Saturday, November 17, 2012



This is the second post wherein I consider some of the shows on television and maybe a bit of what might be behind them.   There's a program called Extreme Cheapskates.  On a side note, I've noticed that words denoting spending money have a much more positive connotation--take, for example,  words like generous and open-handed compared to words like tightwad, cheapskate and frugal.

You might think that in the present economic climate where many people are unemployed, houses are being foreclosed upon and credit card debt is problematic for many that a television program about saving money would be popular.   There are lots of large solutions, small tips and ingenious ideas out there that could be explored.   A show could be a combination of interviews with experts, a showcase of how one family has climbed out from under a mountain of debt and some quick and casual tips.   All designed to improve people's finances.   

But it must be remembered who pays for television programs (and no, it's not my cable payment).   It's the advertisers.   The purveyors of products who most definitely do not want all of us to stop shopping, no not one iota.  And so it is that  the television program I referred to depicts zealots engaged in the outer limits of saving money.   It's all designed to make us laugh at people who go to extreme lengths to cut their spending.  You already know why . . .  so we won't attempt anything so humiliating ourselves.

The people on the show dumpster dive for their food, wear clothes full of holes, use a spray bottle of water instead of toilet paper, dig discarded popcorn bags and pop cups out of the trash at the movies in order to then go to the concession and take advantage of the free refills.  Never spoken but always implied is that these people aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer, they are one fry short of a Happy Meal, or one donut short of a dozen, they are knitting with only one needle . . . you get the picture.   And the punchline:   You don't want to be like them!

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