An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
"Strip me of my political power. Take away my right to vote. These will not limit my freedom as long as you don't deny me the right to spend my money as I like."
--------------------William F. Buckley
Ok buckaroos. This is the economics issue. As thrilling as the dribble passing through my urethra as I realize I did not, in fact, shake off the last drops.
Economics: a pseudoscience that looks at a country filled with starving people and calls it a "success" because something called a "gross national product" is bigger than it used to be. Gross!
I don't want to write about world economics. I'm sure someone else will tell you about the evils of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Even the Pope has criticized banks for living off the flesh they impoverish. The Pope! Jezus Fuckin' Christ, who's next?
Of course those are big problems, but readers here already know about them. I'm not going to preach to the converted. That's The Pope's job.
Instead, I'm going to tell you how to spend your money. More than that, how to make it, keep it and use it in the best way. First, we've got to decide what "best" is. Here are my criteria.
1. Minimal work: I've spilled gallons of ink on hundreds of trees worth of columns talking about the evils of work. I'm sure I'll do it again, but not here. Right now, take it as a given. The less work you do, the better. By work I mean "having a job." I mean slavery that requires you to be at a certain place at a certain time in exchange for money.
2. Minimal destruction: An occupation is "productive," if it makes one thing out of another. Any productive occupation is destructive.
To "make" something, you need to take something natural and change it to an unnatural state. You have to use energy in that change. You have to destroy materials (burning coal, wood, oil or polluting water with radioactivity) to make the energy. You also have to destroy something to get the resources in the first place. The more resources used, the more destruction that takes place.
3. Maximal fun: This mean that what you do should be fun. If you do it "to be good," or "out of sacrifice" it won't last.
Bob Black said, "Any revolutionary who is to be counted upon can only be in it for himself. Unselfish people can always switch loyalty from one projection to another."
Just look at the folks who've switched from Commie to Nazi, Radical to Republican. They embrace their new philosophy with the same fervor they embraced the old one. It's easy. They're not fighting for something that affects them. The urge to "do good" can find its outlet in the nastiest of causes.
4. Minimal jargon: If I hear "capitalism," "socialism" or "libertarianism" once more, I'm gonna shit. People get so wrapped up in labelling and name calling, they loose sight of the real world. It doesn't matter what you call things. It matters how they work, or don't.
5. Maximal freedom and knowledge: These are my particular biases. They are what is important to me. If you're interested in something else, fine. Read another column. But my basic values are those. If something makes you smarter and freer (but not at the expense of someone else), it's good. If it makes you dumber or less free, then it's bad. *********
OK, now we've got the ground rules. Let's look at the game.
1. Think about the situation, not the name.
How many times have you heard people argue something is good or bad because of a name?
"Yuck, that's PC."
"How could you? That's capitalistic."
"Only a feminist would say that?"
"You sound like a Republican?"
It's easy to dismiss another point of view without considering it. Just paste on a label and dump it in the trash. It's convenient for boring conversation, but it won't help you live your life.
Start a business. Work for yourself. So what if it's capitalism. If you treat people well (customers, the competition, people who work with you), then you've gained freedom. Don't worry about the name. If you get rich off it-- without doing any damage, CONGRATULATIONS.
It can be done. Fat Mike is doing it right now. So are a lot of others.
There is nothing wrong with making money, as long as you do it morally, with consideration. It's even better, though, to live without it, or with a minimal amount. How?
2. Banks are your friends.
Banks want to give you money. They count on the traditional American fear of "having a debt hanging over your head" to get you to pay them back. They freely give out credit cards to build up your debt. Then they count on your guilt to pay it back.
[It's probably illegal to suggest you intentionally cheat the banks. I'd be the second-to-last person in the world to advocate something illegal. If anything I say here IS illegal, then I don't advocate it and it's for information purposes only. Right?]
It's easy to get a credit card. If you're a student, the banks are crying for you to graduate owing even more money. Call up American Express, the easiest to get because you have to pay $55 for it. You also have to pay off their charges all at once. Once you get an Amex, though, it'll be a breeze to get the others. I get offers every day.
Not only that, most credit cards give special rates if you "transfer balances." What this means is that you borrow money from one credit card (at a lower rate) to pay off another. Sound like free money? It is!
How long you can keep paying one credit card with others is a matter of hustle and ingenuity. It's fun. When it gets to be too much, you declare bankruptcy. Within a year after, you'll get your first offer from ANOTHER credit card company.
3. Hunt and fish
Hunting and fishing are two of the most ecological and environmentally sound activities you can engage in. Provided you eat what you kill, these activities are quick, fun, and immediately useful.
By avoiding horrible factory-farming products, you refuse to participate in the bio-engineered, over-injected, slaughterhouse horror of modern animal farming. You go directly to the food chain. You join it like any other animal. You kill a single being, like a lion downing a gazelle.
What about growing your own food?
Even if you want to spend the time and effort doing this (not fun), you still are environmentally destructive. You must use land. You have to pull weeds or clear forests. You destroy more nature than any food you eat. Killing an animal in the wild does minimal damage. Destroying wilderness is permanent.
Organic farms destroy much more than responsible hunting and fishing. Vegetarianism is destruction. It's amazing how many people avoid the logic of this truth.
4. Don't recycle: I've already written how recycling is a scam. Since most MRR readers stop buying the zine when they're old enough to shave, it won't hurt to repeat it.
Recycling is a scam to make consumers feel less guilty about consumption.
"Oh, I know consumption is bad for the planet," they think, "but I can still buy lots of stuff, because I recycle."
It's Friday morning, 5 AM. I'm dreaming about a slim oriental, lips against my nipple, slowly nibbling. The smooth beauty begins to work southward. A trail of saliva runs over my chest hairs. There's a faint whirring in the background.
As that pink tongue reaches my navel, the whir becomes a rumble. It wakes me from my dream. It's the goddam recycle truck picking up newspapers and magazines from last week's consumers.
Now where does that truck's oil and gas come from? Where does the energy come from to break down that paper? Where does the water come from that mulches that paper? What about the bleach used on the old paper to make new paper?
"Recycling is good because it creates jobs." say the mayor and the governor.
More jobs mean more waste, more resources used. In plain English, recycling wastes.
Instead of recycling, reuse and refuse. Not only plastic bags from the supermarket, but everything. Bread wrappers are sandwich bags. Steel cans are pencil holders. Vitamin bottles are drug stashes.
Refusing is not using in the first place. Don't buy a newspaper with the idea of recycling. Read one from the trash can. Then leave it where someone else can find and read it.
Bring your own plastic bags to the supermarket and buy food in bulk, scooping and bagging yourself.
There's a greater kind of reusing that's lots of fun. New York City just introduced an environmentally destructive Metrocard to replace reusable subway tokens. The advantage of this card is that it allows free transfer between bus and subway. Tokens do not. This brings me to the next piece of economic advice.
5. Redistribute: that is hustle and scam, and encourage others to do the same: When you use the last trip on your Metrocard give it to someone waiting for the bus. Every time you ride the bus, get a transfer, even if you don't use it. Give that transfer away when you leave. It's a small start, but a start.
The goal is to develop a scam culture. A society where everyone looks for a way to do things free. Without working.
I give change to bums, the ones who only ask. I don't give to street musicians or entertainers. They WORK for their money. That is not an activity I want to encourage.
Instead, encourage slothfulness. Work as little as possible. Figure out how much you need and stop working when you make it. Don't become so attached to your job that you're afraid to lose it. Take risks.
Be careful in hustling and scamming, though. Choose your targets. Not every little street seller and mom and pop store is the enemy.
It's Wisconsin. There's a flea market with some punks selling books on a table. Nice stuff, like Paul Krasner's autobiography and lots of Charles Bukowski.
"Wow!" I say, "I only wish you had that new Dennis Cooper book."
"Is it at Barnes and Nobles?" asks the one with the least piercings.
"I wouldn't know." I say in a self-righteous huff, "I never go to Barnes and Nobles. They're evil, putting small bookstores out of business. Also, they dictate to publishing companies, censoring what they don't like. I'd never shop there!"
"We shop there," says the Crusty, "but we don't pay."
Yes! Yes! Yes! Of course I'd never actually say "Buy from the little guy. Steal from the big guy." That would probably be illegal, but it is an ecological and a completely non- governmental way to redistribute wealth.
Copyshop employees sell a hundred dollar's worth of copies for five dollars. Burger flippers flip extras to bums on the street. If the government takes away welfare, people like you and me can put it back.
KING MISSILE had a song, "Steal Things From Work." As long as you're making less than the boss for the same hours, as long as she owns and you're chained to the clock, it's not stealing. It's compensation.
The solution to the economy? Live free! And if you can't live free, live as cheaply as possible, and help others do the same. ENDNOTES:
-->When you're my age dept: When I saw the Lynchburg Virginia return address, I figured, who else but The Moral Majority? I was close. I got a cover letter from Jerry Falwell, but it's an insurance policy! Offering discounts on glasses, hearing aids, and drugs by mail, Falwell is pushing the Providian Prescription Plan. And, you'll be pleased to know, "a small portion of the profits from this plan will be contributed by Providian Services Inc., to help in the support of our ministries." As part of the convenience, there's a toll free number: (800) 242-0610. Not that I'd suggest calling it for any other reason than to sign up. Right?
--> Still a (partly) free country dept: So far I've got Montana (home of the FREE MEN) South Carolina, New Mexico and Ohio. These are all places you can buy MINI-THINS, the original ephedrine formula. I can't get it here in New York. Ah well, at least they haven't banned smoking in bars... yet.
--> Just what the world needs dept: Can it be the LETCH PATROL of the 90s?? Well, take a well-oiled publicity machine, costumes, fireworks, humor from colon to nostrils. Stir in a ton of fun. Add a dash of idiocy. What would YOU call it?
What Letch Patrol were to punkrock, these guys are to punkmetal. THE STUDS! You have been warned.
--> Former MRR columnist (who isn't?) Steve Beaumont has moved to more calorific ground. You can visit his website at: http://www.WorldOfBeer.com Tell 'im I sent ya. -SATONAWALL Why I like Kwansa dept: Here's a bunch of guys that took the CHRIST out of CHRISTmas. They decided to move in from the ground up and make something new. Instead of chompin' on the dregs of the past and calling it culture, they just built up a new one. It's my favorite holiday.
I saw something similar in Japan with the Ainu (sort of Japanese Indians). Their culture was suppressed for so long that much of it was destroyed. When the suppression stopped, they decided to build a new culture. They took some old traditions, added some new ones, picked a couple good days and made some holidays. Cultures should not be static. They should constantly be recreating themselves. It's great to see it happen.
-->Health News We Like to Hear Dept: on December 22, 1997 Reuter's news service started a report this way:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The more orgasms a man has, the more likely he is to live longer, according to a study of middle-aged Welsh men, published in the British Medical Journal.
Of course there was a lot of dissenting opinions among the medical establishment, but I'm not one of them. I'm going to live to be a thousand!
-->Wrong Band Name of the Month Dept: While going through some promo cassettes, I stumbled on one that called out for the bandname of the month: MIGHTY MORPHINE PEDOPHILES.
Then I found out that's just the name of the tape. The band is HURT. (The same name as the Mongolian speed metal band!) Too bad.
As often happens, it's hard to tell which is the record and which is the band. I suggest they switch for their next release. You can write to 'em and get a copy of their very funny tape at: Butt Dart Records, PO Box 7300, Newark DE 19714. If they change their name, they'll have a hit!
--> Rock Objects need not be sex objects dept: James Sain from Lincolnton NC knows I think bands with fat people in them are almost always great. He sent me a demotape, As Fat As We Wanna Be. He included a pic of his band FAT TORTOISE BUTCHER. Four of 'em. All over 300 lbs! I haven't heard the tape yet. I just hope they're as good as they look. Too bad critics will take the easy way out and just say HEAVY! More fat bands, yeah! Send a buck or two for the demo tape and a picture to: F.T.B., c/o James Sain, 701 Louise Ave., Lincolnton NC 28092
-->Who Me? Dept: I get an application to join SMALL ETC. (c/o J. Meisler, POB 610294, Bayside New York 11361-0294) It's "the club that encompasses all definitions of being small." I had visions of orgies with small (in every way) people. A stupendous idea. For starters, you can fit a lot more small people in the same space as a normal size orgy. Ah variety!
Unfortunately, the club is more of a homo dating service than a group with socials, discussion meetings, and orgies. Ah well, I might try it out anyway. I'll let you know.
--> Web Fighting Back dept: There's is a ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP website at: www.theroc.org. Rock'n'rollers fighting the bad guys. Check it out. There are more petitions there than you can shake your tits at. And you should. --Mykel (mykelB@ix.netcom.com) fledging webpage: http://www.freeyellow.com/members2/seidboard/
***""I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." --John Cage ****
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