From the Editor’s Perch

Follow the Money

(Our Adolescent Culture and How Discretionary Spending Determines It)

As I stood at the breakfast counter this morning – in between the lubbity-dub sounds of my inner contentment and love – it occurred to me that the majority of our discretionary spending was done by my cereal slurping son.  My wife and I bring in a good income.  But our expenditures are quite practical.  House payments, car payments, every day repairs, utilities, foodstuffs and medical bills consume most of our income.  That’s my wife and I.  Our son, on the other hand, has little income.  But the income he has is spent almost entirely on ‘new’ products.

My son hasn’t a lot of money to spend (though he does pretty well at leveraging mine).  But what money he does spend is spent almost entirely on new culture: music, movies, snacks, designer drinks,concerts, trending clothes and sports.  And while I spend much of my money buying time in order to produce the plays, writings, stories, poems, and pictures through which I hope to beautify our culture, …what I do isn’t wagging much dog.  My son, on the other hand, devotes almost all his money to purchasing what is new.  And his money seems to be wagging quite a bit of dog! and wallpapering our culture stem to stern.

The years have shown me that culture and politics tend to go wherever there is new money to be made.  So after realizing that my son does the cultural ‘voting’ for our family, I suffered a buffeting series of revelations.

You want to change the world?  Don’t go to school, study hard, work, and learn the difficult lessons of the life and all that – because all that stuff is in the public domain.  You want to change the culture?  You’ll be much more effective if you simply go buy something from WalMart.  It’s that ‘Golden Rule’:  ‘Those that have the gold, make the rules.’  My son’s viewpoint is winning, hands down.

Finally, I’ve connected the dots and realized that the reason our culture strikes me as terribly adolescent is because it is mostly financed by adolescents; the businesspeople who make their livings by catering to adolescents; and the cultural media who pander to the adolescents ideas of the ‘new’.  As opposed to the Ten Commandments, which God knows, are in the public domain and we’ve all heard a thousand times.  (Don’t even bring them up!  you want to sell anything.)

Anyway, perhaps if I were a genius, these words might charm our culture more to my liking; provoke a change, or even get me arrested.  For the time being however, the most culturally puissant thing I’m probably going to do, is to shop.  I’ll just drive down to a Wal-Mart or one of the Big Box stores and purchase something.  This simple action as a consumer will probably wield far more influence than I will ever have as an artist. Few will follow my art, but most can spot and make change for a fifty real well.

And that’s just the way it is… for now.  🙂

Photo by Carl Nelson

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4 Responses to “From the Editor’s Perch”

  1. Gary and Alice Nelson Says:

    This appears to continue uninterrupted after the kids have left home. At least in our family.

  2. schn00dles Says:

    Age is probably the only cure, as it leads eventually to death.

  3. Oesch Says:

    Hello there the beloved! I would like to point out that this informative article is awesome, great created including close to crucial infos. I’m going to discover far more blogposts this way .

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