First issue of the most exciting year for ION yet! We have some awesome new staff. We have an awesome new look. We have an awesome new office. We have some awesome new mobile technology that’ll enhance your experience with the magazine. And now we have an awesome new website as well. Guess how this year is going to be for us?
However all is not well in the world today. To paraphrase economists, “2009 is going to fucking suck.” For good measure, I’ll throw in a quote from a friend of mine about the problems the world is facing as well, “I fear for the likes of a lot of people once Peak Oil, food riots and hand-to-hand street combat finally arrive. Not sure how you dance, snort and Facebook your way out of that one.”
I’ve dismissed my paranoid friend’s rants for years. However, he is starting to make sense as it would seem the world is gradually taking a step closer to becoming one of my all-time favourite movies, The Road Warrior. My advice for coping with these difficult economic times is to learn some new skills. Not useless ones like being really really good at marketing or knowing a lot about various laws. Learn to make fire, set a broken bone or which berries are poisonous and which are delicious. These will all be useful skills to have when we have to burn all our money to keep warm at night and we’re reduced to an economy based on the bartering of skills and useful goods.
I for one welcome a return to a system of bartering. “You take this arrow out of my arm and cauterize the wound. In return, I will build you a device that can turn your urine into fresh drinking water.” That’s makes a lot more sense to me than trading money for stock in a company. Armed with this knowledge, and coping with an office move over the holidays, we put a bulk lot of a thousand promo CDs that no staff member wanted on Craigslist. We didn’t want it taking up space at our lovely new office and no one would pay money for all this dreck (stores can’t seem to sell CDs and we wouldn’t fare much better). So the catch was we stated we were only after interesting trades.
We got about 50 responses in a week. The offers ranged from the creative “I will come into the office, and let everyone draw additional stuff on my arm tattoos. That’s right. Imagine making the dead Asian snake lady on my arm saying ‘IM A STUPID,’” to the extremely depressing: “I had to leave an abusive husband who I am now in court divorcing. This whole thing has crushed me. I feel old. I feel broken… I cannot offer you much as a trade because most of my stuff is tied up in court, so I can offer you… two empty fish bowls that are of no use to me because I keep buying companion fish and they keep dying.”
In the end we accepted the generous offer of a three-litre bottle of Jack Daniels and two really creepy paintings, as getting really drunk and enjoying some art is a great way to take your mind off the economic turmoil (see the paintings on page 14 and 15). So fill up a shopping cart full of guns, water, gasoline, canned food and gold, then head for your bunker in the hills to ride it out. No matter how fucked the world gets you will still be able to get drunk so long as you’re resourceful. Unless we’re reduced to eating each other. If that happens, I’d recommend staying sober.
Photography: Toby Marie Bannister http://www.tobymarie.com/