Sunday, January 10, 2010

See Your Chuck and Raise You a Johnny


US currency isn’t doing well these days, and I attribute that to an image problem. Our bills are stuffy, formidable, the same grayish-green, same creepy Dali pyramid with the eye on top, twelve references to the denomination. 1!1!1!1! 1!1!1!1!ONE!ONE!ONE!ONE!

I take that last as an insult. The pound note only gives you four chances to get it right.

But then, British currency has problems as well. It’s hard to respect cold hard cash when it comes in shades of tequila sunrise, pink, and blueberry. Maybe that’s why the Brits never made a decent gangster film. “Hey Cedric, let’s go score some lilac.”

But pound notes have a few things in their favor. The Queen, for instance; she’s alive, and far more attractive than any of our dead presidents. Plus, each bill has a little trivia lesson on the back. My favorite is Charles Dickens on the 10 pound note. Oh sure, he looks like he went buggy riding with the top down and just lost his favorite tooth, but still – how classy that a country should so honor its authors.

Perhaps the US dollar would regain some respect if we leveraged the popularity of more current personalities. Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp.
I’ve been playing around with some design concepts. A few discreet changes might reinvigorate trading. Especially if we include bubble gum.

46 comments:

  1. "Hey, toots, what can I get for a James Dean?"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Old George is out?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Spot on, Earl!

    The new US designs have created some interest, although perhaps not always favorable: we've been calling it "monopoly money", and not merely for the colors.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now, I know where the American economy went wrong. And after reading this, it still looks dire for us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is there going to be a bill with Anonymous on it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm rather fond of the new big head money. Especially the five dollar bill with that big purple five on the back. The first time I saw that, I really thought it was fake.

    Dickens is fine and all but it's hard to beat the former French franc with old bare-breasted Marianne on it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Karin, you better recommend some female icons... Best if born in the USA. I think Madonna qualifies. Ms. Spears?

    ReplyDelete
  8. That new Cadillac convertible cost me a few Marilyns.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Last night's dinner cost me three Liz's.

    ReplyDelete
  10. OK, I tried to be brief when I had nothing to say. I must add that topless . . . persons . . . on money is interesting in various ways. Movie stars on anything of value bothers me--maybe if they've been dead 50 years. On the other hand, money is only as valuable as we say it is.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those would be my top choices among American actors. Don't forget the girls too. Maybe Lady GaGa or whatever her name is on one?

    I don't think a few jewel tones would be out of place either!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Now who's being stuffy? Ok Banjo, I'll give you a fifty dollar Angelina, but that will cost you two Liz's, one Gaga, and five Johnnies.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hmmm, topless women on coins. I guess Lil' Kim would be the penny? In that awful lilac outfit with the one pastie?

    Britney's hoo-hoo could be the nickel, everybody's seen that one, too, so it ain't worth much.

    I'd suggest Madonna for the dime, but she's bared so much, we'll need at least a quarter's worth of real estate for her.

    WV: zinger

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm sure women are just dying to get on the quarter. I guess James Carville would want Paula Jones on the hundred-dollar bill.
    George W. should be on a postage due stamp.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The rate it's going, our paper currency will be worth nothing more than mere toilet paper.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just a darned minute! How come we don't even get a mention?? We've got the queen plastered all over our money. I think? I've only got a 20 with me but she's on it. I wouldn't call it a flattering photo though, she looks like she could already be deceased.

    And Australia, they've got the queen and they've got really cool bills, there super colourful and you can see right through them. They're not worth much though.

    While I'm foaming at the mouth, I think The Lavender Hill Mob has gotten short shrift in this essay as well.

    Where can I get my hands on some of those bare breasts? .... I mean French francs.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think you are on to something...hillarious.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Cowboy, play your cards right and you might bluff Earl out of a Marilyn or two.

    Wayne, keep that up and we'll have you strip down and pose for our thousand. I mean, thoosand.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Let's not forget the Susan B Anthony debacle. I would be very afraid they might decide to recycle them with her ta-tas carved into them. I want something classy, like Denzel - any part of him on any currency will do.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You know how you can pay extra and get custom-made stamps with a photo of yourself or your dogs or whatever?

    Maybe the Treasury should start doing that with money too. Could make a little dent in the national debt.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was saddened when Ireland adopted euros, abandoning its traditional coinage which had a harp on one side

    I did acquire some collector's coins, though. So beautiful!!!

    I can easily picture them in a pot at the end of a rainbow!

    ReplyDelete
  22. How synchronistic is THIS???

    I just happened upon a Call For Artists. The United States Mint is accepting applications for artists to compete for coin designs!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm glad we have colourful polymer currency here that yells out which note is which ~ no wonder your denomination has to be printed umpteen times on each note. I'd like to put in a vote for Robert Downey, Jr., please. Oh, wait ~ I guess I'd better see if our Reserve Bank has a blog and put my vote in with them.

    Shanna ~ that's exciting ~ I hope you're putting in an application!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Give me the address Shanna. I'm going to send them my design and see what they say.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I’m sorry Karin, but have to inform you: Charles Dickens is now replaced with Charles Darwin.

    The Queen is however saved!
    Is it proper to say: “God save the visible and alive Queen”?

    And the ten actually gives you six chances, according to my knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Make any changes you want, so long as we can still say "The eagle flies on Friday."

    GG

    ReplyDelete
  27. See your dead white male presidents and raise you a Susan B Anthony...

    I've got money...lots and lots of money

    ReplyDelete
  28. You guys forgot about the Sacagewea dollar. I love those things.

    THough not as cool as Robert Downey Jr. dollar. With his past, does it come pre-rolled?

    WV: eurifis (The new euro with women on it.)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh yea, I think the bubblegum idea is a winner.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Liz Taylor is on the $100 bill, and Richard Burton is on the $10 bill. Jane buys an item for $30. She gives the clerk a Liz. How many Dicks does she get back?

    (Sorry, I just couldn't resist a good story problem.)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Earl, doesn't it depend on how fast the train is going and whether it's in a tunnel?

    AH, Angelina scares me. How much do I have pay to get you to take her back? And who are those other three? Remember, I live in the provinces.

    SanDiego, "Britney's hoo hoo" is such a ha ha that I had to stop reading for awhile. Where the hell do we get these words?

    Susan C, why NOT your plan?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your description of Dickens cracked me up - I always thought it was so unfair of the Royal Mint to use his image without giving him a chance to comb his hair first.
    I love Susan C's idea - I'd pay 100 Abbys to have my dog's picture on the $1 bill.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I got nothin'. You guys slay me.

    ReplyDelete
  34. how bout large dollars with dogs? Lassie, old yeller, rin tin tin....any number of gangsta pit bulls.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I was in Trader Joe's tonight. One cashier was counting out a drawer and came across a gold dollar coin or in her words "what the hell is this and how do I write it down and count it out?". She and her supervisor bemoaned that people actually USE these coins. I casually asked if they had a problem with Susan B's. They both were clueless. I said "those silver dollars about the same size as those gold coins". They had no idea what I was talking about. A part of me wanted to go find an "old" silver dollar or a Kennedy 1/2 dollar and see if their heads exploded.

    I feel old!

    But I think Susan C's concept of specially made money...has some weight! Everyone wants to personalize their "stuff"--this is the ultimate personalization!

    ok, seriously...wv: undiy! the total "un" do it yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm giving an A+ on the comments. How can one top hoo-hoos and pit bulls on dollars and getting change in dicks. I...I'm speechless.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Do you have a 40 dollar bill I can borrow? I wanna see who's on it.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Miss Janey would LOVE a wallet FULL of Johnny Depps... She might even get a piggy bank and start saving.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Now all you have to do it get it passed!

    ReplyDelete
  40. CO: After much barking and slobbering, Rin Tin Tin is on the $40 bill.

    ReplyDelete
  41. A Mexican guy once dismissed my reservations about US currency by saying simply, "It's classy."

    QE2 may be a nice lady, but "attractive" is a stretch for me. Wasn't the whole point of Princess Di to bring some good looks back into the family? In any case, would it kill them to have someone else on at least some of the money?

    Don't even get me started on having a coin worth nearly $5...

    ReplyDelete
  42. When I was in Israel, I dated the daughter of the head of the Bank of Israel. Her dad's signature was on all the money. That was kind of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh come on, I've seen the early footage. She was cute for a queen.

    Earl, you're an almost-name dropper

    ReplyDelete