Skip to comments.Just Say No to Purple Five-Dollar Bills
Posted on 04/02/2008 7:42:28 PM PDT by Richard Poe
|by Richard Lawrence Poe
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
HAVE YOU seen the new five-dollar bill? It looks like someone spilled grape juice on it. A violet stain obscures Abraham Lincoln's face. On the back, an oversized numeral five appears in purple. Enough is enough. We must stop the desecration of our currency.
The U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing claims it is making our banknotes "safer, smarter and more secure". They say the violet stain on Lincoln's face adds "complexity", rendering counterfeiting more difficult. The big purple five on the back supposedly helps vision-impaired people count their change.
Hogwash! These goals could be achieved through less drastic means. There is no need to turn our banknotes into Monopoly money.
U.S. currency already features watermarks, microprinting, embedded fluorescent security threads, color-shifting ink and fine-line printing patterns -- subtle security measures requiring little change in the dollar's design. For the visually impaired, high-contrast features could be added in a tasteful manner, without resorting to garish, phosphorescent hues.
The fact is, we are being hoodwinked. The redesign of our currency has nothing to do with fighting counterfeiters or helping people with weak eyesight. It has everything to do with catering to the perverse canons of postmodernist art. The U.S. Treasury has allowed a cabal of avant-garde designers to pull off one of the most audacious practical jokes in art history; the "subversion" and "deconstruction" of the U.S. dollar. We the taxpayers must demand an end to this cultural vandalism.
More than 2,300 years ago, Aristotle opined that art should be wondrous and beautiful. It should instruct and elevate the masses, he said, giving pleasure and catharsis or emotional release.
Today's hipster intellectuals reject Aristotle. Instead, they embrace a philosophy called "poststructuralism", "postmodernism" or just plain PoMo. For PoMo's apostles, art is a weapon of revolution. Its purpose is to mock, degrade and undermine the cherished beliefs of Western civilization. PoMo theorists call this process "deconstruction" or "subversion".
Photographer Andres Serrano famously deconstructed Christianity in 1989 by snapping a picture of a crucifix submerged in Serrano's own urine. In 1999, the Brooklyn Museum showcased an image of the Virgin Mary which artist Chris Ofili had splattered with elephant dung.
Meanwhile PoMo designers have been doing to national currencies what Serrano and Ofili did to Christianity. Their first target was the Dutch guilder.
From 1964 to 1985, graphic artist Ootje Oxenaar redesigned the entire series of Dutch guilder notes on commission from the Nederlandsche Bank. Oxenaar began the project by studying banknotes from many countries. He found them all "very muddy in color". Oxenaar later told the PBS series Nova:
"The only banknotes that really inspired me, in fact, was play money, like the Monopoly money, and that is what I think is necessary for banknotes too."Accordingly, Oxenaar designed the new guilders to look like play money. He sprang other tricks on the Dutch taxpayer as well. Oxenaar told a British design magazine:
"On the 1000 guilder note, it became a sport for me to put things in the notes that nobody wanted there. I was very proud to have my fingerprint in this note - and it's my middle finger!"The 100-guilder note formerly portrayed Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, a Dutch national hero who defeated French and British fleets in the 17th century. Oxenaar replaced Admiral de Ruyter with an image of a long-billed wading bird common in the Netherlands. "I changed our war criminal -- the grand admiral -- to a snipe", he later quipped.
Oxenaar's radical approach met resistance at first. But over time, he recalls, "there developed a circle of friends who believed in it... a circle of believers." Our new five-dollar bill suggests that some U.S. Treasury designers may have joined Oxenaar's circle.
For 67 years, no major design changes affronted the dollar's dignity. Then the transformation began. The $100 bill was redesigned in 1996; the $50 in 1997 and 2004; the $20 in 1998 and 2003; the $10 in 2000 and 2006; and the $5 in 2000 and 2008. With each mutation, our magnificent greenbacks have been devolving, by slow but steady increments, into play money.
The $100 bill is now undergoing its second redesign in 12 years. U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral recently told a group of grade-school students, "The bill is still a secret, and I can't tell you what it looks like. It will be very colorful, though!"
Since we taxpayers are footing the bill, secrecy seems inappropriate. The U.S. Treasury needs to tell us now where these redesigns are heading.
|Richard Lawrence Poe is a contributing editor to Newsmax, an award-winning journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Siezed Control of the Democratic Party, co-written with David Horowitz.|
maybe a ploy to usher in new found support for the amero
Looks like “funny money.” Actually, quite appropriate under the present circumstances.
you must have alot of extra time to create so many fancy links
It must be the gay bill. The IsukEuro.
You clearly have too much time on your hands. Get a hobby or call Eliot Spitzer and get some telephone numbers for a few of his “companions”
What’s the problem... it *is* play money. Art imitates life.
The government is printing money at a breakneck pace. Who cares if a couple counterfeiters do the same? Be like Uncle Sam and fire up those printers!
Probably a supporter of one of K-State’s sports rivals (or Northwestern’s rivals).
Purple $5’s are popular here in Manhattan, KS, and probably in Evanston, IL as well.
Someone needs to chill out. I’ve seen the new $5 bill and it doesn’t look that bad. You should see some of the currencies is use around the world.
It make sense to use different sizes and colors for different bills. It makes it a lot easier for people to handle them in a hurry, helps prevent counterfeiting, and makes it a lot less likely you are going to hand someone the wrong bill when you’re drunk.
The author of this thing needs to step away from the straight vodka, stop worrying about the purity of his natural bodily fluids, and get a grip.
Barney is as queer as a new five dollar bill.
Why are American dollars so butt ugly?
My God, what would they have said if it were red instead of purple?
Until a $5 dollar bill buys more than a gallon of fuel, a gallon of milk, or a pack of cigarettes, I don’t give a crap what it looks like.
So you want US currency to look like other countries funny money?
I wont one ...
My question is: when they dump all these new bills into circulation do they remove an equal number of old bills? If not then doesn’t that cause inflation?