the recent Hollywood revelations broke, add another preposterous public relations stunt from Bono, the singer being outed in the Paradise Papers as using a tax shelter in Malta for a business investment. According to the Guardian,

Bono has expressed horror that a Lithuanian shopping centre business he invested in may have fallen foul of the country’s tax rules.

In a statement, the U2 frontman said he would be “extremely distressed if even as a passive minority investor … anything less than exemplary was done with my name anywhere near it”.

He reacted after Lithuania’s tax authorities said they were preparing to examine the details of the business over concerns that it avoided profit tax.

I smell pig shit

Unfortunately, Bono’s horror act just doesn’t hold up to his reputation as a savvy capitalist. The article continues, in the words of the savior-singer himself,

“I take this stuff very seriously. I have campaigned for the beneficial ownership of offshore companies to be made transparent. Indeed this is why my name is on documents rather than in a trust.”

“The fact is, I welcome this reporting. It shouldn’t take leaks to understand what’s going on where. There should be public registries so that the press and public can see what governments, like Guernsey, already know.”

I’m certain that if the Paradise Papers had not brought annoyingly shaded, messianic one’s oversight to light, he would’ve outed himself. He’s that holy. But, to be fair, the U2 frontman was not the only greedy mother-effer outed as a tax thief, as pointed out by Thomas Frank in the Guardian,

What we have learned is how much the rich and the virtuous have been hiding away and where they’re hiding it. Yes, there are sinister-looking Russian capitalists involved. But there’s also our favorite actors and singers. Our beloved alma mater, supposedly a charitable institution. Everyone with money seems to be in on it.

Piggish thinking

One of the downers of living in the time and culture that I’ve inhabited my physical body is being awash in pseudo-philosophies emerging from the human potential movement that worship the notion of abundance in every dimension of life. Using the Google search query “abundance vs scarcity” I was rewarded with a link to Project Life Mastery website, promoting the work of Stefan James, whom I’m unfamiliar with, but certain he’s a fine fellow with kind intentions. What I do take issue with, however, is his article my search brought me to “Abundance Mindset vs Scarcity Mindset,” where James states,

A person with an abundance mindset believes that there is always more of everything in life, whether that’s money, relationships, resources, opportunities, etc. Alternatively, someone with a scarcity mentality lives in fear that they are going to lose their time or money.

It’s one thing to believe “that there is always more of everything in lifewhen understood as a qualitative mindset to assist individual towards optimism. But when we’re told, as James does, that “everything in life” includes  “money, relationships, resources, opportunities,” we travel into fantasyland, as abundance as an attitude turns material and quantitative. And it’s a lie. Simply because, to believe that there’s an endless abundance of money available, for instance, suspends reality. If true, why are assholes like Bono trying so hard to hoard it? Rather, inculcating people into irrational beliefs about abundance in a world of finite resources simply gives the greedy a pseudo-spiritual pass.


George Harrison’s “Piggies,” which appeared on The Beatles’ “White Album,” was the Quiet One’s take on consumerism and class distinction. Harrison expanded on his views saying,

I remember thinking I just want more. This isn’t it. Fame is not the goal. Money is not the goal. To be able to know how to get peace of mind, how to be happy, is something you don’t just stumble across. You’ve got to search for it.

But why search for it when we’re apparently entitled to the abundance of it all? Why consider wherewithals of others less fortunate, simply because they don’t also understand the magic of abundance, and choose scarcity? Because when we walk Harrison’s proposed path, we understand that fame and fortune are not prescriptions for happiness. Instead, as Harrison learned, they impede inner happiness. But the Bonos of the world hoard on, taking from working class fans who also pay their hard-earned cash to watch them perform, and purchase what they produce. It’s time we just say no.

But just like the power male sexual predator sect is now standing naked before the world, we must demand the same for those stealing resources from the rest of us. When our basic health care costs are beyond our means to afford them, it’s a rape of a societal sort. Abundance, my ass. And it’s not for lack of imagination, will or action that the rest of us don’t grab all the cookies from the jar. It’s because of humility. So let’s bring a taste of humility to the Paradise sect, and take back the money they stole from the rest of society. Are you in?

In their sties with all their backing
They don’t care what goes on around
In their eyes there’s something lacking
What they need’s a damn good whacking
–George Harrison

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