(Surely, someone out there knows where those lyrics come from.)
What ever happened to money? Remember money? I'm not talking about the abstract, I'm talking about bills, baby; paper; cold hard cashola.
I LOVE CASH, and find myself getting increasingly marginalized by a humanity that seems more than willing to leave that behind in favor of plastic.
I don't believe in plastic. Plastic causes more damage to your personal finances than any irresponsible banking could ever do. Take into account just how easy it is for some scheming nerd to decide to steal your identity, and uh, yeah, it's just not comfort inducing.
Beyond that, plastic is traceable, and if people think the government tapping your cell phone calls is an intrusion, ask yourself what the government has any business in knowing that last night you made a trip to the 7-11 and got some Ben & Jerry's; or that you purchased some fetish gear online; or that you've been following Mike's adventures in Brazil.
Somewhere in Washington DC, in a dank little office without a view, a clerk of some kind is scratching his/her oily nose while looking at your credit card statements looking for some kind of anomaly. (His/Her cousin is probably printing a copy of this out and putting it in a humongous manila envelope with TBF - That Beige Fuck - written on it.)
Quite frankly, I can live without that, thank you very much.
And so, I don't have a bank account (*gasp*), I don't have an ATM (*horrors*), and I don't have a credit card (*shudder*). A good part of this is due largely to an enormously irresponsible youth, bearing a striking resemblance to your author, whose banking decisions rarely took available funds into consideration. That could easily be reversed, except for the fact that, in simply cashing checks and carrying it all with me, I got used to, and grew to appreciate, the fact that cash money is infinitely easier to deal with.
Don't have the money for it? Ya can't buy it, can ya? Either let it go, or put the money aside.
"Put it on plastic! You can have it now, and pay it off slowly."
Fuck. Off. This means you, Madison Avenue, with your ugly urgings to give in to my impulse buying needs. I don't have credit, don't want credit, and can get along fine without you, you usurers you. (Say that five times fast.)
Ach, but my vigilance, she is waning.
Institunionally, it is becoming more and more difficult to live without some plastic verification of your financial status. I can't rent a car with money alone...not without an enormous deposit (this is even applicable if you only have a debit card in some places). Cell-phones companies also want a deposit. Netflix is much easier to deal with if you just have them automatically charge a card, debit or credit.
It's even gotten to the point where people feel put out for having to deal with cash at all. I bought a pack of smokes with a twenty, and the guy behind the counter gave me a look that could've bored a hole in me, he was so pissed at having to count change. I had a similar experience with a waitress, who dropped all niceties until she saw that I left a decent tip behind.
I wonder if there's a study somewhere that shows that people tip better with plastic than with cash. I'd think it'd go the other way, but then that's me.
Here's what has blown my mind most recently: About a month and a half ago, I was on a date. We met up for coffee and then went to dinner. We were having a great time, and when the check came, the usual banter over who would pay etc. I won this, placed a fitty in the little envelope, and gave it to the waitress, telling her not to worry about the change.
As the waitress walked away, my date turned to me and said that she noticed that I've been paying cash all evening, didn't I have a bank card or something?
I held back the impulse to yell, "bitch, I just bought you dinner." Instead, I explained that I didn't believe in blahblahblah, I already went through it a couple of paragraphs ago. "Is it important," I asked unbelievingly.
"Wellll, it just shows that a guy has his finances together, the plastic does, that he's responsible and solid. And cash does the opposite."
I haven't seen her since. I tried, but the phone calls weren't returned, so, that tells you where things stood.
I don't believe this is applicable to everyone, but I'm sure that there's a sizable subset of the population that think this way.
I think this is dangerous, how complacently we're embracing this, as the pieces of a big-brother society sloooowly fall into place.
Apropos of nothing, I'm sending along this link for Do It Yourself Impeachment
. Because, if the government's gonna have a manila file on me, it may as well have something of merit.--tbo