Tag Archives: Reading

12/8/2019–Cars, Cost, and Christmas Trees

At 6:10 am I made coffee and headed downstairs to teach English to students abroad. Again, I thought of the hike in cost that the St Paul City Council approved on Snow Emergency towing, it goes up for 43 %. I wonder how this impacts low-income households in St Paul.

On a similar note, my neighbor Nancy mentioned that her grandson’s Honda had been stolen from out front of her house. She asked if my cameras faced that way. I said “no”. We were coming home from a walk around the block on whatever clear sidewalk we could find. Kids in a big red wagon.

After teaching and double-checking my bank account and stretches, this morning we are going to pick up a Christmas tree. And that is the proper name of it, a Christmas Tree. We are getting it from my wife’s grandmother, Judy. The kids are excited, as am I. It should be an afternoon of the Viking’s game and tree decorating and Sloppy Joes.

Read Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

Millennials, Strive for that Perfect Selfie because You will Never get out of Debt and You Will Never own Your Own Home Responsibly

“The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

*

The headline you just read is what I think to myself when I realize I shouldn’t spend money and should save for my future interests, especially when my contemporaries scroll social media and see how others are living large and in charge and strive to be just like them.

(Firstly, social media is an affirmation to spend more money, and waste more time.  Do you have it in you?)

I am pretty sure the people around me are concerned about my one point of obsession, my now goal: paying off all of my debt. My motivation being: Because I am a slave to debtors, credit card companies own me, my student loans own me, I really don’t exist freely…  What keeps me going in this direction:  Good reasons.

Good reasons:  Some day I will own my own house, responsibly–not through some insane mortgage.  Some day I will be out of debt, entirely: zero debt.  Some day I won’t have to work every day to pay my bills, no worries.  I will retire with dignity.  And again, those around me will benefit from my now goals, from my relatively insane efforts, from sacrifices I make.

These sacrifices are easier than the alternative for me, of living in debt for the rest of my life, chipping away at what I one minimum payment, all that high interest at a time.  That is stupid.  That is something that could use distractions!

It’s hard and easy for me to imagine that there is a world out there stranded glaring into their phones at millions of other people acting out their fantasies–Millennials et al., taking photos, images of a luxury lifestyle that is nothing more than made up. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

Imagine if we could get paid for that time spent glaring at other people’s dreams… We’d all be as rich as Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump.

I really shouldn’t care about the setting or the background or how long it took for another person to get that perfect photo, the perfect selfie, and all those likes, although it worries me. I care, imagine.  That is my philanthropy for the day: caring.

(Your debt is that train in the “perfect selfie” video above, maybe doing the same to you as you read.  Stay off of those tracks that lead you, or the future you, into imminent danger.)

The first thing I think about when I see pictures of people doing AMAZING things is, how much debt does that person actually have, credit cards, student loans, etc.? I know, it’s none of my business, but for science…  Then I wonder, does all that debt add up to contrived happiness, the happiness in that picture, imagines on a screen, unfocused a distracted ephemera of fleeting feeling… Does it come from that?

(A hobby of imagining your existence is entirely different from what it is?  Doing this doesn’t cause change, it avoids it.)

And we compare ourselves to those counterfeit images, those freewheeling fantasies, those nice narrative and salacious story lines… Am I as good as that other person’s selfie?  No, no, I am not… Should I be spending more money, should I be buying into this false pretense?  Do I give a shit?

Then I vanish from social media and that apathetic society that we all pay to join in some way or another. I vanish because we all should and walk back into the deep woods to find our inner animal selves, or into a deep sleep.  Beasts called gentlemen in suits and ties pretending to be anything other than ourselves.

(When we die our Facebook us’s keep on living.  Is that me?  For example, my father died four years ago in June and he unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years after that.  He is virtually still alive, however he is physically dead.  I don’t know if he sleeps anymore.  I cannot visit his grave because my reality does not understand this sort of paradox.  Social media creates dead and living zombies right now.  Imagine.)

So, yes, back to the beginning, you will never get out of debt or own your own home, responsibly–without insane lenders and bad deals, if you keep this up.  That is what I tell myself and then avoiding those distractions becomes very easy for me. You as in me.

Forget your likes, upvotes, retweets, highlights from whatever years ago, virtual memories, Facebook lives, and other people’s selfies, they evoke no artistic value whatsoever (or maybe they do: this mini-essay tho.).  Think about what you owe that credit card company, what you owe in student loans? Try to smile now, make that art, Picasso. Get that photo sing.  Real good job.  Create those American Dreams.

Less is More, so many generalizations

Recently, I have come under the idea that less is more. I’ve been reading Walden on Wheels. I have been seeing that what I have, too much, is very too much. I want out of it. I say now, less is more, less is more. This is so true.

This realization started after reading The Millionaire Nextdoor, a book about being frugal. A book about just living with less, not overspending, and living on the means that you have, and becoming a millionaire.

I set new goals because of it. I want nothing. I want to have nothing but liquid security in wealth. The lesson I learned is be prepared for anything and don’t live beyond your means. Keep an even keel. Sail your boat and don’t sink.

Yes, I do believe less is more… So I give you less words. But I must admit it. I am starting to like the idea of having less and feeling it more. As Dave Ramsey says (I have been listening to his podcast) “Live like no one else and you can live like no one else.”

I am ready to live like no one else. Have been for some time. I always felt like a nonconformist. Now I can prove it in actions. No more too much. No more overspending. We all owe it to ourselves to get ourselves right first. Then we can help everyone else. But only then.

Fake new about fake news found to be fake news about fake news because of fake news and fake news

FakeNewsTypewriter-840x460

the words “Fake news” printed on a fake typewriter graphic Adweek

In a shocking revelation yesterday an unnamed mainstream media source found that a story about fake news found to be fake news was fake news because of fake news and no one seemed to care.

Unbelievably the mainstream media source did nothing about the compromise of information, not going back on their sponsors promise, not pulling the fake news story.

The ads were in place, the story had to fill the page… one unidentified marketing sales manager at the publication explained, These papers are full of advertisements, they are paid for, they must be seen by a specific demographic…

This discovery of fake news is only one in a veritable rash of papers, the mainstream media seem to be just printing fake news for news when there is no real news simply to carry marketing spots, nothing objective to break for readers to think on.

Such an uncovering has shocked the news industry–and this problem goes back decades–as it limits trust and shows that stories are less important than underwriters and advertiser money. The readers suffer, and we can blame the decline on fake news…

We can only hope at point the news media goes back to what made them important, objective reporting, putting advertisements and sales in the background.  However, in a world where shock sells we can expect to see more and more fake news.

Minnesota man to consider $5 donation during next MPR membership drive if he reads one positive unbiased article about Trump, published by the mainstream news organization

static.politico

President of the United States of America pointing across a room at an unknown person, one positive article to garner $5 donation to MPR from local man. Photo by Getty

Reports broke Tuesday that local Minnesota man, who happens to be a millennial, a college grad, and a recent republican voter–although no party affiliation at this time could be confirmed, to consider donating $5 to next MPR membership drive if they write one positive unbiased article about president Donald Trump.

This incredible news came to a slough of jeers, guffaws, and mumbles from friends, colleagues, and family who happened to be unflinching MPR supporters.  Their reaction was to vehemently detest the idea that MPR as an organization could be biased in anyway towards anyone with differing ideas always–those not of the Progressive-Democratic ilk.

Though, these reports are wholly unconfirmed and unverified, the local male will be watching reports and reading articles ever closely looking for any indication that objective reporting exists in the state of Minnesota, and as he suggested, if he finds this to be the case he will consider contributing his $5 donation and become a highly member.  We all wait with bated breath.

Language is Subjective; The Sound of Middle English (The Canterbury Tales)