I was listening to a favorite radio show this Sunday morning, Acoustic Sunrise on WUMB, and they played the Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia by Kathy Mattea. I started thinking about how the people that loved that country were encouraged, actually forced, to destroy it in order to stay alive in our society. Forced by the forces of those with wealth. Those who actually believe that God buried money in those hills and mountains for them to dig up. Like a treasure hunt. Except that they, who love nothing other than wealth, wouldn’t actually do the digging. They would leave that task to those who love the things they would be destroying. And it’s much more than West Virginia. It’s wherever oil, or coal, or gold, or timber or other minerals can be found that might be worth a buck in the right market.
I’ve been a fan of Tolkien for many years. I read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings over and over back in the 80s. These people who love nothing but wealth, Donald Trump, the Kochs, Putin, and the Oligarchs everywhere, remind me of the dragon in the Lonely Mountain, Smaug. Smaug, who spent his days sitting on his pile of gold and jewels. They do nothing but accumulate wealth that they can’t ever use. Wealth, whose chief benefit to them is that it is kept from others, others who may desperately need it. They count it as an ever-mounting score. They are the children of Smaug.