>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf

April 17, 2008

Nathan: I wrote a column about how my money looks ugly now.
I didn't know you had any money.

When I was in the Netherlands,a few years before the Euro was developed, I made a comment to my friends Jan and Eric about how cool their money looked. Some of their bills had portraits on them, one of them had some kind of weird Van Gogh-inspired picture of Van Gogh (with ear), and I think I remember an orange one with a yellow sunflower on it.

I expressed my appreciation for the multicolored artistry I noticed on their currency.

After hearing my thoughts on the subject, Jan responded, “Our money looks stupid. American money looks like real money. There’s just something about it. It looks solid and official.”

Though I doubt Jan meant solid in the same way that my old physics teachers meant solid (or even in the way most bass players mean solid), I got the point and developed a newfound respect for my currency, which I had just lost (the respect, not the money). It’s odd getting a newfound respect for something that you only disrespected for say, fifteen minutes or so, but I did it. I’m just that kind of guy.

“I want my money to look like it’s backed by the largest pile of gold reserves in the world.”

So, it is out of this previously developed newfound respect for my currency (which is now a much more mature and sophisticated respect, by the way) that I beg of the American government, “Please, quit fucking with my money.”

I mean, it’s bad enough what the government does with the actual value of my money and how it spends it, and it’s downrightdistasteful what I have to pay those assholes each year (it’s even more of a shame that I have to pay them in the first place), so why do they have to throw in a dash of insult with all that injury and keep changing my money to look more and more queer?

And I mean no disrespect to gay people or even queers in general. I mean, there was a reason that I had that brief love affair with the now defunct Gilder: the money was pretty. It was cute. Hell, it was downright artsy. I can understand why some people would want to be surrounded by pretty things every day. I used to spend so much time in strip clubs that I earned frequent flyer miles. And we weren’t even flying anywhere. Or using credit cards that offer frequent flyer miles for that matter (here’s some of the greatest advice I’ve ever espoused: kids, never use credit cards in strip clubs—I mean that).

Anyway, I see why people would want to be surrounded by beauty all the time and why they would therefore encourage our new half-purple five dollar bill with a goofy-looking, oversized Lincoln head and some kind of weird pink watermark label thingy on it. Okay, maybe I don’t entirely get it. But I get the concept. Even if I can’t appreciate the context.

But the thing is, our money was not meant to look pretty, or even to look slightly queer. Our money was meant to look, as Jan said, solid and official. I want my money to look like it’s backed by the largest pile of gold reserves in the world (it isn’t), or like the country that printed it can destroy the world in less than 24 hours (it can). I want my money to be the fiscal and artistry equivalent of sophisticated weaponry.

In short, I want my money to kick ass.

So listen up, American official who most likely isn’t reading this: you leave my fucking money alone or I’ll, uh, I’ll….

Shit, Government. Why you always gotta have all the bombs?