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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I hate money.

I don't like making it.
I don't like using it.

I wouldn't mind having it.

Making money takes hard work, and once you're given money you've obligated yourself to continue. So when (inevitably) the work gets unbearably annoying, too bad. You've gotta keep going.
Only an ungrateful jerk does a bad job with money in his pocket. You're supposed to earn it. You're supposed to do such a good job that you balance out the guilt of stealing someone else's money.

It's never that good a job. It's never so perfectly done that it's worth more than whatever else they could get for the same amount of money.

When you use money, you don't have it. It's like the cake.

Yes, it's obvious. It's still annoying.

So a meal I buy and eat and forget is a long and replayable game I can't get. Whenever I make a purchase, I need to repress the guilt that I could have used that money better.

Money's not consistent. For fifty dollars, I might be able to get one game, or else three games, or else a hundred games, or else no games at all. The value of fifty dollars is anywhere from below zero to infinity! So even if I got an amazing deal, I'd always know I ought to have gotten more.

And yet, whenever I actually look at those fifty dollars, it's hard to escape the conclusion that it's worth nothing at all.

It's a piece of paper.

It's a piece of paper that's already written on, so it's not even good for keeping notes.

I guess you could use it for origami.

I'd like to make fun of money and say, "Why don't we just write our own numbers on the paper? Hey, I think this fifty-dollar bill should be worth fifty quintillion googolplex and ninety-three dollars, so I'll write it in!".

But we've already got that. It's called checks.

God, what a stupid world.

I don't buy my own food, as you might have gathered.
If I did, I'd live on bread and water.

Well... bread and Nestea at least. Some things I can't live without.

But I don't. Which means I don't think about money often. It's quite a luxury, because everything makes so much more sense without money.

If there's something of value, it's only of value because someone's enjoying it. It's of no value sitting on a shelf.

So the person who made it would want it to be enjoyed.
The person who would enjoy it would want it to be enjoyed.
The person who distributes it should want it to be enjoyed, because if it isn't then his job is a waste of time.
It should be enjoyed, and the enjoyer should be joyful, and society should be joyful and joyous and joysical.

This makes sense to my small mind.

The Real World does not.

The person who makes a thing of value doesn't see the value in it, he values money higher. The purpose of making anything, he says, is so that it can be put on a shelf and taken off a shelf and brought to a cash register which is the most holy cornerstone of the world may it be blessed a thousandfold where from the appointed fool will be taken a piece of paper with a number on it which holds an ineffably random meaning and we are not to question it and money is the nectar of life.

The item should be paid for, and the payer need not be satisfied as long as he is paying, and society need not be happy or mean anything as long as these pieces of paper are still going 'round.
The distributor wants to be paid.
The big companies want to be paid.
The government wants to be paid.
The consumer should want to pay because it is good and right and holy and because in return he may get a brief moment of something resembling joy dulled by guilt before going back to his meaningless work to get more money to get another such moment.
And most of all, the person who made the product needs to be paid, because if not then his work was worth nothing and he is worth nothing because all is measured in dollars and cents.

And sense? I'm not seeing it here. People can try to explain it to me -me, with my exceedingly small mind- but I'm left wondering why such surreal concepts are made so Real by society.

And quite a society has been built up. A society in which there is no value but money, so it is right and proper and beneficial to society to be a Capitalist. I'm not quite sure what the difference is between a Capitalist and a con artist, but I'm sure I'll figure it out some day.

A bad capitalist does a good job and refuses to take much money.

A good capitalist does the same job and takes as much money as he can get away with.

A great capitalist does the worst job he can get away with, convinces his victims through advertising that he's done a good job, and gets all the money he can dream of.

To my uneducated and poor eyes, Capitalism is all about ripping people off for as much money as possible.

So as I said, I think about money as seldom as I can get away with.

This doesn't make the guilt go away.

I still feel guilty for every little joy I get because I should be paying for it, because I should be only making myself feel guilty and not my parents as well.

Often I enjoy things that I'm not supposed to get near without lots of money, because this concept of a Capitalist society is so foreign to me. And then someone points out that I'm supposed to be paying for it, and then comes lots of guilt.

So when I heard of Socialism, I said, "What a great idea! A place with no money! Gee."

And then I was told that it's never worked and leads only to corruption and a lack of progress.

God, what a stupid world.



Amusingly, I think this post (or a certain motif in it) answers the last one.

You're right, of course - money is inherently valueless. It's just a convenience that was invented so we wouldn't have to trade for everything.

The fact that people see money as a goal? And that they'll go to any lengths to acquire more and more little papers? Well, I don't know, I don't understand them either.

As always, one needs to remember that the value of the job you're doing, of money and of what you use it for are in the eye of the beholder.


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