Consummate dilettantism!

Friday, January 23, 2009

What Is Essential And What Is Not?

The lede of another tepid article from Yahoo! HotJobs:
In just 60 minutes, you could earn enough to pay for a tank of gas, the cable bill, gym membership, or dinner out. Thirty dollars still covers some of life's essential costs. Earn that much in just one hour on the job, and you have enough to build a comfortable life.
Why are we awash in foreclosures? Because we don't know how to live. Not one of the items above is one of life's "essential costs." Tank of gas? The bus is too low for you, I guess. The cable bill? Why do you have a fucking TV? What is so compelling about the television that you must have one at the cost of $50/month, especially when you can see most of the shows on the internet? Gym membership? I can't believe this. It's called a sidewalk.
Sidewalk: use it.

Dinner out? Jesus Christ, I want to gouge out my eyes; make your own food! Invite people over to your house! Unless someone else is paying, don't go to a restaurant for food at ten times the cost of what you could make or purchase yourself!

My philosophy is this: If you don't need to do something costly, don't do it. "But Ari," you protest, "these are just life's luxuries! Treat yourself once in a while! These are indulgences; some people just can't live without them!" Honestly? That's your reply? Your willpower isn't strong enough not to eat ice cream, get a gym membership, or watch TV? Set this as your desktop background, and maybe you'll change your mind:
Another starving child in Africa. I'm sure the cable bill is a real priority.

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