Showing posts with label BoingBoing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BoingBoing. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Revisiting "Riding out the Credit Collapse"

At BoingBoing today, Douglas Rushkoff passes along the link to an article he did this past spring for Arthur magazine titled "Riding out the Credit Collapse." As he writes on BoingBoing, this is "a way to review the steps that led to our current fiasco, explain it in the greater context of centralized currency, and help people not feel so very terrible about it all."

Here is an excerpt of the Arthur magazine piece:

...Bush’s tax cuts and other measures favoring the rich led to the biggest redistribution of wealth from poor to rich in American history. The result was that the wealthy—the investment class—had more money to invest, or lend, than there were people and businesses looking to borrow.
The easiest way to bring more borrowers into the system—and to create more of a market for money—was to promote homeownership in America. This is precisely what the Bush administration did, touting home ownership as an American right. Of course, they weren’t talking about home ownership at all, but rather pushing people to borrow money tied to the value of a house. If people could be persuaded to take mortgages on homes, real estate values would go up for those already invested (like land trusts and real estate funds) and banks would have a market for the excess money they had accumulated.
In short, there was a surplus of credit in the system. Americans were encouraged to borrow in the form of mortgages, which created demand for the credit banks wanted to sell. In many cases the credit itself wasn’t even real, but leveraged off some other inflated commodity that the bank or investor may have owned.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hope this doesn't give Dov Charney any ideas

BoingBoing brings us this news:

In certain Asian countries, Betelnut is a popular stimulant sold by scantily-clad young girls in streetside booths. A couple years ago, artist Annamarie Ho recreated a Betel nut booth as a gallery installation commenting on this "sexually provocative sales style" in which, it would seem, customers are buying interaction with the salesperson as much as they're paying for the Betelnut. For the next two weekends, Annamarie is reviving the piece, Binlang Xi Shi (Betelnut Girls), but this time in the more unpredictable location of a New York City storefront.

Here's that storefront:

west side of Cleveland Place, south of Kenmare Street
around the corner from La Esquina

Friday, 26 September, 6-8pm

Saturday, 27 September, 5-10pm
Sunday, 28 September, 2-7pm
Friday, 3 October 3, 5-10pm
Saturday, 4 October, 5-10pm
Sunday, 5 October, 2-7pm

Friday, September 5, 2008

"NYC for the most part is a dead playground for yuppies and trustfunders"

Yesterday, BoingBoing posted an excerpt from the July Vanity Fair essay by Christopher Hitchens on the demolishment/development of Greenwich Village.

Here are a few responses to the essay/post:

#9 POSTED BY SEYO , SEPTEMBER 4, 2008 11:25 AM
The only thing that will save NYC in general, let alone the Vill., would be a brutal global recession. An economic downturn that would drive the rich people away and back to the burbs, and that would make foreigners stay home. Crime rates rising, budgetary deficits forcing reduction of police, and infrastructure breakdowns would help. In other words, the 1970's all over again. Not likely to happen. Bloomberg has a budgetary surplus, and has devoted his mayoralty towards turning Manhattan into a "luxury product" for financial service executives, lawyers, media moguls, international restaurateurs and fashion designers, and foreigners from the wealthy EU and Arab nations. His strategy is impervious to recession. While the rest of the country might be experiencing contraction, NYC, specifically Manhattan, has stayed stable. He doesn't give a shit about Bohemian culture, nor do the wealthy people flocking here. What they want is an Epcott Center simulacra of NYC grit and edginess because it is so Sex and the City, but they certainly don't want the real thing.

I think that in a lot of neighborhoods like this, small business owners get punished for their success. They stick it out for years in a non-central neighborhood with a high crime rate and after all their hard work, the residual benefit of their business (increased community interaction, more pedestrian taffic, etc.) causes rents to rise outside their grasp, or for wholesale redevelopment to occur.

Recently I visited a traditionally downtrodden suburb of Seattle and my first thought was "wow, so many authentic, diverse, independent businesses, this place doesn't stand a chance!"

Forget the Village, there isn't a single neighborhood in New York that resembles what it was in it's "heyday". Most of the people complaining have already missed the party. NYC for the most part is a dead playground for yuppies and trustfunders. Look in your backyard before you head to NYC looking for bohemia. The real thing is probably closer than you think.

Friday, July 11, 2008