Back at the first breath of the housing crisis, I proposed a zine for those grappling with financial upending. I know think it’s more needed than ever – although I don’t think publishing a regular distribution periodical can work in this case.
$crewed would give a snapshot of those surviving on the lower end of the US American poverty system. In US, poverty and living as the working poor IS a system, one alleviated just as much by information about how that system works as it is by the simple presences of money and food.
It can’t fix everything. Also, US poverty has a very different spectrum than global poverty – but it is quite real, and quite confusing giving the constant messages we receive that success equates with and is best displayed by conspicuous consumption.
I haven’t tabled the idea altogether – I’ve kicked it around since roughly 2005 and lots of circumstances support the need for if not the sustainability of such a project.
Initially I envisioned something similar to the old Tightwad Gazette – with ways to save money sometimes by upending an entire thought process. Since the advent of Occupy Wall Street, however, my vision has changed. Yes, the money-saving tips would be there, but there would also be guidelines for people in situations so desperate that all the writers at Money Magazine can do is shake their heads and cluck. $crewed would be aimed at people who are too busy staring down eviction notices and foreclosure letters to fuss about the performance of 401Ks or read primers on entering the bond market.
There are plenty of questions about it – distribution, whether to charge, if it’s worth doing a Kickstarter, finding people to write. It would still give advantage to the literate and partially literate – perhaps one of those will share the information with those who couldn’t read.
It’s a ways away – but it’s a project that occurs to me from time to time, and one I may well pursue.