When you think of the perfect Halloween costume, usually the first thing that comes to mind is something that really captures the terrifying reality and unimaginable desperation of homeless people, with no food to eat, clothes to wear, or even a roof over their heads. Because, seriously, what makes you want to dive into a king size Snickers and satisfy that hunger more than the hilarious suffering of the most downtrodden and desperate among us?
Well, to the employees at the foreclosure mill law offices of Steven J. Baum, the answer is absolutely nothing, because people too pathetically poor and down on their luck to keep their homes are worthless, gross "others" who deserve nothing but scorn, mockery, and our deepest contempt.
Nevermind that these same employees, or at least the ones pictured above, look like your average legal assistants, secretaries, paralegals, administrative assistants, receptionists, file clerks and low-level litigators, and are all probably behind on their own mortgages and much closer to financial catastrophe than they'd care to admit (the firm is in freakin' Buffalo, after all). The point is that in order to keep these workers content to keep toiling away as wage slaves to this utterly evil law firm, and work tirelessly against the interests of the rest of the nation’s wage slaves, they must dehumanize their neighbors and fellow citizens fighting foreclosure as sub-human specimens unworthy of even the slightest tinge of mercy or compassion.
Which reminds me of another group of
From The New York Times:
On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The party is the firm’s big annual bash. Employees wear Halloween costumes to the office, where they party until around noon, and then return to work, still in costume. I can’t tell you how people dressed for this year’s party, but I can tell you about last year’s.Apparently, so is the New York Attorney General, who has already forced the
That’s because a former employee of Steven J. Baum recently sent me snapshots of last year’s party. In an e-mail, she said that she wanted me to see them because they showed an appalling lack of compassion toward the homeowners — invariably poor and down on their luck — that the Baum firm had brought foreclosure proceedings against.
When we spoke later, she added that the snapshots are an accurate representation of the firm’s mind-set. “There is this really cavalier attitude,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that people are going to lose their homes.” Nor does the firm try to help people get mortgage modifications; the pressure, always, is to foreclose. I told her I wanted to post the photos on The Times’s Web site so that readers could see them. She agreed, but asked to remain anonymous because she said she fears retaliation.
Let me describe a few of the photos. In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.
A second picture shows a coffin with a picture of a woman whose eyes have been cut out. A sign on the coffin reads: “Rest in Peace. Crazy Susie.” The reference is to Susan Chana Lask, a lawyer who had filed a class-action suit against Steven J. Baum — and had posted a YouTube video denouncing the firm’s foreclosure practices. “She was a thorn in their side,” said my source.
This isn't a trick or treat, just American "corporate culture" in all its frightfully ghoulish transparency.
But it's not class warfare. Not at all. It's classy warfare. Sorry you poor pathetic schlubs don't understand the difference.
Now, if you don't mind, please lay your wretched, broken body down on the ground so I can walk across this puddle without ruining my new Jimmy Choos. They cost me an arm and leg. And I don't mean that figuratively.
After all, the path to hell isn't paved with good intentions, it's paved with the sorrow, anguish, and liquor soaked foreclosure notices of the law firm of Steven J. Baum.
[images via New York Times]