Cashola, Least Popular Kid in School

About two-thousand years ago, Mr. Judas Iscariot ratted out his good friend, Mr. Jesus, to the cops for thirty pieces of silver.  This trade (considered by other friends of Mr. Jesus an inexcusably irresponsible bargain) irreparably connected capitalism to Christianity, and in spite of much criticism, both merchants have been quite pleased with the results.  Their marriage has been a happy one for a long, long time.

They needed one another, the Almighty Dollar and the Son of the Almighty, you see.

When Mr. Judas figured thirty pieces of silver to be the going rate on friends, he unwittingly immortalized both capitalism and Christianity.  He proved to humanity that even gods have price tags, and in return, capitalism blessed Christianity with the crucifixion, a rather sloppy departure from the marketing campaign Mr. Jesus had previously implemented with so much success, but a now-famous stunt the impact of which has kept advertising moguls salivating for centuries.

The crucifixion of Christ could easily have sold out the Staples Center in Los Angeles. They just don't make martyrs the way they used to.

Regardless of its obvious romance with cashola, though, the church maintains that its official doctrine regarding money is hostile: “For the love of money is the root of all evil . . . ” [1. Tim. 6:10].  This is unsurprising, because the greed of some few has been the bane of everyone else since cashola first came around, and besides, if there’s anything that particular holy text does well, it is appealing to the masses through ancient traditional cliches that most people presume true anyhow, cliches like, “Money is the root of evil.”

Everybody knows that cashola killed the video star.

Cashola is not really the problem, though.  Cashola, in fact, only barely manages to keep itself employed, because with an increasingly unstable value on the global market, and itself having no practical use except as a measurement for things which are useful — things which can, themselves, be traded — it would dissolve into obscurity were it not for the vehement and tireless support of the extremely wealthy, those persons whose continued existence has depended on their network of economic resources for generations.

What would happen to the rich if their cashola were stripped from them? The same thing that would happen to them if they stopped paying their security guards.

Of course, the pathetic fragility of currency mirrors the pathetic fragility of the modern human value system.  Modern society gives almost every obtainable thing and experience a cash value, so one must develop the “second sight” of a mystic in order to intuit the illusory nature of price tags.  This creates a self-defeating cycle in which blame can be placed on neither money nor consumers, because money lacks intrinsic value, and consumers lack the ability to discern the intrinsic value of anything else.

Cashola wasn’t ever meant to do anything but represent other things, real things of real consequence*.  When one becomes concerned with dollars, one does well to think of them in terms of man-hours.  For example, imagine that a teenager washes a car in thirty minutes for five dollars.  If he buys a cheeseburger for five dollars afterward, then he a washed a car and earned a burger.  Not five dollars.  A burger.

This seems elementary, true, but who doesn’t fall into the habit of measuring everything cash-wise, rather than by the actual qualities and attributes exhibited by goods and services for sale?  Whether the kid’s burger was worth the work is up to him, regardless how much it cost.  Publilius Syrus said in 100 BC, “Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it,” ten glib words which nullify the value of currency as an absolute at every level.

"The value of a twenty-dollar bill, compared to the value of a lollipop, depends entirely upon the distance to the nearest candy store." -Chief Sitting Bull

Cashola is neither to be feared nor admired, studied overmuch nor especially regarded.  It’s a gauge that tracks where spent human energy goes, nothing more.  It’s a fucking thermometer.  It’s included in several games by Milton Bradley.

So stop it, all this yammering about financial wizardry and fiscal metaphysics.  My age group increasingly reminds me of Wiccans arguing over the proper way to conjure beings from the spirit plane.  Playing Parcheesi is more mature than keeping up with the Joneses, you goofballs, and a great deal more honest.  Have some self respect, for crying out loud.

Find the hilarity that is inherent in the concept of so-called financial security, or one day the joke may be on you — and you won’t get it.

With nothing up this sleeve and naught but wood’n nickels in the other, I remain,

Yours Truly,

-BothEyesShut

*It must be noted that the author does not believe in “things of real consequence,” and so should be considered disingenuous, as well as discredited.

15 Comments

  1. I’ve missed your posts. I’m glad you wrote this one. Utterly right on target!

    • Ah, Rambling!

      So excellent to see you, Sir.

      I apologize for the long absence. I always have to take a couple months out of the year to reset my hardware, if you see what I mean.

      I’m happy to see you around after so long, though! Your comments are always classy and intelligent, and that’s the kind of company I like to keep, especially since our posts tend to dovetail so very well with one another on so many occasions and on so many topics.

      Thanks for saying hi, pal.

      Yours Truly,

      -Both

  2. I’ve missed your posts too, and the cute little cartoons. As always, an intriguing perspective that speaks oh so true.

    “So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?” -Ayn Rand

    • Hi Reverie!

      It’s good to see you, too! You always say such nice things.

      You’ve always been my biggest supporter of the drawings, so you should know that I seriously considered saving time by stealing images from the Internet like I used to, and refraining from drawing altogether. I’m sure you noticed that this post was extremely short compared to the posts I published last spring? Well, I don’t have the time to dedicate to my arguments that I used to, so rather than cut the drawings, I decided to draw fewer of them, and to write much less, as well.

      Hope it’s as pleasing as ever to you.

      Cheers, Reverie!

      Yours Truly,

      -BothEyes

    • My Revierie,

      There is much I love about Ayn Rand, her brilliant, analytical mind, for one. Which only makes her sins that much more grievous, especially penchant for intentionally misconstruing people’s words as well as their intentions.

      In your great quote above, she deliberately misquotes the proverb to create a straw man any second rate fundamentalist preacher could knock over.

      In fact, it is those who LOVE money for it’s own sake who do exactly what our illustrious blogger is warning about: valuing money as an end rather than a means to an end, either good or bad, and in so doing spew untold evil into the world.

      No snap to you, Reverie. Just a conditioned response to my Ayn Rand trigger.

      • Hi Tom Kaye,

        Sorry it took me a while to notice there is a reply from you on this gem of a blog. I am not aware of Ayn Rand’s “penchant for intentionally misconstruing people’s words as well as their intentions” because I don’t know her personally (lol) and I have not dived into her works much deeply as I would think you have.

        What I took from the quote was just plainly what I directly interpreted from it. Which was that money on its own is worthless, but the hand that is holding and using the money is responsible for spewing evil into the world.

        But then again, I’m with the Venus Project about the whole monetary system being not able to work in the long run. Haha. I do wish the illustrious author of this blog would write about it, if he has some free time. :p

  3. good post..great share, great article..love to read it

    • Dear Jen,

      Thank you very much for your support.

      I hope that one day you do read it.

      Yours Truly,

      -Both

  4. First, lolz at the Jen response.

    Second, my friend and I used to measure all of our work hours in Burger King purchasing power, so your hamburger reference does me a world of reminiscence.

    Finally, whenever I meet young people (the old ones are too far gone to really care about) who spend their free time investing, trading, and studying up on stock tips, I cannot help but weep. Of course they might think the same of me — an almost 30-something who is $16K in debt due to school loans — but I know my time is more precious than $$, especially time that is spent as a youth and not as an ailment-riddled soon-to-be corpse. I’d rather be rich in experiences now than rich in moniez then.

    With that being said, it is, for all common cases, impossible to refuse the use of the All Mighty “Cashola” because it is simply how humans have decided to set up the hardware of culture. It is always easy to rant and rave (although you do it in such a fine and humorous manner ((yes, I want a kiss when you get home)) but being completely true to the worthlessness of money is difficult at best; you’re either homeless or mooching.

    I just wish Fight Club could be real — only it would be all financial institutions in rubble and not just the credit card companies. Gonna keep that one as a wish, though; I don’t need jail time.

    • Dear LL,

      With arguments which come from the Broadest Perspective (or at least the broadest one I can imagine) the first argument I have to contend with is the Great Wall of Reality. Our friends and relatives, radios and televisions tell us just as you have, that it is literally impossible to refuse the use of cashola. This is true from the narrow perspective of the person who wishes to have Nintendo, but it’s patently false from the perspective of a good many people — most of them incommunicable to us from where we’re sitting.

      The Great Wall of Reality is: you and I want Nintendo, and so does Rambling Taoist, and Mr. Tom, as do all my readers. I know, because they’re reading me on the Internet, and there’s no way to barter for the Internet that I’m aware of. My point, of course, is that cashola is not what it appears to be. That’s why I take pains to call it by slanderous slang terms. The magic word MONEY has far too much power in this little box, and simply changing the code-word for it does much to bring one’s eyes to focus on it.

      So yeah, my point is, one absolutely must have a round idea of what that garbage is before one consciously chooses to earn it, own it, use it, or give it away. Otherwise, one does not merely run the risk of becoming enslaved to it — rather, one simply loses control of oneself through the mismanagement of one’s principles, and afterward cannot know with whom the control actually rests, anymore.

      Remember, my dear, slaves are never homeless.

      Love hearing from you, as always.

      Yours Truly,

      -Both

  5. Thank you very much my friend, you are very kind in sharing this useful information with? others…. he details were such a blessing, thanks.

    • Dear Freebooksddl etc.,

      Oh! You are indeed so, so very welcome. Should I ever decide to engage in the sort of obsequious and fawning spam that you so magnanimously bestow upon writers such as myself, you will be the first lucky recipient in a long and deserving list of blanket-marketing bastards.

      Do go fuck yourself.

      Yours Truly,

      -Both

  6. Hello, BotheEyes, it’s been a while. And even longer to get to your post! But as always, worth reading.

    I must take exception to your backhanded disclaimer, however. Do you not yet realize counterfeit implies true coin? To rant and rave that THIS is false, taht THIS has no consequence, that THIS is bad, each presupposes the existence of it’s opposite? It is axiomatic: to say of something that it is, that it is, is to speak truth. But to say something is not – is impossible. To quote Kiri-Kin-Tha’s first law of metaphysics, “Nothing unreal exists.” : }

    Engarde!

    • Dear Tom,

      Hi, and it’s great to see you around! I took the summer off. Sorry about that.

      About what you’ve said, that every supposition brings up its opposite: oh, oh, oh, yes; I’ve definitely accepted that. It’s absolutely true, and I can’t find any way around it. Wouldn’t really want to find a way, actually. It’s too tidy a scenario, explaining so much.

      In fact, there’s this fella who stops in here from time to time, this Rambling Taoist, and he and I get along alright too, and he’s always talking about this concept you’ve just mentioned on his site. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, his link is there on the lower right side of my blog.

      First, I’ll reply to your short argument as concerns my bit on currency, then I’ll reply as concerns my “disclaimer:”

      As far as currency goes, yeah, rich people cause poor people, and poor people’s money goes to a very few and inadvertently creates rich people, so-to-speak. In addition, one must remember that polarity, that attribute of nature which causes each idea to incept its opposition, must also contend with flow, that tidal in-and-out movement that causes every extreme to consider suddenly moving toward its opposite.

      The concept of increasing returns notwithstanding (chaos math says flow does not exist except in supposed and imposed windows of patterns), money is especially ridiculous because it is subject to the laws of nature, which, as an abstract concept, it most certainly should not be. But hey! We’re a funny species, and we like to pretend our dreams are real, even when they starve people in Zimbabwe.

      Now about the disclaimer that I don’t believe that anything really matters, and consequently must not know what I’m saying:

      I have a motto that you won’t like, and it is, that I have neither faith nor belief, in either faith or belief.

      It’s kindof a glib translation of Socrates’s old cop-out, you know? I’d love to get rid of it — but I just can’t get around it!

      Fucking great to hear from you, Tom! I’ll be around your direction soon. I’m always interested in what’s going on over there. Such interesting topics.

      Yours Truly,

      -Both

      • Both,

        As always, kind and polite and well thought out comments and replies here. But I’m afraid I haven’t posted to my blog in an even longer period than you! However, do you know about my second blog? I don’t think so. it’s at terrifictom.com. I’m suing it as sort of a miniblogging site as opposed to a normal blog or microblogging on Twitter. Still not publishing regularly, but much easier and according to my stats I am getting a good number of unique visitors who read a lot of pages. I think the parlance is the site has a low bounce rate?

        Anyway, I have also been struggling with three projects at once (manuscripts), along with responsibilities at a couple of clubs/associations I belong to. To say nothing (and I do mean nothing) about my actual j-o-b.

        And I’ve been mediating conflicts between my wife and her step-daughter (mine) which can make the middle east look positively. . .no, that situation is always crap! Nevermind.

        So, instead of a post, I hope to have one or two complete manuscripts ready for e-publishing soon on smashwords.com, a great site I discovered for indie authors. They will e-publish your work for free in all the major formats and distribute it to all the major online bookseller sites, including Amazon, Apple’s ibookstore and Barnes & Noble.

        I was a complete virgin when it came to reading an ebook on a reader until I downloaded Stanza for my iphone. The few ebooks I’d read I’d read in my browser or downloaded them as PDFs. However, after reading several books from smashwords on my iphone using Stanza (just samples since I haven’t found a book I want to pay for yet), I am a TRUE BELIEVER! Reading a book in small chunks and seamlessly flipping virtual pages is downright hypnotic and really adds to the reading experience. Plus, I can read anywhere I can carry my phone!

        This reinforced the experience I had while reading my own works after converting them to PDFs for proofing and editing. I sometimes felt having to hold a dead-tree book in their hands would hamper my reader’s experience because my writing tends to have a fairly smooth flow to it.

        So why even go that route? I asked myself. Aside from all the extra “cred” one gets from having a ‘physical” book – which is still a pretty strong reason to RealWorld publish. Well, that can wait for another day (actually, smashwords.com offers a POD publishing option, but that’s another issue).

        So that’s what’s been happening. I’ll talk with you later.

        Yours,

        TerrificTom


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