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For Once, Spending Money on Random Shit Is Helpful

It is your patriotic duty to make it rain

I have not yet received the $1,200 in coronavirus relief cash. (It’s probably something to do with using Turbo Tax, or putting off this year’s return, or the government just not liking my posts.) If and when it does hit my account, I should try to keep all or most of it in savings. Be responsible.


Americans are consumers to their core. You cannot hand them a grand without anticipating how brazenly and wackily they will spend it. To be sure, much of this money is headed toward the rent and bills it hardly covers, and some folks, if they’re financially steady, may give a portion to charities or crowdfunds. But lots of us are half-joking about the dumb shit we can blow that 1,200 bucks on. The good news is, buying that giant flatscreen TV actually helps.

Unfortunately, we live in a growth-addicted capitalist machine that cannot function if half the country is unemployed and most businesses are basically outlawed. That’s why a handful of governors and mayors are pushing to “reopen” already. It’s going to blow up in their faces, but in the meantime, we ought to support the local enterprises we can — get takeout food (tip lavishly!), subscribe to sex workers’ OnlyFans accounts and splurge on the products you could never justify before. Do I need the $299 vinyl box set of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Fever to Tell from Amoeba Music? You bet your ass I don’t. Except the store is struggling right now, so every sale helps. Boom, talked myself into it. Sold.

Honestly, the more ridiculous your purchase, the better. Contain the virus, but spread that bread around — I bought a vintage tank top with a tropical fish on it from a nice Etsy seller, and I couldn’t be happier with that choice. How often have you told yourself, “I can’t buy a giant bag of candy, I’m an adult”? Let nothing hold you back now. Or hey, if you really want to keep things practical, drop your dollars on face masks made by artists who are donating proceeds to medical nonprofits. The point is to keep the wallet handy and spend like a drunken sailor.

Go on! This shitty economy ain’t gonna stimulate itself. It’ll take millions of citizens to shock it back to life with impulse shopping. We got ourselves a new food processor and made killer guacamole, so yeah, we’re helping.

Altruism doesn’t get easier than this — take advantage while you can.