A cuckoo clock that only keeps borrowed time
May 26, 2013 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Student loans? WHATEVER Not quite so "dope" when they try to drag you out of your window and kill you. (SLYT)
posted by passerby (36 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
That's a pretty good way to tackle student debt, financial literacy, and personal responsibility. The Tumblr for the campaign is also good.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:59 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yup. One way to counter raising costs of education is to teach kids about debt so they can make financially appropriate decisions. If charging $40,000/yr causes the enrollment at a university to collapse, they'll figure out a way to bring that cost down. People are creative like that...
posted by chasing at 8:08 PM on May 26, 2013

That's one hell of a of a Jacob's Ladder remake.
posted by ifandonlyif at 8:19 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

brought to you by american student assistance: pepsi red.
American Student Assistance was founded in 1956 under the name Massachusetts Higher Education Assistance Corporation (MHEAC). The organization began when a group of people approached Massachusetts local businesses for philanthropic donations with the idea of creating a pool of money to guarantee loans for higher education.[2] MHEAC went on to become the nation’s first student loan guarantor...

In 2001, ASA became one of four guarantors to enter into a Voluntary Flexible Agreement with the US federal government, changing its focus from back-end default collections to an emphasis on delinquency and default prevention.
This is brought to you by the bureaucracy which manages your default when you stop paying your student loans. Suckers.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:22 PM on May 26, 2013 [13 favorites]

"I wear the chain I forged in student life," replied the graduate. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it."
posted by XMLicious at 8:23 PM on May 26, 2013 [5 favorites]

Elizabeth Warren: Student Loans Should Have Same Rate Big Banks Get

What we need is actual income based repayment. Currently, IBR, means that if your income income is insufficient to make payments on your loans, you can apply to convert your loan to a 30 year repayment schedule, which effectively doubles the cost of your loan. So, the less you make after college/trade school the more you end up paying.

If everything works like clockwork, there are provisions (under current law) to have your debt cancelled after 25 years, but, again, all of the financial stars have to be lined up. There was bipartisan consensus for the current regime of student loan regulation and none of this applies if you didn't take out federally subsidized loans, in which case you are screwed.

All of you children of the yuppies of the 80's, you've been totally fucked by the system your parents voted for. Your parents made more money than the steelworkers, air traffic cotnrollers, auto workers who were stuffed into history's dustbin, but you got stuck with the check. Suckers.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:56 PM on May 26, 2013 [5 favorites]

Sign up for a $10,000 prize? This smells like a social media scam. It looks like this is production of the American Student Assistance company. This looks like one of those disreputable "debt consolidation" companies that gets a fee for managing your debt.

I just tonight finished paperwork to convert to IBR. As long as I never make more than about 18k per year, I don't have to pay a cent. I hadn't planned on doing that, but it seems to be working lately. Hey ennui.bz, what's this about canceling your loan after 25 years? I'm on Year 17. I suspect that they can churn your loan (I got switched from DirectLoans to EDFinancial) or switch your terms (like to IBR) so the clock starts at zero again. I will be paying my loan until I am 90 years old.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:15 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Holy shit this is some grade-A financial industry propaganda right here.

Here's the script: Let's reify the financial anxiety of young graduates as a creepy mist that only they can see. Let's portray their reactions to that mist as objectively insane and subjectively paralyzing. Then let's offer "personal responsibility" and "confronting the mist" as the only ill-defined solution.

This will distract the viewer from the well functioning network of student loan providers who have, in collusion with higher education and government, set up a totalizing system whose function is to turn the aspirations of our youth into revenue for the financial services sector.

Oh, and for a kick, wouldn't it be funny if we named this "mist" after a failed ideology whose central tenet was: "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need"? That'd be hilarious.

Cigar anyone?
posted by R. Schlock at 9:51 PM on May 26, 2013 [22 favorites]

Also, that tumblr was created by morons.
posted by R. Schlock at 9:53 PM on May 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

The allusion to suicide at the end isn't really something I needed late on a Sunday night before going to work tomorrow. I mean, I get the point, but.
posted by chrominance at 10:13 PM on May 26, 2013

Yeah, that Tumblr is full of ass.
posted by GoingToShopping at 10:51 PM on May 26, 2013

I give it 15, maybe 20 years when the few corporations left finally drop the pretense of waving their "democratically-elected" puppet governments around and debtors prisons come back in style. It'll be fun to see what the propaganda films will look like. "Smell the 3D fear of bankruptcy — beamed directly into your brainchip through the magic of Google-o-vision!"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:05 PM on May 26, 2013 [5 favorites]

I'm surprised that anybody could take this ad campaign seriously.

It's basically a consortium of banks trying to shame young people into making payments on time. The fact that major corporations now rely on fear and shame (cultural violence, essentially) to get their way means that actual violence can't be too far behind.
posted by Avenger at 2:46 AM on May 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

Debtors Prisons? The workhouse will return. Work off your debts - work is good for you!

You know, i watched DS9 Past Tense Parts 1 & 2 yesterday, and man, does it ever look prophetic right about now. Last lines:

Bashir: How did it ever get so bad?
Sisco : I wish I had an answer.

Hilariously, the makers of TNG/DS9 created the Ferengi to encapsulate all the worst of capitalism, and after all that has happened in the last 20 years, the Ferengi now look soft, like a cross between Deanna Troi and a Vulcan.
posted by marienbad at 4:17 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love the subtle hints and utter cluelessness clearly written by some oblivious person who has no clue what a dollar is (so, rich and young. I'm guessing:nepotism). "Oh no! You spent $56 on groceries this week! THAT'S A LOT! You should have bought the hot dogs, not the fresh lean cuts!"

Not the best of the web.
posted by Yowser at 4:38 AM on May 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

And oh jesus, the tumblr, the tumblr! Check out the tumblr. My god, they're not just rich fat cats trying to sucker people into living on cat food so they get their slice, they also live completely outside of culture as we know it.
posted by Yowser at 4:44 AM on May 27, 2013 [4 favorites]

If it wasn't about student debt, I'd have thought it was an ad for a bizarro sex/drug cult. Face the Red, Ride the Snake.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:10 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I saw somebody talking earlier about the new onerous DRM for the Xbox One -- you basically need an internet connection at all times, no used games, the console becomes bricked if you obscure the always-on camera, you might possibly get charged more for movies if you have more than a certain number of people in the room, etc. -- and somebody pointed out that Microsoft executives must never really play video games or watch movies with friends, because that kind of draconian DRM can only make sense to people who don't live normal lives.

Maybe the 1% are really just so completely out of touch that stuff like this (We'll use memes to shame young adults into forgoing groceries!) makes perfect sense to them.
posted by Avenger at 5:14 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

ALSO: eventually the student loan bubble will start to create contradictions within capitalism. If young people are spending 50% of their after-tax income to service non-dischargable loans, that's 50% of their income they wont be able to spend in other sectors of the capitalist economy (movies, music, iPhones, etc.).

Eventually this will create tension between financial corps. and consumer corps, as the consumer corps will (correctly) perceive that onerous student debt is eating into their profits. Imagine a war between banks and the rest of capitalism, to decide who will Own America's Future.
posted by Avenger at 5:18 AM on May 27, 2013

Avenger: "50% of their income they wont be able to spend in other sectors of the capitalist economy"

As a percentage of US GDP, finance/insurance/real estate/leasing eclipsed Government, wholesale, and retail trade in the 1970s. In 1986 it eclipsed total manufacturing. There *aren't* any other sectors of the US Economy.
posted by The White Hat at 6:25 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Remember how in the matrix people were plugged in to a system that siphoned off their life energy for the benifit of non-human entities?

There won't be workhouses because we are already in them.
posted by srboisvert at 6:50 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I like the concept but I don't think they really took it in the right direction. The ending point was "face the Red"? No, sorry, that's lame. Here's my proposed alternate ending:
The roommate smashes open the door, letting the Red in. The protagonist falls backwards through the window, the roommate missing her grasp by inches.

Cut to body bag, zipping up over dead face of protagonist. A little Red seeping out around the edges of bag, dissipating as it closes.
VO: "Looks like another suicide..."

Fade through black to int. of modern office. Indistinct callcenter sounds, employees saying "financial services" over and over. Red mist swirling, knee-high, everywhere.

Cut to anonymous man in suit at desk, seen from rear, with two stacks of papers on desk. He grabs a sheet from one side, puts it front of him, hits it with a huge rubber stamp, presses the stamp to an ink pad, moves the sheet to the other stack. Over and over. Every time he presses the stamp to the ink pad, there is a revolting squelching sound: raw meat being hit with a hammer.

Cut to stack of finished sheets. The top of the page says "Application Form" in block letters. The stamp says "Approved", in thick, red ink. There are many applications underneath it. After a few seconds, another is placed on top.

Cut to black.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:28 AM on May 27, 2013 [12 favorites]

It is too late for the target audience this was made for - debt consolidation isn't an escape only a reprieve ...

show this in high school instead of selling higher education as a consumer product, and I can see the benefit.
posted by fistynuts at 7:34 AM on May 27, 2013

God the pacing was terrible. I skipped through most of it. It seemed really dull.
If it wasn't about student debt, I'd have thought it was an ad for a bizarro sex/drug cult. Face the Red, Ride the Snake.
Or ride the red tide. The whole thing seemed like a weird menstruation metaphor, like, a red viscus fluid visits young women once a month, seeps down up their leg, and they just have to 'deal with it'.
And oh jesus, the tumblr, the tumblr! Check out the tumblr. My god, they're not just rich fat cats trying to sucker people into living on cat food so they get their slice, they also live completely outside of culture as we know it.
Have you ever seen the T.V. show Veep where Elane from Seinfeld (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is the vice president? It's unbelievably funny.

Anyway the last couple episodes some of the characters have been talking about "tumblr and reddit" they have no idea what tumblr and reddit are, except that they make things "blow up on the internet". And also memes.

Anyway that tumblr looks exactly like what you imagine some middle aged PR person would come up with if you told them if you want to be successful on the internet, you need a tumblr. With memes. I bet they also totally have a reddit.

Actually, makes me wonder if this is some kind of forcememe style self-link/spam-link.
posted by delmoi at 8:44 AM on May 27, 2013

I love the subtle hints and utter cluelessness clearly written by some oblivious person who has no clue what a dollar is

It's one banana, Michael. How much could it cost? Ten dollars?
posted by en forme de poire at 8:51 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'll be done paying my student loans right around menopause time; delmoi might be on to something.

The memes made me want to punch someone. Ermahgerd! Criperling Derbt! Fererver!
posted by Fig at 9:30 AM on May 27, 2013

There won't be workhouses because we are already in them.

Involuntary slavery worked well, for some, for thousands of years. But the pay was poor, and enforcement was a bitch.

Throw in far fewer options and some massive applied delusions and, voila, New Order.
posted by Twang at 11:19 AM on May 27, 2013

Yea, I found the video unbelievably patronizing and disingenuous. Immaterial red mist seeping through my walls? Uh...no, I know exactly what the 'red mist' is, and her name is Sallie Mae (aka SLM Corporation) and I cough up half of my paycheck to her each month. If I ever miss a payment, it's not because I've suddenly refused to "face the red". It's because god forbid, I just might need to see a doctor sometime in my life, even if I lack health insurance. No horror movie, just a dull and predictable indentured servitude that I've learned to live with.

These American Student Assistant people actually called my house a few weeks ago and my mother then called me and said "Someone called about your student loans and they wouldn't tell me why or who they were exactly. They said they need to speak to you directly." I went into a full-blown panic attack thinking it was my lender and maybe I had missed a loan payment or they had changed the terms of my loan, so I called them back with trembling hands and it turned out to be just some perky, cheery lady telling me about SALT and how I should go to them if I ever have any problems.

Good cop, bad cop.
posted by adso at 11:29 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

her name is Sallie Mae

Man, fuck that bitch Sallie Mae. A serendipitous confluence of like 7 Major Events enabled me to finally pay off my student loans a few years ago and I discovered that I had inadvertently overpaid by $2.51. I quickly tried to contact SLMA to demand restitution, but as soon as they were made whole they immediately disabled my online account so I could no longer access any of my previous decade's worth of payment--or any-- information.

After approximately 18 months I finally got my check for $2.51 in the mail. Can you believe that? If I had owed them $2.51 for 18 months I can't imagine how many places that decimal point would have moved to the right in my final amount due. And they can instantaneously delete my files but it takes over a year to cut me a check.

I'm saying this as encouragement, not to rub it in, but all of you with student loan debt, if you ever make it to that day that you make your last loan payment, it is better than the best orgasm ever. Godspeed.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 12:41 PM on May 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

A farce would have been more appropriate than a horror movie.
posted by benzenedream at 2:16 PM on May 27, 2013

Why not go all the way and allow students to sell stock in their future earning capacity? To get around it being considered slavery, make it so that you can never legally lose more than, say, 95% of stock in yourself. That way, your shareholders (the loan providers) can veto your plans to go bumming around Europe after graduation, or can decide that you're relocating to Saudi Arabia to work as a contractor to maximise your earnings, but can't actually kill you and harvest your organs if you become worth less alive than dead to them.
posted by acb at 3:58 PM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also didn't like the slow crawl up the main character's body while she's freaking out about the Red outside of her door. Granted, this is a standard horror movie shot, but when you find out it's just some shill for paying your student loans off (before the Red Yarn encircles your writing hand AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!), it's more than a little skeevy.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:29 AM on May 28, 2013

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