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What you do is you start a bank, then by sleight of hand you convince everyone that while you only have 10 units of coin in your coffers y...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

economics of play

More than eighty feet underground on metro line 11, I’m heading east to a party on Rue des Rigoles – no jokes – and appropriately, I feel festive. Festive even if I have no reason to. The ground beneath my feet, just under the rails, is a morass, economic, geopolitical, blah-blah-blah. "The US alone is losing 30,000 jobs a day", Le Monde affirmed in italics this morning.

But now – a new Casio on my wrist and the Doobie Brothers in my ears – I laugh at these jobs, every one of them – so many per hour – because these are not jobs I want. Lui will not move to Detroit to handle car-parts and drink coffee out of a thermos... will not move to Florida to sell real-estate to old ladies with white sneakers... will not move to Arizona to mow lawns that shouldn't be there...

...the quartz on my wrist reads 23-hundred. I feel sharp when I hit the hour on the head like that, right when the bleep bleeps.

Still eighty feet underground, I think of other stints more to my taste, and in keeping with my sense of things and place in this universe, a zillion-zillion feet wide, as many high and deep, and as unknown as the territories of the human mind.

SO NOW – in no special order and off the bat, eighty feet down, near station Goncourt – I WOULD:
  • dismantle oil tankers with marauding monks from the East: Bangladeshi, Thai and the like.
  • clean up debris from satellites and other space-contraptions – a lonely but adventurous task... with perks: Russian cappuccinos on space station Mir.
  • cook Balkan for the infirm but ultra-rich, bringing Croatian cuisine to Tokyo.
  • pick berries in Jutland with types like Eve - sprightly and elfish - the Czech girl I met on the bus the other day (but I would pick any number of produce with her, zucchinis, leek, rhubarb, you name it, any type)...

Still eighty feet underground, station Belleville at hand, a dark-skinned man with an accordion and a set of uneven teeth sings a song about a lost land south of the Carpathians where women are aplenty, laughs are aplenty, the sun is bountiful and where – I deduce from his smile and the riddle of notes spiralling up from his instrument – there is no downturn, no boom-and-bust, only and ever the economics of play.