Posts tagged ‘money’

Adventures in consumption

posted by russellmania3000

We are apparently in the throes of a recession. I wouldn’t know. But I have little doubt that at this point we’re mostly doing it to ourselves. Forget whatever weak housing markets or flawed “financial instruments” or incorrect models you’ve been told of to explain away why. You know what causes a recession to continue? Talking about the recession every goddamn day.

I find it odd that people respond to economic downturn by saving more money, since our economy is defined pretty much by how much we spend, not how much we have. The funny part – as in funny strange, not funny ha ha – is that, if you buy into the Paradox of Thrift, by spending less we actually save less than if we were to spend normally. I know that seems illogical but that is why something like this is called a paradox rather than, say, a law.

Though Sam has lately been on some sort of crazed anti-consumerist crusade, I haven’t personally felt the recession, at least not yet, so I recently posted on some of the newly purchased artwork that I’ve hung in my home, and today I’d like to continue giving props to the creative individuals who have tricked me into giving them my goddamn chips, but this time for neat things that cannot be framed and hung on walls. It’s not my intention to turn Redikulus into some kind of NOTCOT-ish celebration of materialism. I’m simply doing my patriotic duty to stimulate the economy.

By the way, “stimulus package” is my new favorite sexual euphemism. Try that one on and see if it doesn’t tickle you ever so slightly, you gigglepuss you. Okay here we go.

Books

Malfunction - Eric Joyner

I’m currently trudging through Infinite Jest and I have Sidewalk, Collapse, and Godel Escher Bach waiting in the wings. I know, some light recreational reading. So I picked up some lighthearted fare to refresh me when I need a break. I found this Giger book at a local comic shop and it’s way cheaper than any other Giger book you’ll find but just as comprehensive, good quality reproductions and all that. While I was there I picked up Flight Vol. 5 and Eric Joyner’s Robots & Donuts. Flight is without a doubt the most gorgeous and heart-warming series of comic anthologies I’ve ever seen, an absolute joy to look at and read. And Eric Joyner is a terrific painter, even if you’re not into robots or vintage toys.

Kobe - FreeDarko

But far and away the best book purchase I’ve made lately is FreeDarko‘s Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac. This book has been getting a lot of good press from every angle, but I’m not sure about this “you don’t have to like basketball to like this book” idea that a lot of reviewers have been floating. I work in the NBA so whether I like basketball or not isn’t really up to me, but the Almanac makes me like it more but for bizarre, twisted reasons. The book is an otherworldly amalgam of gorgeous illustration, inventively hilarious charts and sports writing that intelligently weaves in science, history, art, and mythology to paint players as cosmic archetypes of style and super- (or sub-) human feats. Their blog is good, but doesn’t even hint at the analytic onslaught the reader is in store for. And the authors occasionally, though more so in the blog or other writing, let the fact that they’re Jewish peek through, which is … what’s the word I’m looking for … charming.

Clothes

Candy Floss

My man Gene, who works up at Dock Street where they make delicious beer and pizza, has a fledgling clothing line going called Candy Floss, and their stuff ain’t cheap but it’s quality. FreeDarko and Damon Soule also make classy shirts in addition to their prints, books, toys, etc.

World of Goo

Games

At a younger age, I used to insist that video games were an art form, but now that this idea is largely accepted and I’ve moved on from wanting to design them for a living, I’ve stopped evangelizing on this. With more demands on my time and better things to do, I don’t really have as much interest in games as I used to. But every now and then, a game comes along that reminds me of both why I loved them so much and the creative potential in the medium. Right now that game is 2D Boy‘s World of Goo. It’s also gotten press and a few award nods lately, though some of you may have been hip to this thing back when it was Tower of Goo at Carnegie Mellon’s Experimental Gameplay Project. You won’t do much better than this for $15 (Wii) to $20 (Mac/PC). It’s got intelligence, humor, charming visual direction, strangely touching music, memorable levels and a well-designed progression of difficulty and physics-based play mechanics. I do so hope 2D Boy makes fleshing out The Swarm their next project. Also, though it’s not by Kyle Gabler and it probably wouldn’t make a good finished product, On a Rainy Day is pretty great batty fun.

Music

It’s been over a month since I attended Blip but I’m still sort of on a chiptune/electronic music kick, though much less than in the days immediately following. Except for a few rare instances, I haven’t been in the habit of paying for music for many years. So as luck would have it, most of these 8-bit artists are total computer nerds and put out a lot of their music for free online anyway. Of the guys I haven’t already given nods to, recently I’ve been favoring Trash80, Stu, and Nullsleep. Speaking of which, Nullsleep is playing 8static (who knew there was a Philly scene for this stuff? Not I.) on Feb 7, and Starscream are no slouches either so I’d consider showing up if I were you.

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January 19, 2009 at 4:47 PM Leave a comment

A Survival Guide for the Great Depression, Part Two

depression1

If you yourself haven’t yet lost your job, you have a 1 in 6 chance that you still could. The current unemployment rate is just 6.7 and during the Great Depression, it was 25% at it’s highest. Well, I have a low wage paying job in this time, so the money I don’t have, I wouldn’t spend anyway, because I don’t have it. If you’re like me, you are looking for the next wave in entrepreneurial motivation, a new way to make money during these hard times. I’ve looked at the first Depression for some ways to make money during these hard times:

Shantytowns. Oh yes, America’s next wave in suburbanism. You could either start your own contractor business, to construct shanties from various materials like crates, boxes, cardboard, metal scraps and whatever else your friendly urban landfill has to offer. If you don’t like that idea, say you’ve got baby’s hands, perhaps you could have someone build you a lovely Shanty town of your own and have a fancy name like “Holly Forest”. Then, with all the people forced to leave their foreclosed homes, you could offer them a new residential development, located right in the center of town. Your chicken wire fence allows for a safe-guarded community where only residents are allowed access. (You’ve hooked a car battery to the fence, security system armed!)

You could also start your own box car gang. Yes, our favorite youth novel characters, the Box Car Children, are based off depression youths who rode train lines from town to town in order to find work. No, not crust punks. You may want to sharpen your knives and brush up on basic knife fighting skills, as hobos have staked claim on most rail lines. They also probably already are missing most of their teeth, and have no fear in derailing you. A bookstore clerk informed me that the Box Car Children are still a popular series for youngsters, I recommend starting a youth army before getting involved. As we all know, children are the scariest humans alive.

If you have a little money put aside, you could start a clinic or begin a birth control pharmacy. Everyone knows babies are expensive and will not want to have any. More so than the babies they aren’t already having. And I’m not talking about this either.

You could just go out and make a blog, then walk around with a classified ad on your person.. like this guy.

-posted by samsquared

December 11, 2008 at 10:44 PM Leave a comment


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