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Biffo the Bear

One Individual Versus The Hypocrisy Of The Collective

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Today, I was accused of having a marked lack of empathy by one of my peers. The reason? I spent £2000 on a new camera. The lament was predictable:

"But when people are losing their jobs and struggling to feed their families, don't you think it's wrong that you should be spending that much on a camera?"

Now let's rewind a little bit back to 2002. This was the time when property was taking off all around me, and everyone and their dog was jumping on the train. However, here was me, single and with (at the time) a poorly paid job. However, that didn't stop me saving; I knew I couldn't afford to get on the train, so I started to save like no other to perhaps facilitate an eventual house purchase.

"Oh hurry up and get on the ladder, you'll lose out!"

How could I hurry? Even with 100% mortgages available I'd only have been able to afford a fleapit.

"Your loss" they smirked.

I heard the same thing over and over all from 2002-2007; the sneering and bragging at dinner parties about portfolios, the 'expert' at work saying there was never 'a better time'. All this time I was saving and saving (and obviously by then it'd become painfully apparent that everything was going to come crashing down).

So cometh the end of 2007, and I've worked my up and landed a very good and enjoyable job, being paid pretty much smack on the nose the national average salary. All of a sudden, here I was, with all this cash, thinking "ah.. what now?" and so I continue to save, albeit with a very low return, but hey, that's my choice.

Which leads me to the current situation where I'm taking a nice holiday in a few weeks time and can afford luxuries like the camera mentioned. However, why, in the eyes of the 'collective' am I suddenly without empathy because I can afford to do this through my own prudence? Where were their tears for me when I couldn't get on to the property ladder in 2002?

Now, I'm not one to laugh at the misfortune of others; I do genuinely feel for people who are suffering now, even if it is through their own stupidity in 'buying into the dream', but I refuse to wallow in the collective self pity when I've gone out of my way not to join in the 'boom', initially through having no choice, but then latterly through realising it was all a sham.

I'm not going to decimate my savings on luxuries, but you can be damn sure that I'm not going to hold back out of fear of upsetting people.

Is this mentality the demarcation point between those who freely think for themselves and those who cannot? I don't know, but I think it justifies me rambling on. :)

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Today, I was accused of having a marked lack of empathy by one of my peers. The reason? I spent £2000 on a new camera. The lament was predictable:

"But when people are losing their jobs and struggling to feed their families, don't you think it's wrong that you should be spending that much on a camera?"

Now let's rewind a little bit back to 2002. This was the time when property was taking off all around me, and everyone and their dog was jumping on the train. However, here was me, single and with (at the time) a poorly paid job. However, that didn't stop me saving; I knew I couldn't afford to get on the train, so I started to save like no other to perhaps facilitate an eventual house purchase.

"Oh hurry up and get on the ladder, you'll lose out!"

How could I hurry? Even with 100% mortgages available I'd only have been able to afford a fleapit.

"Your loss" they smirked.

I heard the same thing over and over all from 2002-2007; the sneering and bragging at dinner parties about portfolios, the 'expert' at work saying there was never 'a better time'. All this time I was saving and saving (and obviously by then it'd become painfully apparent that everything was going to come crashing down).

So cometh the end of 2007, and I've worked my up and landed a very good and enjoyable job, being paid pretty much smack on the nose the national average salary. All of a sudden, here I was, with all this cash, thinking "ah.. what now?" and so I continue to save, albeit with a very low return, but hey, that's my choice.

Which leads me to the current situation where I'm taking a nice holiday in a few weeks time and can afford luxuries like the camera mentioned. However, why, in the eyes of the 'collective' am I suddenly without empathy because I can afford to do this through my own prudence? Where were their tears for me when I couldn't get on to the property ladder in 2002?

Now, I'm not one to laugh at the misfortune of others; I do genuinely feel for people who are suffering now, even if it is through their own stupidity in 'buying into the dream', but I refuse to wallow in the collective self pity when I've gone out of my way not to join in the 'boom', initially through having no choice, but then latterly through realising it was all a sham.

I'm not going to decimate my savings on luxuries, but you can be damn sure that I'm not going to hold back out of fear of upsetting people.

Is this mentality the demarcation point between those who freely think for themselves and those who cannot? I don't know, but I think it justifies me rambling on. :)

Such is the wheel of fortune.

I'd be inclined to be discreet about any future purchase - some tea-leaf may have it otherwise.

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5d Mk II; I'm going to take a picture of my critic tomorrow and then print it out nicely for them, just to make a point.

Would they like to borrow it?

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Guest KingCharles1st

Tell them you will be able to take great photo's for the EA when they have to sell their poxy overpriced houses

Edited by KingCharles1st

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Good for you. They are not living your life. Make your own choices, subject to your set of values and your journey will be yours.

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Well, that's the point, I shouldn't have to be discreet. It wasn't as if I was bragging and showing off (like they did when they used to go on about their houses); it was more of a case of, "Look how cool this is." The thing is, if I'd have bought it 5 years ago (even though they didn't exist then), I'd have been the toast of the town, and then everyone would've gone out and bought one with their MEW funds.

I do like King Charles' suggestion, and as much pleasure it'd give me to do it, I won't sink to their level.

To me, it's a moral debate. I just dislike the way that if you're not doing what the crowd's doing, but have acted in a completely reasonably and moral fashion to be able to do it, what gives them the right to cast an aspertion on you, because of their own mishandling of their affairs?

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What you are forgetting is that most people are in fact idiots.

Once that realization hits home, you tend not to take anything they say seriously.

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What you are forgetting is that most people are in fact idiots.

Once that realization hits home, you tend not to take anything they say seriously.

Well, there is that. I'm a great believer in social equality, but have slowly begun to realise that the perception of equality in the minds of many necessitates bowing to a collective disregard for common sense.

And yes, I've got a good insurance deal - this is the most I've ever spent on anything in my life!!

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Well, that's the point, I shouldn't have to be discreet. It wasn't as if I was bragging and showing off....

To me, it's a moral debate. I just dislike the way that if you're not doing what the crowd's doing, but have acted in a completely reasonably and moral fashion to be able to do it, what gives them the right to cast an aspertion on you, because of their own mishandling of their affairs?

People cast nasturtiums because they're angry and they're jealous.

Whilst the mob are mugging you the guy quietly leaving with large amounts of cash discretely hidden may well be me.

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If you want a 2k camera, have a 2k camera - its no buisness of anyone elses!

Mind you, just having a 2k car will have some of those on HPC saying you have sold out!

You do know that for 2k you could get a half decent seconf hand motorbike? Still, each to their own!

Wee

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Your transaction of cash for a camera cannot harm anyone struggling to feed their family. However, if you owned a large quantity of land, this might be seen as harming them and you should divest some of it to help. We should not have transaction taxes such as income tax, if we must have any taxes at all they should be property taxes.

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You are a numpty.

You paid 2k for something you could have bought on credit at a cost of 2.5k.

The financial services society is now short 0.5k because of your selfishness.

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This is a great story.

What it tells me is that you have been sensible in the way that you have acted since 2002.

More importantly, it tells me that you continue to stick to your guns as you are willing to spend 2k on a camera rather than worrying that it represents 2k/(1-.75) = 8k in "house buying capacity".

You are a true bear and I salute you.

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They think you're being flash.

They'd might feel better about your camera if you told your friends you snapped it up, a reel bargain.

Tell them it has a lens that makes pwobuddee look deceptively spacious and you want to focus on being a developer - a photo developer that is.

You can't help it if they have chips on their shoulders.

Edited by Dave Spart

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"But when people are losing their jobs and struggling to feed their families, don't you think it's wrong that you should be spending that much on a camera?"

So you do the "right thing" and hold off the purchase... so the camera shop loses business... camera makers go bust... lay off workers... who then struggle even more to feed their families :lol:

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Look on the bright side - you can now document the downfall of those smug *****ers in great detail - that's probably what pisses 'em off most. :lol:

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Tell them it's an investment camera as everyone knows the price of camera's only ever goes up, we have all heard of CPI, Camera Price Inflation...... :lol:

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Glad someone else is in that boat too, makes me feel less alone :)

I too 'missed out' on the pwopertee roller coaster, mates and family derided me for it.

Now they look at me like I just murdered a few puppies because I bought £1000 wheels for my car, and paid £3000 for a computer. Hey, I like games and shiney wheels, you like huge suffocating mortgages, thats the choices we make.

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Nice one. I spent a similar amount recently (including getting ripped off) on buying a ho a drink in a dodgy bar abroad. I quite happily told everyone I work with. I am not that bothered. Money is just money. Easy come easy go.

People get VERY angry when you say things like that to them. ;)

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