According to geologists, the Jurassic Period spanned 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201 million years ago to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 million years ago.
People that lived through the Jurassic period said it sometimes felt like it would never end…and yet it still seemed mercifully brief compared to the Now That’s What I Call Financial Independence! Series.
The Escape Artist is back once again in the guise of a music critic from the NME…armed with earnest prose, tortuous metaphors and psycho-babble to review more classic songs about financial independence.
It’s a long way to the top (AC/DC)
One criticism of financial independence is that it’s easier for higher earners to get to financial independence. This is obviously true but earning more is not cheating.
There’s a lot of competition for high salaries…a big part of which is: who’s prepared to work the hardest People sometimes seem to assume that all jobs have the same hours and the same level of stress. But I don’t see it that way. I’m pretty sure being Prime Minister is harder than being a local government clerk.
Most people have no idea what it takes to climb all the way up the ladder in a competitive world. AC/DC get it though. It’s a long way to the top.
Free your mind (En Vogue)
To achieve Financial Independence, we have to reject Groupthink.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that spending = happiness, more stuff is always better, stock market investing is risky, you can’t be too careful etc etc. This conditioning forms a prison for your mind.
To me this is a song about being open-minded. En Vogue suggest we treat people as individuals rather than members of a racial group: “Be colour blind, don’t be so shallow”
But its equally applicable to financial independence. For example, En Vogue instinctively understand the dangers of debt and the trap of Big Hat, No Cattle spending.
So I’m a sistah
Buy things with cash
That really doesn’t mean that all my credit’s bad
Money’s Too Tight To Mention (Simply Red)
This song dates from the early 1980s when Reagan and Thatcher were lazily portrayed as the root of all evil by left wing activists (and others that should have known better).
The video plays on 1930s imagery (cloth caps, back street alleys and pool halls) to evoke folk memories of the Great Depression. There was real economic suffering during the recession of the early 1980s but the victim mentality modelled in this song only compounded the problem.
As befits student politics, the video glamourises drinking, smoking and gambling. The Escape Artist has no moral problem with any of these. But, let’s be honest, they’re not great for your finances.
This song may not have toppled Thatcher and Reagan but that’s not to say it didn’t achieve its primary objective, which seems to have been to get lead singer Mick Hucknall laid. Prof. Geoffrey Miller provides an explanation in his paper Political Peacocks.
Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Tears for Fears)
One of the fundamental principles of The Escape Artist is:
Get your own shit together before criticising The World
Comically, this principle is regularly violated by a large chunk of the population… including (but not limited to) pop stars, Social Justice Warriors, most journalists, champagne socialists, Hampstead Guardianistas, outraged Daily Mail readers, Big Company CEOs, Hollywood actors / actresses, professional politicians and Jeremy Corbyn. Did I miss anyone out??
These clowns talk as if everything would be sunshine, magic fairies and unicorns…if only they were put In Charge Of Everything.
The Escape Artist says: doubtful…very doubtful.
Fight The Power (Public Enemy)
That’s not to say that everything is perfect in the world. The world is a big place and there are plenty of problems, injustices…most of which I don’t need to remind you of. Life is not fair. But then again it never was.
I get it: it does often feels like The Man is holding us down. The Escape Artist is here to help you play the hand you’re dealt and to get as much freedom as you can in your life. In a very real sense, money is power in modern society. So why not hang on to more of your own power?
The tools of financial independence are all about what you can do to help yourself, the environment and other people. Whatever your situation, there’s always something you can do to improve it.
This is the best way that you can Fight The Power.
Lola’s Theme (The Shapeshifters)
There’s much more to financial independence than money. The journey to Financial Independence changes you (see I’m better than me).
Lola’s Theme can be interpreted in one of 2 ways.
The Disney interpretation is that a lost soul is saved by meeting their romantic soulmate. This “Wait For Your Prince / Princess” approach is…how shall I put it?…sub-optimal, relying as it does upon the benign intervention of a cold and indifferent universe. Let me know how that works out for you.
The Escape Artist’s interpretation is that this an anthem of self-improvement. Rather than waiting for the cavalry to come and rescue you, why not invest in yourself? The discovery and pursuit of FI provides the spark that many people need to turn their world around.
Freefall VIP (Metrik)
To escape The Prison Camp you need to unplug from “The Matrix”.
The Prison Camp broadcasts messages at us all day long via The News and adverts. These messages multiply our wants, whilst making us less effective. They drown out our inner voice. With repeated exposure, adverts form part of your Money Blueprint. The Prison Camp eventually comes to form the “frame” through which we see the world. The assumptions of the frame are all the more powerful for being implicit and unchallenged.
This is why you need to unplug from advertising and The News. In the words of Metrik:
Listen to yourself…set yourself free
Whatta Man (Salt ‘N” Pepa featuring En Vogue)
Following a wave of lurid media coverage of #metoo, gender wars etc etc shouty feminists and passive-aggressive Nice Guys lined up and competed to show who could be most loudly in favour of a new politically correct paradigm in which masculinity was labelled toxic and all men were complicit.
The result: feminism got hijacked. The theory of The Patriarchy is a steaming crock of horseshit. Radical feminism became a vehicle for attacking equality of opportunity.
The Escape Artist is pro-women and pro-men. In this game, you’re allowed to support both teams.
Maybe we need a reminder from Salt N Pepa of the value of positive masculinity?
Walking on Sunshine (Katrina & The Waves)
To me this song represents life force, exuberance and optimism.
In the course of researching this article, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Katrina and The Waves were based not in California but in Cambridgeshire, England…where The Escape Artist was brought up.
Gloom and pessimism comes naturally to us Brits. I think its something to do with the weather…that and the hangovers. But every now and again we manage to surprise ourselves by winning a World War or inventing penicillin or the internet or some shit like that. Maybe we’ll even survive Brexit?
Meet-up reminder! London FI meet up this Friday 15 June from 6pm onwards in the garden at the Rose and Crown pub, 47 Columbo Street, SE1 8DP (short walk from Blackfriars tube or Waterloo stations). All welcome. Even Nice Guys. Hope to see you there 🙂
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