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End Extreme Wealth
April 10, 2013 8:29 AM   Subscribe

Many of these people live in a very limited environment. They have never been outside the finance district, gated communities, or the typical holiday resorts of the extreme wealthy.
Do they know it's Christmas?

The Knife are a Swedish electronic music duo from Stockholm. They are siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer.

For their upcoming album, comic artist Liv Strömquist has created the comic entitled End Extreme Wealth.

Probably a bit idealistic, but every journey begins with one step.

tldr; version - microsnatching, special schools for the rich, mansions housing the homeless, golf-courses to gardens...
posted by bricksNmortar (30 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
"I don't need to buy this."
posted by chavenet at 8:36 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


A+ for the cutlery tag alone.
posted by Lemmy Caution at 8:38 AM on April 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I approve.
posted by edheil at 8:44 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is there a way to read this without making my eyes bleed?
posted by Skorgu at 8:45 AM on April 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


oh god, my eyes, the goggles do nothing.
posted by k5.user at 9:02 AM on April 10, 2013


It will be a little awkward for them if they get rich off this.
posted by Kale Slayer at 9:13 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Needs a “radicalchic” tag.
posted by acb at 9:22 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just wonderful, The Knife rocks! :)

If you cannot handle the colors, click "Use Greyscale" under Seeing in the Universal Access Preferences pane on Mac OS X. I'd imagine similar options exist under Linux, but an alternative approach is : First, download the page with wget -r http://theknife.net/, aborting once it finishes downloading the /images subdirectory. Next, either edit the background out of index.html or simply view the images directly. All the images work fine on white backgrounds. If you still dislike em', try changing their color's with ImageMagick's mogrify command or similar.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:26 AM on April 10, 2013


or just click here
posted by Valued Customer at 9:32 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The new album, that they've been streaming, is pretty awesome too. I'm probably gonna end up buying a physical copy, which almost never happens anymore (except for used vinyl).
posted by klangklangston at 9:33 AM on April 10, 2013


Yes, this is silly, but I like it very much. Mostly because it turns "the rich" from "faceless oppressors who hold all the cards but who we all wish we could be," to "clueless and deluded persons with a limited grasp of the reality of the world and lacking genuine attachment to anyone not in their tiny circle," which humanizes them without lessening the urgency of doing something about inequality.

Of course, to anyone who believes wealth=virtue and opposition to the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few=communism, this is just going to provide chills and further proof of The Liberal Agenda.
posted by emjaybee at 9:42 AM on April 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


By strange coincidence, I was just showing my daughter Fever Ray's "When I Grow Up" video. The kids love Karin.
posted by mittens at 9:42 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't "Make Extreme Wealth History" Goldman Sachs' slogan?
posted by chavenet at 9:46 AM on April 10, 2013


I was thoroughly sick of the concept by halfway through but I damn well persevered. Most spelling/grammar are [sic] but of course my typing is quite rusty so meh.

A: The goal is to end extreme wealth by 2015.
A: Let's welcome UN Researcher Blinky Blonk who has studied people who live in extreme wealth for several years in order to help them.
B: Hi!
A: You spent several months doing a participant observation at a horse polo club.
B: That's right! And I've also made a minor field study on a yacht.
A: I can't believe that you actually LIVED side by side with these people! Were you never scared?
B: Oh no...Most of them were very friendly.
B: ... but sometimes I felt overwhelmed with hopelessness. Most of these people live in a very limited environment.
B: They have never been outside the finance district, gated communities, or the typical holiday resorts of the extremely wealthy.
B: Their lives are restricted by old traditions and cultural ideas on how to live. For example Ben, a 45-year old, very wealthy man.
B: As you can see, he wears the traditional clothes of the very rich.
B: His life revolves around very trivial things, like making plans to buy this.
B: He collects antiques similar to how the squirrel collects nuts.
B: He and his family are caught in a vicious cycle of wanting more and more crap - a circle that is very difficult to break.
B: They have very little or no concept of what democracy is.
A: That's so sad!
B: Yes, and that's why I think EDUCATION is key! A lot of the wealthy people don't understand that the natural resources are ending...
B: ...or that their lifestyle causes climate change.
A: (wiping tears) Excuse me
B: Now I work with a big UN project called "Schools for the wealthy" where we build schools in wealthy areas.
B: There we have classes in subjects like, for example, white privilege and surplus labour.
B: These pictures are from one of our workshops where we teach ecological sustainability and how to stop accumulating capital.
B: (in slide) Say after me... I don't need to buy these
Crowd: (in slide) I DON'T NEED TO BUY THESE
A: Thanks you for coming Ms. Blank and good luck with your work.
B: Thank you!
A: Now let's welcome our next lecturer, Dr. Plinky Plonk, who will tell us more about the work for gender equality within the new millennium goal.
A: Welcome Dr. Plonk! Tell us, how is gender equality linked to the millennium goal of ending extreme wealth?
P: Challenging the gender roles is VERY IMPORTANT when we work with changing the life conditions for the extremely wealthy.
P: Men are clearly overly represented among the too wealthy...
A: Mmhmm
P: And you can see how the socially constructed male gender role very much contributes to the behavior of accumulating wealth for yourself, at the cost of other people.
P: For example the case of this wall street business man who owns 7 private jets and one private helicopter.
P: This man is a product of a culture that shapes men into wanting to have too much money and powe, and being too interested in airplanes.
P: That's why we work really hard with these men in our big World Bank funded gender project, called "A small candle of hope."
P: (in slide) Say after me: I don't need to buy this.
Crowd: (in slide) I DON'T NEED TO BUY THIS
A: Thank you so much for lighting this small candle of hope for these men Dr.
Plonk!
P: Seeing the joy and gratitude in the men's faces is really the only thanks I need!
A: Wow!
A: Our next guest is a nobel peace prize winning professor of economy!
A: This pioneer's radical ideas on wealth-reduction have helped thousands of over-wealthy around the world!
A: Welcome Dr Blumi Blami!
Blumi: Thank you!
A: Tell us more about your strategy to reduce extreme wealth!
B: Of course! My wealth reduction strategy is called the "micro-snatch".
B: The idea is very simple: to take a small amount of money from the extremely wealthy.
B: You might think that withdrawing a small piece of property from a rich person doesn't make a difference!
B: But I can show how snatching from a rich person CAN start a wonderful chain of positive effects...
B: ..that can trickle down and spread for the whole of society!
B: For example, by snatching a medium sized mansion from an over-wealthy person you can give room to 25-34 homeless people.
B: You can do very much with small means.
B: If you withdraw, for example, a private golf course from a wealthy person, you can turn it into a collective garden where citizens can gwo vegetables and fruit.
B: Besides, discouraging property-accumulation, this helps preventing long transportations and farming methods that damage the environment.
B: This might sound tardy (?), but EVERY JOURNEY starts with a sgep! And the microsnatching strategy can very well be combined with other measures to make the wealth decreasing effect better.
A: Very good. Thank you.
A: In fact our last guest is here to report from a HYPER-EFFECTIVE wealth reduction project, that is going on around the globe as we speak.
A: Welcome, Dr. Tra Lala!
T: Thank you.
A: You are head of the biggest and most important project that we - the UN, the World Bank, and the IMF - do together to fight wealth. The tree planting project!
T: That's true.
T: Treeplanting is maybe the most successful way of all to fight extreme wealth!
T: In many cities the finance districts are expanding very rapidly and it's a huge problem.
A: Mmhmm
T: To stop the finance districts and the luxury shopping ares from growing uncontrolled, we plant fast growing trees to surround them.
T: What we work with now is a global plan of creating thousands of "green walls" in a wide range of cities around the world...
T: ...to prevent the finance areas to spread in these cities and totally take over.
A: Did you expect the tree planting project to be such a big success?
T: Well, I had high hopes but even I am positively surprised!
T: These pictures are from the tree planting on Wall Street.
T: This area will in just a few years have turned into a beautiful forest.
A: Thank you so much for telling us about your work, dr Lala!
T: Thanks for having me
A: Thank you so much everyone! Together we can make the world a better place
A: A WORLD WITHOUT EXTREME WEALTH IS POSSIBLE!!
A: Good bye.
posted by Skorgu at 10:09 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nah. I think I'll stick with the Motorhead plan.
posted by Decani at 10:12 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Knife is one of those groups that everyone 10 years from now will pretend to have loved back in the day but really we didn't love them enough. They are literally the best electronic music being made right now. (No shut up Jame Blake, put a shirt on.)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Do They Know It's Christmas bit kind of set a mental image that I can't shake now, so I'd love to see this done as a powerpoint that starts out making you think you're reading some NGO working in some third world country's slide deck until the pictures start.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:04 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


clueless and deluded persons with a limited grasp of the reality of the world and lacking genuine attachment to anyone not in their tiny circle

I'm totally making this my defintion of humanity.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The world will always be run by dull people. Any ouster of the dullards can only be accomplished by even duller people.
posted by michaelh at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2013


yay! new knife!

Also: fuck you rich people!
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 11:42 AM on April 10, 2013


The world will always be run by dull people. Any ouster of the dullards can only be accomplished by even duller people.

I really wish their only crime was being dull. That would be marvelous.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


As long as most people have the money to buy music and the devices needed to play them, we'll never have the gumption needed to affect change.
posted by fnerg at 12:34 PM on April 10, 2013


Their new album, Shaking the Habitual, is
streaming at Pitchfork. It doesn't work on mobile devices, and the flashing background imagery is headache- and possibly seizure-inducing.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:10 PM on April 10, 2013


It's also streaming at Theknife.net, so you don't have to go to the 'fork.
posted by klangklangston at 1:11 PM on April 10, 2013


Hah! Yeah, klangklangston, I just looked at the site and was coming back to update that. They're using Soundcloud, which does work on mobile.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:13 PM on April 10, 2013


I actually like the "I don't have to buy this" mantra.

But this bit? Not so much.

B: Of course! My wealth reduction strategy is called the "micro-snatch".
B: The idea is very simple: to take a small amount of money from the extremely wealthy.
B: You might think that withdrawing a small piece of property from a rich person doesn't make a difference!
B: But I can show how snatching from a rich person CAN start a wonderful chain of positive effects...
B: ..that can trickle down and spread for the whole of society!
B: For example, by snatching a medium sized mansion from an over-wealthy person you can give room to 25-34 homeless people.
B: You can do very much with small means.


Yeah... I love overly simplistic solutions to complex problems. Oh, wait, no I don't.
posted by Broseph at 2:21 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah... I love overly simplistic solutions to complex problems. Oh, wait, no I don't.

This is not a serious suggestion. This is a satirical jokey "solution" that points out that the very wealthy are hoarding massive amounts of Stuff that they A) do not personally need, or even really actually enjoy, and that B) could alleviate the suffering of a huge number of people if it were not being hoarded by the very wealthy.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:25 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is not a serious suggestion. This is a satirical jokey "solution". . .

"Eat the rich," Tom proposed, modestly.
posted by The Bellman at 3:05 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


^ I get that, Tomorrowful. I get that they're not seriously suggesting herding the very rich into special schools and teaching them "I don't have to buy this" either.

I was gonna say more but on preview I think The Bellman sums up my discomfort (at least with the part I highlighted) pretty well.
posted by Broseph at 3:12 PM on April 10, 2013


Snark the rich!
posted by sneebler at 7:04 PM on April 10, 2013


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