Friday, August 22, 2008

The Street Value of My Karma

There are few things more boring, exhausting, or lame than living by one’s principles.

I try (very, very hard) to be a good person. It's a struggle. As in, I struggled with situational narcolepsy in my college philosophy classes. And my attention span is notoriously short. So, in a shortcut born of necessity, I distilled my entire moral self into a basic code: “Which is worth more, [blank] or my karma?”

This rule has served me well over the years:

“Which is worth more, that high-paying but morally bankrupt job, or my karma?”

“I don’t want a higher divorce settlement, I’d rather get out with my karma intact.”

“I’d like to own that blouse manufactured by disadvantaged Malaysian children, but my karma is telling me to pay extra to buy the blouse manufactured by disadvantaged Malaysian adults. Sure, they’re blind Malaysians, but I’m paying retail!”


Sigh. Over the years, being a good person has forced me to leave a lot of cash on the table.

At the same time, I’m worried about the economy. My morning paper has become a Dickensian tale of woe: bank collapses, soup kitchens, empty food banks, financier hobo camps, suburbia as modern Dust Bowl, food shortages (where’s Soylent Green when you need it?), gas shortages, old people surpluses (about that Soylent Green...), etc. Even my beloved fashion magazines have become hysterical in their approach, begging me to save money by spending $250, instead of $2,500, on my shoes. (Er, I normally spend $25.)

Add it all up: It’s time to cash in my karma. I doubt this is the true meaning of the word "redemption," but it'll do. It's a brave new frontier in the land of "selling out."

By my calculations, my karma has a street value somewhere in the low six figures. I’d say, as a lowball, about $110,000.

So, can I cash in my karma, like casino chips? Auction it off on EBay? Sue my karma for damages, lost income, and pain and suffering? Go back to each of my non-lucrative choices, High Fidelity-style, and demand a reckoning?

What is the street value of your karma? And how would you redeem it?

27 comments:

Gilahi said...

There is just no way that suing your karma could possibly be a good thing. Your karma would get all petty and snippy, key your car, and the next thing you know there's a bag of burning dog poop at your front door.

Shannon said...

Gilahi - Karma is, indeed, a bitch.

restaurantrefugee said...

I attempted to sell my karma once but I learned I was upside down on the mortgage to it.

restaurantrefugee said...

I attempted to sell my karma once but I learned I was upside down on the mortgage to it.

restaurantrefugee said...

I attempted to sell my karma once but I learned I was upside down on the mortgage to it.

Shannon said...

Refugee - You couldn't short-sell your karma?

Also, I love the posts where nobody really starts commenting for an hour or two. I like to picture y'all at your desks, numb, mouths agape, with no words for the absurdity of my behavior.

Zipcode said...

yeah I am thinking about this one - and by the way - I posted Vera's replacement by the way - not sure you will like this one, but I like it so :-P

I will come up with an answer later on this one........at least we aren't eating body parts in this post.

Zipcode said...

to be goofy here is the link for the street value of drugs in the event you wanted to know - there is not street value of karma in there though lol

https://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2008/WDR2008_Statistical_Annex_Prices.pdf

Michael said...

Honey, never shop retail! :)

Shannon said...

Zip - ah, the agony of de-FEET!

Michael - I generally do not, I'm all about discounts. I buy shoes in bulk, for instance.

FoggyDew said...

I propose a Karma Futures Market where you can buy, sell and trade your karma.

For example:

Just unfairly took advantage of the Bible thumper in the group to be the DD while everyone else got stinko at happy hour? Buy up a couple of days of karma from a Tibetan monk who humbly took a Chinese beatdown.

Big presentation coming up for that new million-dollar contract? Have the wife/hubby trade in a few points to guarantee you have a job next week.

Just helped your girlfriend’s bff move without complaining? Into a five-story walk-up? While they moved the pillows and towels? Sell off those extra karma points and get yourself some tickets to the game tomorrow.

As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma. ~Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Shannon said...

Foggy - Now, if we can pair up with the people who came up with carbon offsets, we'll be MILLIONAIRES!

FoggyDew said...

Same concept, less overhead.

Probably more impact on the general condition of the world...

Zipcode said...

allow me to threadskank this - I need some sex karma -- pass that on please -- thanks in advance

ha

Shannon said...

Foggy - actually, it would probably create yet another situation in which the first world exploits the third world. Then Bono will start protesting to relieve karmic debt in Africa. Perhaps we'll even have a telethon!

Zip - remember, you get out what you put in...ew.

Zipcode said...

I wish Bono was American so he could run for President

and you just ewwed yourself lol haha

FoggyDew said...

Don't you mean you get off what you put in?

Zipcode said...

haha foggy nicely said

Gilahi said...

Aaaaaand once again the comments on one of Shannon's posts turns to sex.

Shannon said...

Zip - nah, I don't think I could back Bono for president. Me for president? Sure.

Foggy - Sex karma, explained!

Gilahi - They always do. Alas.

Zipcode said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zipcode said...

gil thats because she has a sex craved lunatic commenting on her blog - I would be that lunatic

shannon I am working on a funny formula for you cause I have nothing else to do today but gmail people and write blogs

lacochran said...

I, too, marvel at the magazine articles that give you a choice between "save" and "splurge" when I'd put both items in my "splurge" column!

Titania said...

where can I sign in for the sex Karma?

Shannon said...

Zip - is it the Spontaneous Blog Post Generator formula? Because I've been trying to work up that one for years.

Lacochran - what, you don't spend $89 on a sweater?

Titania - send $10,000 to my PayPal account...wow, this could work even better than my Nigerian bank scam!

Zipcode said...

wait Shan - so you are the leader of the Dear Mrs Blah blah,
Please send me a money order in the amount of blah blah

um yeah - can you meet me at like
7th and H ST NW I have the money order for ya - come alone. hahahaha
and um don't bring any weapons, will make the um arrest, I mean exchange go a little easier.

maryjanejeff said...

I have no idea how much my karma is worth. I just know that if it's instant it will get me because John Lennon said so.

I don't have tons of cash like half of the area seems to, so I am also always shopping the discount racks and clearance sales. heck, if any of you are into hiking/biking/running/skiing, REI's Labor Day Clearance Sale is where it's at. Yeah, I dropped over a $100 between rei.com and rei-outlet.com but I got a ton of stuff for it. Now I just need dressier shoes for work. Time to look at Target and Value City. I'm not spending $150 plus for Johnston and Murphy when I'll have worn them out in 6 months. Screw that, maybe I can buy some more karma with the $$$ I save by going cheaper and a raise at work.