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Evaporation Up Economics and Status-ticians

Matt Riggleman 0 Comments

After a weekend of general debauchery and genuine good times between the friends I’ve known the longest (Check out here and here), I got my head wrapped around a few things blog-worthy.

Ok, before I get rolling, I gotta’ thank my buddy Horn for inspiring this post.

For anyone not following the news, we’re in bad economic times. It’s Great Depression-able. In order to help spur growth and lending the Fed has lowered interests rates insanely low levels and started chucking money towards the largest “American” businesses that aren’t cutting it. This all lends itself into the classic Republican idea of trickle-down economics, whereby by bailing out the top tier the money and economic opportunities will flow down to the masses (read: poor people).  And it works most of the time.

So I asked myself: why not try the inverse or as I like to call, Evaporation Up Economics?

But, before I could start yelling about how the government should give the people the money,  Horn quickly made me realize why this wouldn’t work.

The downfall to this system are the people I like to call the Status-ticians. These are the people who obtain the status symbols without actually achieving the necessary status to rock hard with them, effectively standing by as their personal economies evaporate (coming full circle!):)

To be fair to Horn, he can afford the Blackberry Storm  he’s scoring for Christmas, but as he admitted straight-up, “Dude, I’m just asking for it because I always get on the technology bandwagon way too late. I want something new for a change to be cool.”

But, how many people do you know who’ve had their electricity or water shut-off and haven’t paid their rent in two months, but they’ve got an iPhone, Timberlands and a car with over sized rims parked out front? How many people do you know who upgraded their computer for the hell of it? (Doh! Anyone looking for a Dell desktop from 2001?) Unfortunately, they’re usually accompanied by a kid or two also. They’re the Status-ticians of the world, trying to jump into a level of authority and coolness without the $$ backup. Thanks American economic system, and thanks American media.

Which is why, though it would be great if the gov. shot us all a couple grand to get things moving, it just wouldn’t  be cool for the country. Evaporation up Economics sounds great, but people just couldn’t be trusted to do what needs to be done with the cash (Which, incidentally is what got us here in the first place). Better than to spend it on the infrastructure businesses of the economy, to make the poor people like us work for the money we spend on things we don’t need (something doesn’t sound right about that either…..)

A couple video shout-outs. As a human-being with cable all my life, I’m freakin’ a pro at The Price is Right. I know the strategies, the rules and the ins-and-outs of every game that pops up there and I’d take a bullet for Bob Barker. I’ve dreamed of Plinko. I’ve always known the the game where they put is called “Hole in One” but if you miss, it becomes “Or Two.” I’ve lamented the death of Rod Roddy and the departure of the Great One.  Which is why the video here is a crime. Take a look and see why Drew Carey is a completely unemotional, uncaring bastard..haha. How do you not get excited about this? Thanks for referencing this debacle Sports Guy.

[youtube=]On another note, Andy Sandberg from SNL finally came up with a follow-up to the classic (under 18 year-olds stop reading now) “D in a Box” skit, resulting in an even more offensive, yet remarkably creative and hilarious video. As a marketing and advertising guy, I’m throwing the disclaimer out there that I only viewed it (and showed it to my boss) due to the Holy Grail-ness of achieving a viral video. That’s the only reason I watched it. I swear. 🙂 Check it out here.

Happy Holidays,


Random Holiday Thoughts

Matt Riggleman 1 Comment

Just a few things since I haven’t posted in awhile.

Rock, Paper, Scissors can actually make a worthwhile tournament. Having recently participated by MCing a local tournament, I can tell you that it was way more intense and cooler than I would’ve ever anticipated. It’s a great, random “What the hell can I do to get people together and doing something when it’s freezing outside” idea too. The fact that you can win money for something that’s pretty much completely random is a pretty sweet idea too.

I’ve come to the conclusion, at least at this point in my life, I’m not a “baby guy.” Nothing against babies, I think they’re awesome and all that, I just can’t like click or identify with them. Made all the more potent of late since people around me lately seem to have baby fever. Seriously it out fellas’ and wrap it up. Unless it’s something you want, than by all means roll with it. I just can’t wrap my head around the idea without having the other pieces in my life in place. I feel kind of weird for saying that: about as weird as I feel when everybody oogles over a new baby and I watch and smile from a distance..haha. Nothing against the babies in my life (you know who you are): I love you, but man I’ll be glad when you become functioning human beings. Maybe I just need to grow up.

I’m noticing more and more recently that the conventions that make “A Good Writer” are going out the window more and more. As a person who writes for profit, I can tell you that I’ve been told on more than one occasion to throw out normal writing conventions and just go with what’s simpler to understand. “What’s simpler to understand” is essentially the language of the Internet, and as that expands, so will the de-appreciation for the “old” craft of writing. You have to wonder if anything that can be deemed a classic will even be created anymore, or at least, if it is, it’ll be judged by entirely different criteria. Soon, the writers trained in Shakespearean style or in the ways of the early American wri-

ters will go the way of “That Guy Who Knows how to Fix an 8 track player:”..aka..pretty much obsolete. Though I’m not necessarily sure that’s a bad thing. The goal of good writing is to convey an idea and/or emotions, what does it matter how that’s done? It would seem to me you could connect with your readers easier by talking in a conversational style they’re accustomed to, rather than a set of (antiquated?) rules even the best writers argue about. Writing in a classic style and passing it off as right, is like using Ozzy Osbourne’s family as a typical American family: it’s tough to identify with and sometimes difficult to understand.

I’ve found the coolest gift available this holiday season for anyone that works in an office. The USB Powered, Laser Guided Nerf Missile

Launcher is excellent for office warfare. Software included pivots it, activates the laser and fires. Totally excellent.

SB The Bruce, who’s been one of the best since the late 80s, also has a blog, so check it out when you get a chance: SB’s Blog. To give you a preview, SB is currently in Grad School at U Chicago studying to be a lifelong Chem expert to take over the world. His adventures include a bike ride from Chicago to Philly in 12 days, establishing a Bruce to Moose Connection,  and he once swam to Japan. Give SB’s blog a whirl.

Until Next Time,


New Blog And the Great College Delusion

Matt Riggleman 0 Comments

Hey Now…welcome to the Matt Riggs experience, and my new blog, free from the protected confines and the 8-track-like isolation of Myspace, and out into the freewheeling, indexable-content, Blu-ray world of Word Press.

CollegeI’m not ridiculously successful. Let’s throw that out there. I went to a “good” school for four years, I have a “good” job and the prospects for the future are at least leaning to the bright side.  But, for whatever reason, I get asked a lot about college, and my opinion on so-and-so’s college experience, and where I think they should go and all that.

After you get past the classic stereotypes of boozing and sex, the defining characteristic of the college “experience” is the drive and will of the student. Bottomline. Particularly, coming from a small town, I see lots of kids never really leave their hometown attitude, and continue to mentally be in high school mode. The result is usually a drop out after a year or so, which, in my opinion, to come to that realization, makes them smarter than any professor. The other side of the coin is the clueless undergrad graduate who is just as misguided as they day they started paying to go to school: and now they’re a Lexus in debt.

Because every blog needs a picture of AlbaAn undergrad degree from a “good” school is like saying you hooked up with the hottest chick in high school. Sure she was hot naked, taught you a bunch of things and made you more popular, but it’s not anything you couldn’t have gotten from hanging out with the cooler, less-conceited chick who wasn’t so high-maintenance. In fact, to take a page from Horn and Hago’s Joe’s Cheesesteak scale, I think all colleges can be ranked on a hottest chick list. Think of how much cooler the conversation would be: “Hey bro, I just got into Jessica Alba, I’m crazy stoked.” “That’s cool man, congratulations. Looks like I’m headed to “(Insert the girl who sat in the back of your class who saved scraps of skin in her desk like Goldmember in Austin Powers 3)” for four years, this blows.”

CostanzaThe syndicated philosopher George Costanza believed gaining access to hot chicks opened the door to access to more hot chicks, but at least in the case of the undergrad college analogy, I think that’s rarely the case (probably in real life though?).

Many people I know are quick to condemn people who drop-out..but college isn’t for everybody. Until you mentally commit to that kind of schooling, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to Harvard or HACC. The fact remains, intelligence is defined by drive, and if you can’t find it, get the heck out while the cost is still in the tens of thousands.

So give people a break that aren’t ready to take that step yet.

How does this relate? Well, lately lots of talk and articles have been written about how the higher-priced private colleges are losing ground to the more affordable community colleges and the like as the economy gets rougher. I say, go to the cheap school, work hard at what you want to do, and the doors will open as wide regardless. And if college isn’t your thing, get out with minimal debt and go back if/when you’re feeling it.

Ok, done soap boxing

In other news, my heart goes out to my buddy Mark who recently lost his Dad. He wrote about how rough it’s been on his blog. Definitely a powerful read man.

I just bought a new computer from Dell; making me feel kind of selfish because it’s that time of year when feelings go to one extreme or the next.

The team I captained in Fall Softball, the Wet Sox, ended with a 5-3 record, which was pretty excellent considering it was our first year.

I’m trying to reconcile feelings of anger, pity, love and sadness into a plausible holiday season solution.

Pure, all-around hitter Albert Pujols won the NL MVP over free-swinging homerun king Ryan Howard, meaning the sanctity of baseball lives on for another year.

“Fooseball’s the Debil:” quite possibly the greatest fantasy football team ever created, continues to hold steady at 2nd, with a week 11 win.

The Tom Petty documentary is incredibly long, and though a good song writer and singer, Petty’s voice turns into a strange combination of Fats Domino and Chandler’s girlfriend Janice on “Friends”, about an hour and forty-five minutes in.

Downtown OwlI just finished reading “Downtown Owl” by Chuck Klosterman. Thanks to Mandy V for showing me this author. For anyone accustomed to the small-town life and the strange small town-isms that come from it, you’re sure to find some parallels from your high-school class and local Hinkles within its pages. Town drunk? You’ve got it! Glorified athletes? They’re here. High school teacher who hooks up with students? You’ve got that too..

Feel free to throw your two cents in,

Until the next post..