Agony Shorthand

Monday, April 05, 2004
PAYPAL NATION…..If one person doing something is uneventful, and two people doing it is a coincidence, then THREE people doing it has got to be the start of a full-blown worldwide consumer revolution, with massive ramifications on art and commerce as we know it. I’m talking of course about the widespread rise in usage of Paypal accounts to fund record and CD collectors’ buying obsessions. This appears to be the 2003-04 habit of choice for those needing to justify a large “spend” on music by pretending that it’s not really money that they’re spending, but “Paypal” instead (sort of like the “Flooz” and the “Beanz” of the dot-com era). Got a spouse or significant other concerned about making ends meet, in light of your propensity to blow massive amounts of your bi-weekly paycheck on music? Time to get a Paypal account, baby – it’s the digital equivalent of the fake-name post office box you used back in the analog days. Naturally, you do have to fund the Paypal account with something. The 3 individuals in my control group (one of whom is me) use their winnings on eBay, converted to Paypal, as an exclusive “pot” for all subsequent music purchases. That’s right, you sell off the old LPs and replace them with brand new 45s, LPs and CDs. Paypal/eBay takes their cut(s), gets fat and happy, and you’re living large with some new music. That old P.O. Box can still serve a purpose if you need to hide the frequent packages pouring in from Crypt Mailorder, Goner, CD Universe and other eBay sellers. The more you sell, the more you buy, and its effect on the homefront bottom line? Zero, unless you count the opportunity cost of what you could have done with your winnings instead of buying another 15 CDs. But since that’s impossible to quantify without taxing the brain beyond comprehension, I say forget about it and get that account set up forthwith. It’s been keeping families together and collections healthy & growing for over 1 year!