Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Hell is Seignorage?

Disclaimer: Please forgive me while I talk about quarters. I'm a dork.

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Seigniorage is the profit the government makes when it prints out new currency. Sort of. The reason I bring it up goes back to 1999, when the US government decided to start printing collectible quarters for each state in the order that they joined the Union. Not that interesting. Each quarter was given, and I quote, a "design honoring its unique history, traditions and symbols, usually designed by a resident of that state and chosen by the state government."

Ok. I get it. So we either get things that are very traditional on the quarter (see above) or something that pretty much sums up how awesome a state is. Take Florida's for instance:
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Quarter sums it up nicely. Beaches, one of the first states to be discovered, and, well, that whole kick-ass NASA thing. The quartera never really got my attention until a certain one found it's way into my wallet. I looked at it in disbelief. While other states are putting up slogans and historical events on their quarters, what did the state of Alabama put? Alabama, capital of the confederacy. The state that housed the early industrial center of young America. Sure it has a reputation for slavery, racism, and backwardness, but surely the state would bring its good traits to light for this special currency minting event?
Maybe not.
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The best thing about Alabama is, according to the state itself, may well be the fact that Helen Keller was born there. Possibly one of the most famous American Socialists that was known for overcoming her handicaps....I still find it very strange that out of ALL of Alabama's history the "spirit" of Helen Keller's courage is the most memorable thing they could present. That's as if Florida put the band Creed on their Quarter saying "Hey Guys, Creed came from our state, aren't we awesome?". Said quarter would have the slogan "With arms wide open" on a scroll with a palm leaf next to it.
Don't ask me why I brought this up. It bugs me and, well, yeah. It just does. Helen Keller was awesome but she's not exactly the cultural icon that she used to be. Hell, that whole "holy crap she's a freaking Socialist" got her in quite a bit of trouble back in the day. Oh and for really freaky trivia, while she was in Japan in 1937 she picked up a dog named "Kamikaze". Which is really, really creepy considering what was about to go down a few years later during World War 2. Maybe the Japanese, who named the dog for her, named it such as a bit of foreshadowing. Or as a joke. I don't know. All I know is that Helen Keller who was NOT the first person in recorded history to learn to speak despite being deaf and blind (google Ragnhild Tollefsen K├ąta, who inspired Helen to learn to talk) might not be the best way to summarize the accomplishments of one of the states of America.
I'll shut up now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the way state nationalism tends to work, I'm just glad they didn't put a Confederate flag on it and pretend it's "heritage, not hate".

(Since "kamikaze" just means "divine wind", maybe the dog's name was a fart joke.
Though the pre-WW2 connotation of kamikaze was just about the Mongol invasion, and how they got their fleet destroyed by a "divine wind" twice in a row, essentially saving Japan.)

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I will read this article when I have the time, but I forgot your email address and this was the only way I could think of sending it to you -- I can email it later, but I saw this and immediately thought "Jared's gotta see this!" I know you'll be able to find something witty to say :D.


6:07 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

Dear <3,

Screw my articles. That clip was...that clip was spectacular. If I had to analyze it, I'd say the fight was a symbolic battle about repressing your homosexual urges. 2 men tearing at each other until a gimped woman comes in and takes over. Check out the "hero's" confused expression when the bad guy stops fighting him to beat up the girl. He almost looks jealous. :P

Cairnarvon: Oh Lord. You're right. The Confederate stars and stripes might have been worse. Still, no burning crosses. That's a plus.

And on the Kamikaze thing: As right as you are, it's still a bit weird a coincidence. It's as if an American gave an Iraqi a poodle named "Weapon of Mass Destruction" back in 1997. Well not really. But you get what I mean.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Bitsmix said...

oh, the anon comment was me by the way.

heh. I every once in a while seem to find interesting stuff for you, and I'm very glad you like it :)

7:20 PM  
Blogger Mark Brockman said...

As a resident of the state of Alabama, I am just glad they didn't do George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse doors. We do have the best Nazi rocket scientists though. And spacecamp.

I think we were going to have a pregant girl smoking while driving a 1980s Hyundai, but West Virgina had the idea first.

6:35 PM  

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