We'll do some fun stuff and then you can stick around
for extra credit if you'd like.
Juxtaposition of the Day
I sometimes think I should maybe buy a videotape-to-digital converter on Ebay, process my old tapes and then put it back on Ebay and try to recover some of the money.
Fact is, though, a lot of those old videos fall rightly under the category of "Why bother?", particularly the 8mm ones. I never had a VHS camera, so anything that made it to VHS almost always got edited down, like the time I shot my then-GF's graduation from Smith and later put Anne Richards' speech on VHS.
Some time I might watch that. And there were certainly moments of interchange with family members that would be fun to see again.
The whole thing of people in caps and gowns walking in, and then each one of them going up to get their diplomas? Gimme a break. Ain't nobody got time for that.
The nice thing about home movies was that you had this little roll of film and, yes, you could have carried dozens of them, but you had to pay to get each one developed, so, for the most part, you edited before you shot.
The result was a short compilation of the trip to the Grand Canyon, not the entire freaking Grand Canyon. It might have been nice to have sound, but, then again, who needs to hear people saying, "No, turn around! Look over here!"
Yes, I know: You can shoot the whole thing and then edit it down later.
I also know that you aren't going to.
Photos are nice, and Betty could be just as self-conscious and hypercritical going through photographs. With digital cameras, you can take a kabillion photos, but it's much easier, even if you don't ever delete any of them, to make a folder of the ones that actually look okay.
If the Ardens go home and throw that video of Carly's pageant up on the tube to watch, they'll be in a minority. If they watch it more than once -- well, there's a comic strip standby about the guy who inadvertantly tapes a football game over his wedding video.
The joke is that, in real life -- apart from someone having the sense to punch out the little tab in the first place -- that videotape would be in a cabinet or a closet or on a shelf, but it would never, ever be in the VCR.
And a related joke is that about two-thirds of the fogies who rattle on about young people staring at their iPhones instead of experiencing life have, for the past quarter century, watched every important moment in their own lives through a viewfinder instead of in person.
You can't preserve a memory of something you never experienced.
Rich folks problem
Gray Matters probes an issue with which those of us at this end of the economic spectrum are completely cool.
Okay, it doesn't happen to you, but she's right: It happens to a lot of us, and all the time.
Either way, you've hit the bottom and you need to stop buying stuff for awhile.
wotthehell, arch, wotthehell.
I was lucky enough, in those darker days, to have a second (no fees, no minimum balance! no non-bank ATM charges!) account, and I'd stick enough money in there so I could whip out that card at the grocery store and make it my final transaction until I had once more achieved liquidity.
Not everyone is able to have that luxury.
Here's how it works: When the money's gone, you just hope to hell the food isn't.
And that's the segue to our extra credit segment:
I was researching the women's suffrage march on the day before Wilson's inauguration in 1913 -- pivotal because the police allowed onlookers to assault the marchers, which brought a lot of fence-straddlers to the suffragist side.
And I came across this Boardman Robinson cartoon in the New York Tribune of March 9, 1913, which he had drawn to accompany a Page One story on hearings of the Illinois Senate's vice commission about the effect of low pay on young women.
I find it interesting because it's kind of a funhouse mirror version of our current discussion of minimum wage, health care and so forth, but this was still the tail-end of the Reform Era and so we have captains of industry being asked -- granted, rather hospitably -- to account for their policies.
1913, you will understand, is kind of sandwiched in between the times of Josephine Shaw Lowell and those of FDR.
Lowell had formed the National Consumers League, which published a "white list" of stores that treated their employees decently, and declared its principles:
Sec. 1. That the interests of the community demand that all workers shall receive fair living wages, and that goods shall be produced under sanitary conditions.
Sec. 2. That the responsibility for some of the worst evils from which producers suffer rests with the consumers who seek the cheapest markets regardless of how cheapness is brought about.
Sec. 3. That it is, therefore, the duty of consumers to find out under what conditions the articles they purchase are produced and distributed, and insist that these conditions shall be wholesome, and consistent with a respectable existence on the part of the workers.
A few decades of futility later, FDR realized that the captains of industry, for all their braying about the self-correcting nature of free markets, were not about to dip into their profits without being turned upside down and given a hard shake.
Here's a slice of meat from that 1913 sandwich:
Now here's your moment of zen: