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  • In Vietnam. The rich hire professional mourners at funerals, a troupe of actors, who have perfected the art of grieving, the wailing, the wrenching sobs, the fists beating against the bosom, the sniveling, pulling hair, teeth clenched, eyes wincing, the swoon, and, of course, the ocean of tears. By outsourcing grief, the relatives of the deceased are relieved of the burdensome Confucian rituals, which require a very precise demonstration of filial piety at a funeral. The presence of the professional mourners allows the relatives of the deceased to grieve naturally, without the fear, the possible shame that they are not weeping the right amount of tears or that the volume of their sobbing is insufficient.

    In the United States. The rich hire lobbyists to buy out politicians who grimace in front of the camera with their shark’s teeth, shaking hands, kissing babies, patting people on the back, miming words of hope and reform, the politicians reenact the masquerade of democracy, where the right to vote, the spectacle of elections, provides the illusion of choice, the velvet glove covering the iron fist of the oligarchy, the plutocracy. The politicians relieve the rich the burden of having to rule directly, the shame of having to violate the Constitution, so flagrantly.

    A charade exists in both countries. Except in Vietnam, the actors are a lot cheaper to purchase.
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