Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lessons learned

Note to the parents or guardian of Jason Levine of Ballston Spa: please pick up your truant son who, like many other deadbeat money-grubbing vagrants staked out at department stores across the region, is presently loitering in the vicinity of Blimpee’s inside the Route 50 Walmart.

Call it a case of aged recalcitrance or just plain old fashion principles, but how in the bloody hell is a 16-year-old high school junior and several classmates cutting three days worth of classes to get an over-priced video game console to hawk on eBay at an exorbitant rates? Better yet, what’s going through their parents’ minds to allow these teens to participate in a craze that exploits and exemplifies the most heinous aspects of the nation’s consumer culture?

And why, pray tell, is the managing editor of the city’s newspaper not asking these questions while interviewing this kid for a bandwagon article she chose to write instead of assigning it to her reporters?

All bizarre questions to be answered in this strange age of ours, as lines desperate adolescents snake around Walmarts and Best Buys, like they once did the soup kitchens during the Great Depression. There’s really no explanation for the phenomenon of camping out for a consumer good. It didn’t make sense with Tickle Me Elmo, and it sure as hell doesn’t make sense for the long-awaited Play Station 3, which was supposed to be available last spring.

One would assume that gamers could hold their water –and money –for an extra few months having waited all this time. But no, it’s straight to eBay for the purchase of a game machine selling at more than four times the retail price. Exacerbating this absurdity is the fact that the cash some are bound to spend on this system could be put toward building a supercomputer of sorts infinitely more useful and powerful than the latest of tricks pulled from Sony’s bag of corporate marketing.

Then there’s the 16-year-old kid, who tells the managing editor of The Saratogian that he’s hoping to score a quick $1,500 by ditching class. Undoubtedly, if he’s talking to Barbara Lombardo, he’s received permission from his parents to spend up to 72 hours waiting for this pile of silicon and plastic; a sad commentary indeed.

Sure, his parents could make the argument that these students are learning a valuable lesson about the U.S. consumer economy and entrepreneurial spirit; being at the right place at the right time to get the big payout. But more likely, he’s learning that sitting around on his ass at a fast food restaurant will earn more rewards than attending class like most normal kids.

Hopefully, for his sake and the sake of the many others who fan the flames of this sort of hysteria, the eBay market is hyper-inflated with sellers, which it appears to be –one auction had the console system for sale at the ludicrous price of $25,000. If this is the case, young Jason Levine and many others will soon to learn the same valuable lesson that so many learned on a fateful afternoon in October 1929.

An even better lesson would be if the principal of Ballston Spa High dished out some detention notices to Levine and the three other dolts participating in the nonsense. Too bad The Saratogian's readers can't give such a punishment to Lombardo for her shoddy article.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously read today's Saratogian...for all of those who read this blog they should see the comments about the sports post a few days ago.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Depressing. Good item.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Horatio,

We have noticed that you use the word "wanton" a lot in your blog entries. Could it be that what you really want is a big bowl of wonton soup?

Just curious,

Chop Suzy

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think someone needs to call that truant officer Torres.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for adressing the sports post. So often news people think of themselves as higher and mightier then the sports guys.

They, of course, work in the "candy/toy" department.

Journal Register takes all of its employees for granted.

Your credibilty is somewhat restored, but please stick to news (like Lombardo and O'Sullivan should)

10:14 PM  

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