Friday, October 21, 2011

The Secret

Hello, is anybody out there? I wouldn't blame you one bit if you weren't. I know this post won't wow you, but obviously the following tidbit-another one in a very long list of pieces from Yahoo designed to manage the expectations and perceptions of those teeming masses who are seemingly inexorably downwardly mobile- is one I feel worth posting.

What's the secret of living well, well, mind you, on eleven grand a year? Well, let's just say that the secret is A.) no secret at all, and B.) once knowing the secret, not one man or woman in a million could successfully follow the prescription, because C.) no one can live well on eleven grand a year in the U.S.A.


Johnny D. said...

Hey Edwardo. I saw this on Yahoo. I didn't put together your take on it though - which is an interesting one. It wouldn't surprise me in the least bit to find you correct.

It's funny when you think about it. The media cheerleading a race to the bottom. Soon, it will be a competition. I can see the future headline, "We found a guy living well on $100 a year! Our winner!"

Johnny D. said...

Oh, and I suppose that "living well" is a matter of perspective. Don't forget that one guy can be entirely happy living in a cave and catching his food, while another can be miserable with an income of a quarter million a year.

Debra said...

I agree with Johnny D., on both comments.
On the art of the social body to go from one terrifying extreme to another.
It's funny, but I rarely see anybody pointing out that the major problem is the ONE SIZE FITS ALL MENTALITY that proposes ONE solution for EVERYBODY.
You don't fit ? Chop off your leg, your head, to make you fit.
Geez... maybe SOME rich people are really and truly happy... WHY SHOULDN'T THEY BE ??
And maybe.. some "POOR" people are happy too, living on less than $10,000 a year ?
Maybe money is NOT the measure of ALL things (like... that one size fits all mentality again) ?
Last night I watched "Ninotchka" by Lubitsch.
You know that film, with Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas, scenario coauthored by Billy Wilder ?
Check it out. Ninotchka's Communist Russia sounds AMAZINGLY JUST LIKE THE WAY WE ARE HEADING RIGHT NOW.
I hope Jesus is wriggling away and sweating blood on that cross until the end of time, seeing where HIS WORDS have largely contributed to bringing us.
I am living like a Luddite too.
But... every once in awhile I pull out my mother's old clothes, the ones that my grandmammy knitted for her, the ones I can't wear anymore, and lovingly finger them. (I thought about giving them to a museum once but THAT WOULD BE SACRILEGE.)
And I just finished a knitted sweater for my husband that I am sewing beautiful hand made buttons on.
So much for AUSTERITY.
It doesn't mean anything unless you have a religious sense of what luxury truly is.
Good to see you're writing again.
For I while I thought I scared you away ??

Edwardo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edwardo said...

Johnny, if this piece had been of the stand alone sort I likely wouldn't have made much of it, but it is, as near as I can tell, part of a long standing systematic pattern that includes such tropes as the putative austerity of such notable humbugs as Warren Buffet. Yes, that same Warren Buffet that is said to still own his first humble home in Omaha. I'm sure he does, but only for PR purposes not out of any sort of folksy sentimentality, let alone plain old frugality.

And, yes, of course, as you both chimed in, some folks-though not too many I would wager are only too happy to reside in a cave, while others who are surrounded by the trappings of monetary wealth are miserable. But, well meaning philosophical ruminations on such matters aside, I just don't get the feeling that the impetus behind these sorts of features from Yahoo are much informed by good faith philosophical arguments.

Debra said...

On the off chance that you will come back, and take a look at this, I notice that you used that F word, f, as in FRUGALITY...
Do you wonder why we passed up the F word to light on "austerity" ?
"Austerity" comes from a long standing religious tradition, along the lines of... THE MORTIFICATION OF THE FLESH.
In other words... "we suckers have sinned big time, and now the big time punishment is kicking in".
Big Daddy is going to pull our pants down, and go at us with a whip.
Amazing how eager we are to find a big Daddy to pull our pants down... whether we admit it or not, moreover. And even with no big Daddy in sight, we still manage to pull our pants down, and look for one...
I, for one, vote for "frugality", which has etymological roots along the lines of "temperance" and "self control", and also gave us the word "fruit".
Why didn't we pull THAT WORD out of the sorting hat ??