Sunday, August 3, 2008
Hunter Thompson said “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro,” and things have never been weirder than they are now. That means that in some sense, those of us who never caught on to traditional lifestyles are in a better position than most. We freelancers don’t have to worry about losing our 9-5 jobs since we never had them to begin with. Having spent our whole lives confidently saying “I can do that!” when someone offered a paid gig – and then scrambling to figure out how to do it –we are, in some ways, better prepared for the current economic Wonderland, where nothing makes sense. Sense wasn’t something we trafficked in to begin with. The going is weird and the weird are ready.
That doesn’t mean we’re not feeling the pinch and one of the places I feel it most - and like it least - is not being able to support my fellow freelancers as much as I’d like, to take their classes, buy their art, books and music, support their businesses. On the ten-mile long list of why I want money, after “champagne for breakfast,” is so I can hand wads of it to my friends to support their talent, because they so, so deserve it.
This could put me back in the poor house before you can say MC Hammer because I have lots of talented friends and one of the most talented is Chas Martin. Chas donated the tag line for Alice the Goon, is one of the funniest people and best writers I know, a great DJ, editor, voice actor, teacher and computer genius (see? Weird and pro). Chas would never ask for it, but I would love to be able to give him a stack of bills as thick as “The Stand” in exchange for doing my website, because he deserves that and more, but it’s not something I can do right now. So this is what came out of my brilliant mouth when I had him on the phone the other day:
“I can’t afford to pay you now,” I told him, “but when I have more money…well, I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a URL today.”
“Wimpynomics,” he said, “Don’t worry. Everybody’s doing Wimpynomics now.”
I fell out.
It never occurred to me before, but he’s right: that’s the perfect name for how it works and how it’s always worked. The world runs on Wimpynomics. Credit card debt is entirely the result of Wimpynomics. Budget deficit…Wimpynomics. For so long we thought we were the image of the jet set, but we were really a dumpy, mustachioed Popeye character getting our hamburgers on the promise of Tuesday, giving other people hamburgers on THEIR promise of Tuesday….and some how Tuesday never comes. You notice…Wimpy never said which Tuesday.
I could go on and on about it – about emotional and spiritual Wimpynomics, creative Wimpynomics, about the Wimpynomics we do with our health, but I just had to give that Chas conversation to you right now because I haven’t laughed so hard since the Smell-o-scope episode of Futurama and that was in 199frickin9.
So there you have it. Thanks, Chas, for keeping it in the Popeye family.
Chas’ Crusty Old Wave show - Chas' Crusty Old Wave!! - and his blog are on the list of Alice Loves, so pay him a visit. Hell, send him a check. I’ll gladly do it Tuesday but I don’t have it today.
(Picture of Wimpy came from Monmouth College Classics Department Homepage on Eponymy.)
Posted by Wiggle Room at 12:49 PM