Saturday, November 27, 2010

Remember When People Went Shopping Without Perforating Someone's Liver?

Yeah, I don't either. Apparently, getting your paws on a DVD for $1.99 is vastly more precious than human life (well, that was pretty obvious, to be fair) and is totally worth fighting a stranger over. Hey clever clogs: have you heard of this thing they have, Netflix? It's where you can rent lots and lots of DVDs for only a few dollar-ninety-nines per month. Unless you feel that your home library is not complete without season three of My Name is Earl in the permanent collection.

Some things I didn't buy today because I TOTALLY CHOSE NOT TO included a Kindle, one of those robot vacuums (don't worry, not a robot like in Rocky IV), some cool clothes that don't look like something from the Red Cross post-hurricane, a yogurt machine (not a yogurt maker, a machine that ejects a spurt of yogurt on command), and a luxurious pair of plastic shoes lined with plastic "fur".

And I didn't want ANY of it, THANK YOU!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Today, Afford Nothing Day, I am not able to afford any of the various flat-screen TVs on offer at Walmart. This is okay with me because I still don't know what the hell the difference is between flat and curvy-screened TVs, vis-a-vis overall TV watching satisfaction. I grew up with a very old TV that required an actual human being to get up and manually change the channel (choices: ABC. NBC. CBS, USA, WTBS [that's right, I'm old enough to remember the W], and WGN, plus the Catholic channel where you could watch the world's least entertaining talk show, Mother Angelica LIVE). On this decrepit, low-def device, I watched some of the classics, works that have shaped my life, moments in history that changed who I am today. For example:

- Red Dawn
- That time on All My Children when Erica married someone or got amnesia or stabbed a dude (I skipped a lot of school)
- The magnificent mane of Fawn Hall
- Purple Rain (don't tell my parents, I was babysitting!!!!1!!)
- The "Mr. Roboto" video that scared the hell out of me (who is this Kilroy, and is he hiding in the house right now?!)
- Dance Party USA (lip-synching was a skill we really valued in the 80s for some reason; see also Puttin' on the Hits)

So the point is, what is it about TV set technology that makes people think that a fancier TV means something? It's still a bunch of boring baloney anyway.

I don't even want your stupid flat-screen TVs, Walmart! I'm making one out of a potato and some wires out of an old Teddy Ruxpin, so shut up!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tips for Turning Your Poverty into Social Concern-Trolling

So everyone knows that Black Friday is a crass concept that reflects our culture's obscenely self-indulgent attitude toward the concept of need versus want. Some folks choose to opt out by announcing that they will Buy Nothing that day; I, however, can Afford Nothing, so I figure I might as well soak up some of the second-hand moral righteousness so that I don't spend the whole day googling "lotto strategies for beginners" (as opposed to my usual daily google, "gross stuff that people have growing on them").

Here, then, are some tips for transforming regular old broke-ass-ness into Social Awareness Points:

1. When someone in your family mentions the TV they're going to buy, say "Oh, wow, I don't even watch TV, is fifty inches a lot?"

2. Watch news reports about people camping outside Walmart and remark on how pathetic and materialistic those people must be while secretly wishing you had a cool tent like that lady in the Quacker Factory outfit.

3. Start an obnoxiously-titled blog; update infrequently (the implication being that you're too busy Working For Change to post dumb lists and so on).

4. If people ask you whether you're going to hit the sales to get your kids' holiday presents, allow your expression to darken and talk about labor practices in China, and how your kids primarily receive second-hand gifts to avoid contributing to this unethical system. Then be sure to buy a used toy made in China rather than a fair trade one because DUDE THAT FAIR TRADE SHIT IS EXPENSIVE, GAHD!

5. Post links on your Facebook to MAP International, Kiva, or Food for the Poor, and passive aggressively suggest that people who spend their money on Hannah Montana junk might be kinda ruining the world.

Those are for starters. I'm sure you have more ideas of your own, so use 'em!

(By the way, the above listed charities actually are pretty important and do a lot of good, so if you have any extra cash, you might consider throwing some their way. This concludes the meta-smugness portion of this post.)

Afford Nothing 2010!

Hey guys! It's that time of year again - the time to be poor in material wealth but rich in smugness about how you're not going to join in the orgy of consumption now known as "Black Friday"! This year I'm turning my nose up at the Shake Weight, an unnecessary item that, aside from the frequently-noted imagined rudeness of the shaking motion, is also just really dumb. Plus it looks like a guaranteed tooth-chipper. Forget that noise, I'll shake up my old man's Steel Reserve Evening Beers for exercise! Note to self: tell him about this plan. Or, if laughs are needed, don't.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What Will Our Coming Alien Overlords Make of This?

The Snuggie for KIDS!

You simply put, put, PUT your arms through!

That's right, now your kids can experience the fun of sleeves and juggling, as well as rad backwards-bathrobe parties with the most least-essential item of the year!

If I see your kid playing air guitar, wearing a Snuggie for Kids and a pair of novelty sunglasses, I will punch the both of you. That's right: I will punch your child.

Don't Buy It! Since you can't Afford It anyway!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Things I Will be "Refusing to Buy" on Black Friday

Among the many consumer goods I will pretend I am purposely not buying at any of the big sales right after Thanksgiving Day are:

- a jazzy new digital camera
- a homemade weather balloon kit
- Adam Lambert's "Sparkle Sparkle" record or whatever it's called
- Snuggies, Slankets

I don't even want any of that dumb junk! So there! Takin' a stand!

Welcome to Afford Nothing Day!

Want to participate in Buy Nothing Day, but can't because you couldn't afford to buy anything even if you wanted to? This blog is for you!