Comments

  1. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    There are families in this country whose weekly food budget is less than what Edwina Rogers destroyed wrapping that gift. How utterly repugnant.

  2. FelixBC says

    She’s. Cutting. Up. Money. As. Decoration.

    I can’t.

    The SCA is composed of absolute morons, or vapid elitists, or something. As is the repuglican party.

  3. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    As is the repuglican party.

    This is an insult to pugs. I demand an apology.

  4. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Jesus wept, that was repulsive. My favorite part was how dollar bill wrapping paper is especially good for “foreigners”.

  5. Daniel Schealler says

    Hang on… I thought that the willful destruction of currency was illegal.

    The dollar bills that she cuts in half are unfit for reissue if she doesn’t also give them the other half.

    What’s up with that?

  6. carlie says

    It’s pretty shocking to look at, but it’s no different than paying for fancy gift wrap and bows. The money gets “used” either way. This way is just more crass.

    What I was noticing were the dozens of shoes lined up in cubbies behind them. I count 36 shoe cubbies in the shot, with two pairs of shoes per slot. Maybe there’s a pair or two of dollar store flip-flops in there, but I highly doubt it. That was maybe $10 of dollars wasted, but that’s probably at least $10k in shoes behind them there.

  7. says

    Well there’s someone who’s clearly well-acquainted with the issues facing most secular Americans, especially students.

    @Carlie #12:

    It’s pretty shocking to look at, but it’s no different than paying for fancy gift wrap and bows. The money gets “used” either way. This way is just more crass.

    It is a little different. First, defacing currency is technically a federal crime. Second, the area of a dollar bill is about 16 square inches. I just typed “wrapping paper” into Amazon, and the first one was a roll that was 30″ x 120″ for $16.99, which is far more than I’ve ever paid for wrapping paper. A money roll of the same size would consist of $225 in singles, 13 times more than the cost of that overpriced paper on Amazon.

    Shoes, if you wear them right, will last a good long time. They’re an investment. Wrapping paper is made to be torn up and thrown away. It’s a step above using a bill to light a cigar.

  8. Ed says

    Even money spent on the most ridiculous things stays in circulation. Money that is destroyed is permanently lost.

  9. lorn says

    And here I was thinking they might do something vulgar like … I don’t know … spill water on the floor as a show of extravagance during a banquet and serve it to parched peasants to highlight the economic distance between the haves and the have-nots. Sheets of legal tender as wrapping paper is just sooo much more subtle.

  10. carlie says

    Even money spent on the most ridiculous things stays in circulation. Money that is destroyed is permanently lost.

    But they make more. You buy those sheets directly from the US Mint – they know they’re never going to be in circulation, and plan production accordingly. It’s the equivalent of novelty money, but with a higher production value. You couldn’t even cut them yourself and then keep them “in circulation”, because as soon as they hit a bank they’d get pulled for not being exactly the right size.

    Everybody cringes at something different. She’s spending $10-$20 per gift to wrap them. That is pretty small in comparison to the rest of the conspicuous consumption barely glimpsed in the video – the size of the estate, that house, the shoes (nobody needs 70 pairs of shoes, nobody). Heck, I can’t understand why anyone would ever spend $15 to see a 3D movie in a theater, and people do that all the time. Yes, she’s got a lot of money and uses it in a lot of dumbass ways, Yes, it’s justified to have moral outrage at the way people waste money and the system that is set up to give them so much to waste in the first place. I just don’t see the money wrapping paper as more morally wrong thing than all the other dumb shit people can waste money on.

  11. carlie says

    (To clarify: I agree with the point made by posting the video, and the sentiments of everyone posting. I just don’t see the money part as more egregious than the rest of what shows up there.)

  12. Holms says

    So… let me see if I have this correct. The sheets of money are somehow identifiably unfit for use as legal currency, but still cost the same as that number of notes? So she’s cutting up x number of realistic but fake notes, that have a cost equal to that many notes, but no value? I think.

  13. Bernard Bumner says

    I think that the idea of cash as decoration is certainly egregious, if only because it is so conspicuous. Quite literally it is disposable money that many people wouldn’t and couldn’t dream of.

    I’m fairly wealthy (relatively – certainly not rich), and the idea of using sheets of cash to wrap presents hadn’t occurred to me. I can imagine opulent houses, too many shoes (at least functional objects in their right), I can imagine bespoke clothes, and heavy granite worktops, marble floors. But I did not imagine that someone living in the real world would display wealth in such a careless, vulgar fashion.

    It is remarkably similar to those cartoon images of people using notes to light thick cigars, or wiping their backside on folding money. It is extravagance where trivial amounts of money become purely decorative (for what other value is there in mere dollars?) and the destruction of money becomes a demonstrable act of power.

    Of course, there are too many examples of disgusting wealth and inequality in the world, but this is still a notable and cringeworthy example.

  14. Numenaster says

    It’s not a joke. It’s more like a potlatch. Deliberate destruction of an item of wealth as a way of displaying how little it means to you. At least at potlatches all the guests got to stuff themselves silly–this bit of gratuitous destruction is over in moments. Which I guess is an even more effective way of showing how meaningless it is.

    I liked the concept of potlatches. This just makes me

  15. Numenaster says

    …depressed.

    Weirdo formatting not done for effect, I just haven’t mastered the touch screen yet.

  16. pneumo says

    Hang on: Is it ACTUAL MONEY?

    I thought it was just money-looking wrapping paper. Which is pretty gross in and of itself of course.

  17. Artor says

    Umm. a lot of people in this thread seem to think they’re cutting up actual money. While those sheets may be printed at a US mint on the same paper with the same ink, I’ll bet you a full sheet that there are no serial numbers printed on them yet. Letting an uncut sheet of real dollars out of the mint would be a federal crime, AFAIK. Remember that US money is imaginary. No matter how close to the cash in your pocket that is, it still isn’t real money.

  18. says

    I think what people are balking at is mostly the conspicuous consumption. I agree that it’s not real money, and people are getting side-tracked; the fact is, the sheet costs the same as real money, looks like real money, and is intellectually equivalent to flashing a gigantic wad of cash to buy a pack of cigarettes at the corner store. It’s such a “powerhouse” move that it got featured on that program. Never mind the lavish lifestyle and moneyed powerbroker image she’s portraying, this is who we picked to represent us for the cynical reason of trying to get a historically anti-atheist group (Republicans, big-money interests) on our side.

    It’s disgusting, especially paired with how pitifully we as a group address class concerns, not to mention women and race. It’s why so many of us balked at her appointment and side-eyed her the entire time she was in power. If we keep making these mistakes, we’re effectively proving to innumerable oppressed classes that atheism is and will always be the white rich man’s hobby, with only token representation for others, rather than a viable way to live for everyone.

  19. Bernard Bumner says

    Even though I used the word cash to describe the sheets, I understood that these were not legal tender. There is no real functional distinction for the purposes of using money as a disposable decoration.

    Jason nails it above.

    This grotesque imagery reinforces the idea of atheism as the pursuit of the idle moneyed, contra to religion as the opium of the (poor, unwashed) masses.

    At a time when these movements should be growing their grassroots to increase the visibility of everyday atheists, it stinks of the worst sort of closed club elitism to appoint people with this sort of profile to the leadership.

  20. lpetrich says

    I was reminded of the ancient city of Sybaris, whose inhabitants had a reputation of extravagant luxury. Like teaching their horses to dance to some music. When they fought a neighboring town, Croton, the Crotonians made some of that music and the Sybarites had a hard time fighting. Or so we are told by some later chronicler.

  21. Karla says

    My daughter and I bought a souvenir sheet of $2 bills at the Bureau of Engraving when we were in D.C. in 2002. They may have changed since then, but what they sold then was legal tender. All the bills have unique serial numbers, and the tube contained a sheet explaining why. The price was $44 for $36 worth of bills. When I bought them, I asked whether I could spend them if times got rough, and was told that I could.

    Obviously, I would never use them as wrapping paper!

    And, anyway, she wraps like an idiot! Cut on the divide between the bills, and position the box so that the GW portrait is in the middle. I often wrap with the seam on a corner, so it’s less visible. (martha stewart would be so proud)

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