“I think I’m gonna spew,” said Brad Cranfield, winner of The Block, which is certainly how this viewer felt watching the Channel Nine renovation show last Sunday night.
As the contestants listened to hundreds of thousands of dollars pour into their bank accounts in the show’s finale, a glassy-eyed, almost drugged stupor took hold of them. It was like watching a coked-up businessman fondle a stripper during a lap dance: naked human desire, stoked for 10 weeks, then sated with a Bacchanalia of ”Block-tion” bids.
Religion may well be the opium of the people but nowadays it’s a little old-fashioned compared with the meth-hit of consumerism; the result, a zombie-like lust for crap we do not need, for a house we cannot possibly fill, a life most of us will never lead.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this interview with Michael J Fox recently. There were lots of particularly inspiring moments:
“There’s this aphorism that I learnt when I quit drinking, which is that my happiness grows in proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations. The more I expect, the more unhappy I am going to be. The more I accept, the more serene I am.”
Like when he speaks frankly about dealing with early onset Parkinson’s Disease:
”The experience of dealing with the reality of a diagnosis with an incurable progressive illness … once I recognised that and accepted it, that opened [life] up for me in terms of possibilities. You see the entirety of your life in a way that you don’t when you myopically focus on your career, or what your last movie did. All of a sudden it’s all bigger, the stakes are bigger, the implications are bigger and the possibilities are bigger.
The only thing you know for sure is that there’s no cure for this, it’s going to get worse. Given that’s what your great truth is, you have to find ways to make things better.”
I recommend your check it out.
“…the mental satisfaction of having $1000.00 (in 1939) laid away where you can put your hands on it, is worth more than what interest it might bring, especially if you have the investment in something that you could not realize on quickly.”
I can’t stress how important this is, or how much it changes your attitude to life. I have quit jobs I wouldn’t have without my mojo money. It allows you to think rationally in non-rational situations.
“Home ownership makes sense for most Americans, particularly at today’s lower prices and bargain interest rates. All things considered, the third best investment I ever made was the purchase of my home, though I would have made far more money had I instead rented and used the purchase money to buy stocks. (The two best investments were wedding rings.) For the $31,500 I paid for our house, my family and I gained 52 years of terrific memories with more to come.
But a house can be a nightmare if the buyer’s eyes are bigger than his wallet and if a lender – often protected by a government guarantee – facilitates his fantasy. Our country’s social goal should not be to put families into the house of their dreams, but rather to put them into a house they can afford.”
~ Warren E Buffett – the world’s third richest person, even after giving billions to charity, applies some common sense thinking to the dream of home ownership in his entertaining yearly letter to his investors.
In Australia, we still have hugely overpriced houses, and banks willing to facilitate the common fantasy of owning a hugely expensive dream home with lifelong debt. It makes even less financial sense to own an overpriced home in Australia.
I found this statement on twitter about the death of Osama bin Laden explains the uneasy feelings I have when I see footage of people celebrating in the streets.
And it's important to make sure that we're celebrating the end of his own lifelong crime spree, not that we *killed* him in order to end it.—
Marco Arment (@marcoarment) May 02, 2011
“The whole of the global economy is based on supplying the cravings of two percent of the whole population. If Americans suddenly stopped indulging, or ran out of closet space, the world would fall apart. If you ask me, that’s crazy.”
~ Bill Bryson – The Lost Continent (1990)
Even though this was written 18 years before the Global Financial Crisis, it’s rather poignant if you ask me.
You Boomers! I swear you are the worst generation ever to walk this earth, self centred, ladder kicking, asset sucking, greed merchants, look at moi, look at moi. all you have ever done is position yourselves in some moral highground, now its emotional intelligence! Cant you all just accept that you inhaled the stoic platform of stabiltiy and unmatched prosperity provided by your hardworking, long suffering parents and ridiculed it in the most pathetic way, dirty hippies. to much outta sight and not enough insight.
Why dont you all just climb into your disgustingly named (and priced) winnebagos and drive off into the sunset. “Spending the kids inheritance”! Pah- you lot spent the countries inheritence.
So to all you 60 year old super sensitive emo dudes, dont trust anyone over thirty, life begins at 40, hippy, yippee, yuppie, dink, grey nomads, go get into your now luxuriously appointed retirement villas (after saving money sending your folks to crap ones) and shut the hell up, I for one am sick of you and all your ridiculous studies.
~ The inter-generational wars continue: a SMH reader posts a rather passionate anti-baby-boomer comment.
You can still buy a house in Germany for the same price, in real terms, as you could in the 1970s. If I look at the example of my parents – they were in no rush to buy because they could live very well in rented accommodation. They put their money in a bank account and bought their first home when they were in their early 50s and it took them six or seven years to pay off a small mortgage. They were extremely relaxed about it.”