Was talking to William Nolan, the author of Logan's Run, in the store yesterday about the life of a writer.
The new movie of Logan's Run is about to be filmed, and the day they start shooting he's getting a nice little check. He's 80 years old, but he was really excited.
He's written over 80 books, but he and I talked about how hard it can be to live the life of the writer, the ups and downs. He's the first guy I've talked to when I explained why I chose the life of a businessman rather than a writer who truly understood what I was saying.
We were talking about debt. He fell deep into debt at one point, and had to sell his house. I talked about how in the late '90's I had to go to Consumer Credit Counseling to get my credit cards paid off. We were talking some big sums.
There was a couple of women standing at the counter during this, and the younger woman, said "Tell me about this Consumer Credit Counseling....I thought those things are scams."
"I think most of them are, " I said. "But CCC is run by the credit card industry itself, so if you have to do it, go there. But I warn you, it's like chemo therapy, they dose you within an inch of your life."
The older woman said, "You were xxx dollars in debt to your credit cards? How STUPID!"
The daughter tried to shush her, but I kind of laughed. What I should have said was, "You're right."
What I said was, "Well, in my defense, Congress changed to laws in 1997 and I suddenly got hit with huge interest increases and late fees and all the rest....
"But, besides, I used the credit cards to survive a huge downturn in sports cards. I can't really say it was the wrong decision, because I paid it off, kept my business, and we're doing fine today.
"But it was tough while it was happening...."
I could tell the older woman wasn't mollified. I was still an idiot.
I hope she watched FRONTLINE last night, because they repeated a show from a few years ago, detailing the absolute outrages of the credit card industry. (Including Congress giving them a blank check around the mid-90's.)
Nothing has changed.
During this episode, my wife wrote the following poem:
Free money! Free money!
Get it while it's hot!
Use it all, lose it all
whether it's 28% or not.
What a marvel of modern science
Even Einstein was amazed.
For the few to control the many
we make cash the impossible reliance.
"We only have them for emergencies"
We lie to ourselves, out of control,
we use them on every urgency.
Then panic begins to tighten
with an income change or loss
and the world begins to frighten
with it's minimum wage, high cost.
No full-time, long term security.
Only the American Way.
They're offering another credit card,
let's accept it with alacrity.
Ten is not enough.
Stuff our wallets and our purses
while we're at it folks.
Just pretend we're rich
Never thinking, paybacks a bitch!
Hide our heads in the sand,
don't answer the phone,
it might be another creditor,
another wage slave drone.
If you haven't been trained to plastic,
for your sake, don't start now.
Keep yourself free
of the American Way,
pay cash... and feel fantastic.
4 days ago