mercoledì, marzo 11, 2009

Gonzo professionalism

It's hard to express, even to myself, how little enthusiasm I have for my job this week. If it helps I have a recurrent image of Gonzo from the Muppets destroying a grand piano with a sledgehammer while I work. I'm hanging in there and going at it hard, up to and including eleven, count them, eleven hour days, but my motivation has dwindled to 'don't cost your managers their bonuses by punking out, they're nice guys.' I've had to start asking myself if I would have quit by now if the economy wasn't in such a state, and that's not a pleasant question to be asking. I'm pretty sure the answer is no, though. The plan has always been to hang in there and work hard for a good long time. I am in control of my life. Basically.

Aside from the issue of currency fluctuations. I've took some measures to hedge those, which intermittently reassure me and spook me the fuck out. But there was no choice; I was worrying too much about what would happen to the euro when it was all in euros to not do something. I thought about gold. Bluebird's rich father kept most of his riches in gold. I bet he's feeling pretty fucking clever right now, because he started doing that when gold was only worth its weight. That's not my game, though; I don't have the confidence in continuing human idiocy to get into gold now while it's so expensive relative to what it was, and in general I'm just not a commodities sort of girl. And it's something that makes me feel ashamed of my species, really - that we're still basing our riches on shiny things, like magpies. Not that there's anything wrong with magpies - they just pick up their shiny things off the ground - but we destroy mountains in Romania and throw fuel on the fire of genocidal conflicts for ours.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the most ethical way to invest. The 'ethical' funds don't cut it for me - okay, sure it's not going to weapon development, but it's still propping up a financial system that treats its workers like enemies and values profit over quality or even quantity of output - totally wrong-headed. So the stock market is just out. Betting on commodities is just out. I don't want some poor asshole in Mexico overpaying for their tortillas because people like me have somehow driven up the price of corn. Currency speculation could be fun but I think the standard for ethical investment has to be that it would still be okay if everybody was doing it, and while moving my pathetic little nest egg around wouldn't have an impact on anything currency-wise everybody moving their pathetic little nest eggs around would - we're seeing the impact of everybody maximizing their pathetic little nest eggs on the stock market with massive closures, disgusting CEO bonuses, and all the other pukability people are puking over - currency speculation would be as unfair.

I think it will be rental real estate, when we decide where to settle down. I can't think of anything less objectionable. Of course this could all be a moot point because I have a lot of time to think about it, and my currency hedging could blow up in my face, or money could stop being worth anything or any number of cataclysmic things could happen. But someday I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not think 'what the fuck are you doing?' - and still be rich enough to not have to work.

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