Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to economicus ridiculous

This blog is intended to fit in the consumer advice category, but with a twist.

Daphne and I plan to include, among other things:

  • discussion of systemic and societal barriers that people in households of very low income come up against daily - and what we do about them.
  • tips and tricks for getting by on next to nothing.
  • heads-up about free stuff, discount deals, and other opportunities to save, maybe even make, a little bit of money. (No envelope stuffing, no "make money at home" scams; we promise.)

We're pros at stuff like this.

Distinguishing economicus ridiculous from other consumer-oriented sites will be its uncommon perspective. Any consumer advice column or blog I've read that is produced by magazines, newspapers, etc. target and encourage a certain upper middle class point of view.

By contrast, this blog will be written not just from the perspective of two women who live far below the poverty line; it will also encourage minimalist living. In other words, this consumer advice blog is at heart anti-consumption.

That the lives of Daphne and I are of the miserly minimalist variety isn't something that's wholly our choice. However, given that these are our lives, like it or not, we have chosen to be creatively inventive in an effort to improve our miserly lot. We will provide tips to help our readers in like circumstances take similar action and also hope to educate readers who are financially better off about the realities of poverty, Canada style.

Why 'economicus ridiculous'?
For our new blog's name, we began right away playing with Latin phrases like reductio ad absurdum, homo economicus and the idea of a forced, but ultimately chosen, minimalist lifestyle. And of course, we wanted the title to convey what the blog was chiefly about: money, spending, surviving on next to nothing. We knew the title alone, which we wanted to keep snappy, wouldn't be able to say it all and that a sub-title would be necessary. We therefore worked back and forth on both. We also wanted the title to be rhythmic and use letters that sounded alike.

With these conditions, it seemed best to coin a new, pseudo-Latin phrase. Ergo, we came up with economicus ridiculous - economicus to represent our money focus and ridiculous to highlight the absurdity of anyone having to get by on so little in a country of such vast wealth. (I toyed with dropping the 'o' in the last syllable of 'ridiculous', but thought that might annoy readers who reflexively cringe at seeing words misspelled.)

We also thought right away of minimalism as a useful descriptor for our lifestyle; it fits with 'spartan', 'bare', 'empty' and the general absence of stuff in our lives. Hence, we sought other 'm' words that would work well with it and convey the correct meaning. The successful candidates were 'maximizing' and 'miserly'.

The final decision was which of the candidates to use for title and which for sub-title. You see the result above.

NB: Most of our posts assume people to have a fixed address. Daphne owns a house. I rent. Low-income renters and most low-income homeowners face the constant threat of losing their housing, since so much of their income is consumed by it. Nonetheless, having a fixed address that is acknowledged by the municipality opens doors to us that are shut to people without similar housing.


penlan said...

Congratulations on the new blog, Ocean & Daphne! Looking forward to reading all the knowledge, info & insights on this one. It's sorely needed in the true reality of this unjust society.

Wishing you both all the best in 2010!

Chrystal Ocean said...

Thank you and congratulations back atcha, penlan! You've made the first comment on economicus ridiculous. How's that for famous? ;-)

sassy said...

What a good idea, I've got you bookmarked already.

Happy New Year to all.

Chrystal Ocean said...

Thank you, sassy! Appreciate the support. I hope we don't disappoint. You will keep us on our toes, yes?

West End Bob said...

Good for you two! We'll be looking for all the money-saving tips you can send us.

I've decided to channel online efforts away from the political wrangling myself - It got where the lack of action was bringing me down.

Check this out. It's gonna give me a much better outlook, hopefully.

Best to both of you in the new year . . . .

Chrystal Ocean said...

And good for you back, Bob! Hope your new blog does well, and especially that you have fun with it. It's what Daphne and I intend to do with this one - though I must confess... The political rants/snarks I do over at Challenging the Commonplace are, for the most part, fun. More important, I've discovered them to be great vehicles for ridding this 'ole bod of toxic rage. ;-)

Saskboy said...

I didn't realize this was a consumer advice blog too. Here's an article I wrote that might fit.

Chrystal Ocean said...

It does fit. If you've any other ideas, contact me (see bottom of page). Perhaps you'd be interested in writing a guest post or two or ...?