The new way to handle megabanks is an even older way: good old-fashioned religious hexes.
The self-ordained Rev. Billy Talen was arrested on Easter Sunday after putting a “holy hex” on JPMorgan Chase bank, which he calls the nation’s largest financier of coal-mining mountaintop removal. The former New York City mayoral candidate and his green-robed chorus put the hex on two bank branches, saying Morgan Chase has helped destroy more than 450 Appalachian mountains, deforested 800 square miles and polluted more than 1,200 miles of streams.
Oh, Reverend Billy, that’s the least of what JP Morgan Chase has destroyed. But wait, what’s illegal about that? If cursing banks were a crime, Alyx and I would be updating LOLFed from Gitmo.
Rev. Billy told the NYPD officers taping his speech that he was leaving a message for JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon in a plastic Easter egg on top of the mound of sacred dirt.
Talen said the message was that Dimon would be a “beloved banker” – “an oxymoron,” he added – if he stopped putting money into mountaintop removal.
As Talen concluded his sermon, NYPD Officer William Svenstrup ordered him to withdraw his deposit of dirt from the bank floor.
The Rev. Billy refused.
“Then you are coming with me,” Svenstrop said, while another officer took out the cuffs, and used them, and the choir chanted, “Free speech! Free press! Free people! Repressed!” Then the choir sang the text of the First Amendment.
Talen left the dirt piles in the ATM lobbies of two NYC Chase branches – dirt imported from exotic West Virginia, even – for Jamie, who would never ever set foot in a branch, lest he run into Commoners. This to protest JP Morgan’s financing of coal mining in West Virginia, because…coal mining is the economic backbone of much of West Virginia and must be stopped? Who knows. I mean, the dirt came from a place actually named Coal River Mountain, so it’s not like coal mining is important to the region or anything.
If you should happen to see Jamie Dimon out and about and he appears to be turning into a mountain or something, you’ll know the curse worked. Otherwise, Billy Talen just might be insane.
If this hex business actually does work, we plan to curse Lloyd Blankfein with Hank Paulson’s hairline.