I know your eyes in the morning mall
I feel you touch me in the pouring sales
And the moment that you wander from the aisle
I wanna feel you at my register again
And you come to me with your summer tee’s
Keep you warm in the winter with Gortex sleeves
And it’s me you need to blow
How deep is your Fed
I really need to learn
Cause you’re living in a world of fools
Breaking you down
When they all should let us be
We long to shop, you and me
I believe in blue
You know the door to a season’s soul
You’re the light in the deepest, darkest tower
You’re my cash when credit falls
And you may not think
I care for you
When you know down inside
That I really don’t
And it’s me you need to grow
How deep is your cred
You really need to learn
The machine tolerates no fools
Breaking you down
When you all should let cogs be
We long to consume, you for me
*Lyrics adapted from: How Deep is Your Love, The Bee Gees
I am a reader, like you, of many different publications, and my taste could be called as eccentric as some of the writing I review and participate in, much like yourselves. Yes, you. The reader that has come here to find something that is going to be considered in a different perspective, and as such, is to be a reward for doing so. We all love being considered unique, and intelligent, and quite frankly would agree, that yes, humans love rewards. They are good things, and they often come with results that revolve around tangible things, and because we are intelligent species, we also know, that these rewards can be benefits that are softer, or can not be touched, except through a sensual realm we would all recognize upon discourse.
So we love the material world, we have heard and seen so much of this, that we could point to the animation series interpretations, or watch 30 Rock, hoping to see vanity affirm that after 6:00 p.m., only animals do not wear tuxedos. We relish in the stories of the Walter White hero, who has to not only fight his cancer, but his urge to have to do whatever he had to do, in order to survive and try to provide for his family. The change to his character is based on ensuring his family lives well, unlike his life until that point, struggling to provide a living, as opposed to super charged, spoiler, cocaine fueled, metallic stallions.
Kenny “fuckin’” Powers becomes a lore that pervades the musings and wanderings of a generation that no longer needs books or lockers, as much as they do the size of the hard drives, and the access to speed and cloud resources, that their elders possess and keep hallowed with the same gyrations of outcomes if they were so blessed as to have been Kenny. Shame, the supporting characters were not as prominent, or we never got a chance to talk to the faceless extra’s on the set – they are the one’s that make up the real story.
No? The characters are “you” right?
You can completely relate to Scarface, and Goodfellas, and of course, Bond? Ladies, amazed at the intelligence and insight from Oprah, or the CSI detective, strong and intelligent, but passionate, bold woman?
My river can run as deep as the pitcher’s of beer, or as long as the papers have glue to stick it all together, but let’s just say for brevity sake (*yeah, sarcasm and self indulgent smirk included at this point in my frant (c), a Feta-rant) at the very least, see “just” about every show, every media report, every thing we ever see, whatever that is – comes with a desire to be seen, for some kind of recognition, or gain. Some kind of material want, we “justly” get it.
The time has come to consider how amazing this new generation could be, and what the difference may be in their approach to life, that will surely be different than the one occupying Main St., USA, today.
There is never going to be another time in history, where we step back from the advancements of what we have now. At the very least, the most incredibly important things, like water, food, electricity, media now…all will be provided, and ensured, because we are not animals. We are not filthy, disgusting animals that lick their own assholes, we may lick another’s for fetish reasons, or in order to actually be able to progress in that job, that gives me another 15 minutes of spare time to stare at a cinderblock wall, floating away on a magical device that stimulates the mental holograms I need like crack to get through the day, but licking my own asshole is not only not possible, it is not even a desire.
I am an intellect. I am worthy of high praise, I am the human specimen – well, I am the Fetaman, really a man made of cheese, and has all of the properties of being human, and has lived as one his whole life not even being understood as such, but he is made of pure feta and brine, and sure as the words you are reading here, I too am not only capable of logic and reason, and laughter, and good masturbation jokes, but I am in your category perhaps, so let’s just say we are all worthy of this high praise.
We deserve all of these goods, and have earned them, and once we have gotten at least the basics undertaken, in this “re-matrix” animation, making sure we do not advance backwards from the first physical needs, we will stay alive, as a human race, prioritizing with the same urgency as a mongrel horde, or the living creation of a blanket of black lesions representing a historic map that nearly wiped out the greatest creation the universe has seen.
We fail to really focus on the importance of clothing, in the realm of survival, we take it for granted, we are entitled to have all of these items, it is what makes us better than the wolves or the lions, or the donkeys. Exposed privates, and that whole natural survival thing, no, we can save that for the National Geographic shows, or those of us that really like the outdoors, and they can do their Mountain Equipment Co-op thing, or use their down filled parka’s in the desert to catch a new sand tic that may reveal the location of the Ark, or some tablets – we have the technology to read this tic’s DNA, and it will be plugged into the same computer than can calculate an estimate of something not humanly possible, based on the roll of the random number generated outputs, and their collective intelligence, so we should use it.
But clothing – never.
It is a basic necessity, and as such, helps us define what the place of ourselves is, relative to our friends, peers, and the unionized collective. I know, you may be thinking I am being a little harsh here, with the whole “union” reference, but it kind of works right? We have a communist leader example we can use here, that is the solution according to so many of the anarchists, and the intelligent ones who have now figured out the importance of keeping pubis trimmed to close, and looking good. (*hint: the answer is webcams, and the spatial ratio of projection relative to light sources and intoxicant combinations during certain phases of media transfer as recognized by alpha bio nutrient fueled Intelligence Gel (c) as provided in standard new born birthing, post 1984.) so why not run with it. The lead communist leader has the best uniforms, and the top members also have nice badges, and medals and things that you sew on to the traditional garb, and voila, we now have a visual class system.
It allows us to not only be seen differently, it can also be a measure of how the economy is doing. This is the basic thought behind much of the media today, not necessarily specifically only about clothing, but hard goods, spending, the acquisition of the more important things in life, like a fine sound system, and killer useful Christmas presents. Badass speed, NASCAR speed spending – you got a sticker, we got a place to put it. So let’s measure some stickers, according to a piece I noticed on BusinessInsider.com titled “The 10 Cities Where Americans Spend The Most” that was written by Mike Dang, based on Bundle information, amongst other sources.
I had been fascinated by the original article I had seen (*this truly an intelligent piece, and is food for thought for those of you willing to reap what you sow – The State of the Internet.), and just closed it planning on commenting, or writing about some of the thoughts going through my head, maybe simplify it, break it down to a 140 character context. Look for 20 word outputs that may be “flashes of brilliance” that the masses to know, I mean, I like you need to be heard, and I am so damn important, I should not even have to work or pay taxes, that way I could contribute with my amazing and brilliant ideas, and make the world a better place…*headscratch*
The top 100 cities of America were randomly surveyed, according to a wandering dalliance, and yes, so unique, what do the 18 million American “shopaholics look like”? Fascinating stuff, yes, we will be able to tell so much about the world with this data, it has never been considered before. But we shall be tricky say the survey takers, we will outsmart them, with the simple questions, asking them about vague memories or very firm ones, that range will be great amongst the union classes from office to conveyor belt, that revolve around household expenditure on shoes, clothing and other wear. The authors gathered the findings, which include input from the wonderful machine known as Citi, and voila, I had some good chuckles at the manipulated and telling tale, of the truth that was chosen to be shared, but why it was shared, and why you react the way you do, hell, I am no fucking Kreskin (*remember, a man made of feta “headscratch*).
Simply, the article lists the 10 cities. Quick, easy to read format as you see, based on a quick set of virtual slides, on the proprietary software. All you have to do is click the arrow, and another surprise city announcement comes to you. If you are one of the people in the city that look at those numbers and smirk, is that a weekly average? Well, you are one special human, right? Maybe you can email me, and we can become friends, and share Instagram shots of the items we just had to have.
*mouthing the words “email me” as I type this, just not sure if the webcam caught it, or you were multitasking, so yeah, email me*
I summarized the general findings, in this first picture. Consider it a simplified info-graphic that uses that old-fashioned translator, math. I know, out there. Here we see a couple of interesting things, in one snapshot that takes the mental calculations out of it. Wanted to keep it easy, or perhaps guide you on the journey of the information, in a form that makes my message seem both relevant, and validated.
Go ahead, I am sure you are nodding at how simple this all appears right?
At the numbers that were used, the annual spends look to be a little on the high side, but this is acceptable, we are talking about the top 10 cities from the spending side, and 5 of those cities are in California, and Texas. Makes sense, with the large population centers, and the corporate developments. This is pretty good stuff. The other cities, seem to fit, sure, some retirement oriented, older, well established family stuff. Nothing to see here, or be surprised at, it is like the telephone number on the bathroom stall. Good for a quick dip into the imagination, or filed into the memory bank, and off you go to wash your hands at the sink. On to the next one…
Not so fast.
I did not pass over the information so fast. I have my own reservations, and thoughts on a number of things, and like many began this conscious stream of thought, that had me starting off with assuming the questioning and the professionalism of the survey, and the data was prepared properly. That is was handled by an intern, that was managed by a boss, that was managed by a Board, that reported to the shareholders, about the shit that they sold them on and off the books.
I am going to remain “real” on what my thoughts on this are, and I have stated it before, the numbers will tell you whatever you want them to, so asking them to tell you what you want, is an art. Let’s assume we can appreciate this form of “art”. Consider it like a logo, or a brand – that is art, and that is another topic.
I copied the cities into a workbook, and used the data to project, or assume a couple of straight line valuations, that were logical. If we took the monthly average, and simply multiplied by 12, we would have an annual spend. So taking the simple average of all the cities, voila, we have a magical average that can be multiplied to show us about $2,749 in actual spending, and about $3,573 of gross earnings, at a 30% tax rate assumption.
I know, nothing too surprising here, hopefully there are more of us that do that, then don’t, but I do not think that is the case based on the numbers of people that are capable, willing, and time enabled to consider more than the 30 seconds of city pictures, and a number that ranges from $200-260/month.
Who cares about the sixty dollars a month difference, that is not that much. But I disagree, that is $15/week, and for some, that is the difference between eating, or not, being able to get the medical attention or medication they need, or not. I am not going to get into my theory on what my role is in that, or yours. I am a proponent of the gulch, and I abide. I own my miles, and I expect anyone else that can, to do just that. Own them yourself. I am going to confirm however, that you will know the wealth, or the respect one has for it, when they are aware of these small things, for it will be them, that will amount to great returns.
This is something most barber’s know, but keep it a secret so you can keep paying them in cash, and in kind.
Now consider the “other side” of that, in the growing sense, that equals about $720/year difference. That is net spending, and gross income, or the spin off economic benefits not included or required here, to illustrate the difference that this amount of money could make in someone’s life, over a decade. Sure, you are not going to want to have another $28,000 plus compound returns over 4 decades. You would rather light your candles with a scented match at least you can eat the memories when the pension promised by the machine is no longer available, adequate or palatable.
Is the machine the state? A corporation?
With less than a couple of weeks to blow any holiday budget, and love to prove with the shopping still left, shoppers will be in a mad rush to snatch up last-minute gifts for friends and family, at debt levels never seen before. But, alas, tis the season to chant prosperity again, for all no doubt.
*this is that moment live, where I literally will either smirk/smile/laugh, or outright get up and walk away in order to not cause your ego to falter, or worse, be slaughtered in the name of the fodder needed for the Brine Diaries.*
I then included a couple of categories, and thought, yes, indeed this works.
This is the way that I think now that I am older, and past my desire to drop the $3,000 on the suits, and material goods. In fact, pretty glad I am one of these next door neighbor types that you have no clue about, just an eccentric in a robe, sipping milk all day, smoking bohemian tobacco, and they can still do what they want, but we have another subset of the population that needs to be considered, and that is going to hold a surprise revelation for some, and a chuckle for others.
These categories include the number of pairs of shoes one would typically buy in a year (*do I have to buy some, I have some I want to give away – but maybe will box, and store and use when these ones blow out, thankfully I do not have the nacho cheese feet my cousin Jesus Raul Tacropolis complains his wife has, and fellow country folk possess), the number of t-shirt/golf shirts (*I do not golf so much anymore, well never did, cause cheese is not permitted to actually play golf, only on the course for consumption or male entertainment when some of us are cut as a buddy is about to tee off, but I am a devout purchaser of 1970/80’s black and white concert t-shirts), the number of casual shirts (*most of these include the Olive on Horseback logo of Ralph Lathitovrathi, and come in all kinds of colors and shades, but I am a sucker for putting on a fine bunch of oil, at night, and hoping for a sweet salad tossing), the number of dress shirts (*as most of my time is consumed by trying to do anything that revolves around bowling, my shirts are dressy, when Fetaman is on the left chest, mine are all orange mostly, but I do have a few decades worth that are still in fine form, and circulations) and finally, various or other (*the feta-string thongs, boxer chongs, silk socks and comfortably hand pulled, organic cotton from the poppy fields of Afghanistan, etc.)
I assumed a certain cost to these items, based on the classical separation of low (*which is much different than poverty line), middle and high. I think they are not indicative of the “real” numbers when we look at the whole range, but remember, we are talking about the human calculator consideration here, and how quickly this occurs, would be scary to some of you still reading this. For others it is as simple to understand, as drinking water. It is the way you drink water.
Now, I think that 4 pairs of shoes a year is pretty “outlandish”. Not sure who you are, or what you do that you need this many, but it may be a fair number considering we are talking about households here, and this number is for the average alone. Do not try to compound this thinking, or this argument with how many people live in the house, and what they do, or what their upbringing was and how it relates – just keep this simple, be who you are – the selfish, self-absorbed, narcissistic, example of someone that must have all of these things, to define who you are. Like the playlist on your iPod defines exactly what you would express to the world, if you could – you so deserve to sing your song, sweet butterfly, so lovely and willing to mingle with the moths that come from the meadow, a gulch over there, so bland and dreary, and negative.
Yes, you are right. Bland, dreary, negative gulch.
I did keep the numbers simple, because that is how they come. The two I had a burp with, a little burp ok, not a belch, or some kind of rancid wrestling match, were the number of the various items that one would use (I mean this would include the socks and shit) and the cost of these items, as mentioned above, what makes them “real” or what could become a standard number according to news, and various other sources and reflections. So that is what you get.
What is interesting, is the second picture seen above. Here I have added a number of things that become glaringly incompetent to me, in the presentation of the information. In fact, I am so offended by how brash this is to attempt to pull off, that it is only upon reflection, that I am able to catch myself in the Maxwell Smart moment, where the shoe is held to my ear, and I am listening to the special instructions. Of course, the information is meant to be only indicative, just a news tidbit, or sound bite, that is all.
Sure, like the small pieces of stone that fell from the grate, when Frank Morris taught us how raincoats and dimes could translate into freedom, and he deserved it, he had a tough sentence, he deserves some pathos, we understand the story, and it is a good one.
He was a criminal that did bad things, that was locked away for life. He was bad, but we feel good, in knowing he was able to get away from the machine, from the system, from the man that would be so cruel as to take paint and crush flowers?
The picture I paint is one that asks, what the distribution of the population looks like? How this is impacted by the disparity in income, as well as along a geographic segmentation? What do the worst cities look like, is there any spending there? Are people killing each other every day to eat, and be able to survive – is there tension in Chicago, or in DC? How about Los Angeles, the city of angels?
I take the averages used for the year, break it down into a month, and then see that the lowest of earners, will be far less than the top cities spend, but that is to be expected. They still however need to eat, and that too, will have a different standard disparity. They will all pay for the water and the power, but the quality of the service, and the measurement of it, will be different for a small business and the larger corporation, just as it is for a low income family and the better off, for lack of needing to diminish any more worth’s. Media, that is absolute – entertainment is seen to be the luxury CUV.
The Cerebral Utility Vehicle *duh*
All of this, so you could frant about the material world, and what it means.
No, all of this so I could laugh at one thing, that I seem to think is so fucking obvious to me, and I am amazed at how ridiculous of a concept it is to have to point out. Bean by bean the sack gets full. Seconds flow into years, and then your life is filled with what you have made of it.
Well after 30 years, assuming you spend the first 15 learning the right things about what money means, and what it takes to earn it. You then are able to trade your earned money for the things you want, thanks to a common currency or exchange methodology, and live a happy life. The rich people, realize that to be rich, you need the first two as a solid foundation combined with the abilities and desires, the purpose, you have, which is to make more money, by having other people make it for you. Regardless of the later, which you may discover sooner or later in life, everyone in this scenario will then have had 15 years of living.
That is 60 pairs of shoes, and jeans, and even more if the illustrated numbers are not reflective of your consumption pattern, and I can assure you, those numbers are not really me. Fuck, I have jeans I have been wearing for a decade now, and they may not be the kind I want to attend a formal dinner in, but then again, I decide what I want to wear, and why, especially if the invite uses the term “formal.”
In my gulch, that has an entirely different meaning. Swingers of a different money sort, with claws and fangs, according to those who are entitled to more, and not less – nature is not fair, is it?
You have all of these things, that somehow matter, that somehow are more important than making sure the life you lead, utilizes the most important things to you…after the basics are covered. After the necessities have become no longer bare coverage, but reasonable and just coverage. No home is to be without water, power and cable TV. All internet is to be faster than the collective bounding of a steam fired locomotive, and clothing is just as important?
The state of the infrastructure market, has been something that I have been involved in for decades, it facilitated where I am today, and provides for what I want to do. I was blessed to be so fortunate to get into it, coming from the family of hardship, and wooden spoons. It was something that was a passion, and that I worked at.
Of course, as mentioned on the site, and in my writing, I have been along the way of the $300 ties, and $700 cufflinks. I no longer am there, by choice.
By the choices I made, when I considered the impact, on my life in the future, if I continued to not respect wealth for what it really is. If I continued to recklessly throw the money I had earned, and now was becoming desensitized to, around in the same way I had begun my post-graduate ways, I was going to have to spend the rest of my life, as a slave to the machine, and in order to merely ensure I could buy the things I want to impress other’s with, even if they did not really matter to the quality of my life so much, as long as they were important enough to have me recognized. Rewarded with the smile at the light, when my 500 AMG purred next to the Rabbit.
I eventually got to a point, where I had to remember from where I had come, and knowing from the experiences in my life, that the 48 jeans, or the 200 t-shirts, or the hundreds of socks, are not going to be there for me to eat, or live with, if, and when, a tragedy might come.
Bankruptcy – it was a bad decision, but if you learned from it, then you will recover, and until then, no problem, look at your pretty jeans. You realize you can’t eat them, and you know you will be lucky to get $5 at the second hand clothes store, I mean, you wore them only twice, and they cost you $300…good investment, in fact, fuck investment, great life planning. Guess no one ever told you about this, or you are the victim, because it was the machine, the evil wars, the corporations that did this to you – terrible, I know.
Cancer – well, this is something I can speak of, easily. Whether the doctor’s tell you the cancer is new, or back, or terminal, do not worry if you are one of these clothing, material spending types. Good food? Fuck it, have to look good. How? The solution is easy, and can be found in the third episode, of Season 1 of “Sex in the City”, and like the BusinessInsider.com article references, these shopaholics have it all figured out (*hint – the cure involves good shoes, casual sex as a result of good pharma coupons and fabulous, well priced fashion selections and accessories)
Criminal charges – no worry, if you fall into this category because you were framed, or you got caught having to do what you needed to do, to live? Not going to be an issue, you clothes will make you a hipster upon your release, and the gymnastics training undergone in the watering steam caves, or deep in the bowels of the lower bunk, will surely provide some lean, mean, tax free income upon your release, and the releases of your newest “friends”. Society has deemed you to be a criminal, forever.
I could likely move into the next phase of the math, do some more pictures, and fill in the cells on the workbook. But I don’t want to talk about how $500 a month, makes a huge difference in your life. Most people should be able to see that by now, you would think. The fiscal cliff talks should have more people aware of where they are, and the impacts they are going to see, and feel, when the trough begins to slam shut and the free meals are proven to not be free.
If you saved that $6,000 a year, flat line, for 40 years, and invested it, what amounted to literally less than $20/day, that figure is straight lined at $240,000. Compounded at whatever you want it to be. But if over that period of time, you spent $2,000,000, and have a negative net worth, on paper?
Maybe, not so much.
There is no fucking growth, in any capacity, if it has all been financed by debt. If you made $100, and owe $1,000 – you made nothing, other than a life of misery for yourself.
If you continue to do that, to owe the man, or the Shylock, or the pimp on the street, or the mobster the money you earn, to pay back more and more of the money you used, to get things that don’t matter, or maybe have not remained as important in life as you think they do?
You are one smart cookie. <looks around for stick to throw>
But, running faster towards death, with more debt, means when you die, you will at least have enjoyed some lovely clothes that you never even had to fully pay for.
You win. Your life has had great meaning, cool.
See you in hell.
I will be there on the tour bus passing through. What? No, it’s not really a bus, so much as a motor home, I saved for it in this life, knowing I would want to roll like that in the afterlife. It’s kind of like the same reason I remained frugal here in order to get my diamond bowling ball set, Saint Karabatsos has got a wicked team together, and there is no way I am letting him beat me, especially if it means not having to buy any more shoes. Fucking hate shoes, they just cramp my toes, and make my feet smell like nachos.
Oh sorry, did not notice.
Yes, of course, your shoes look so wonderful and pretty.
I wish I could afford the wealth you possess.