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.|
HEY...........what’s wrong with Vodka? I may not want to step away from it. May fall a little bit but I don’t have to step away.
Uh, a fiver does buy more than all that.
I have no use for pennies as change.
Please send all of your purple $5s to me!
It oughta pay for a lap dance in the San Francisco Castro district!
Yep, the $5 bill is the same as the $1 bill from just a few years ago. Change is all but worthless now.
You are posting to the author. Maybe you need to step away from the vodka.
BTW, I hate the new money.
Yeah right. You really suck at math don’t you? Either that or you shop at the wrong places.
I just paid $4.08 for a gallon of diesel fuel.
You really suck at reality, don't you?
Since the Euro, the Canadian dollar and the Yen (among other currencies) are increasing in value while the USD is decreasing, calling them “funny money” amounts to throwing stones in a glass house.
I don’t understand why anyone would want to counterfeit a five dollar bill in the first place. Talk about a lousy profit margin.
It’s my understanding that hundreds are the most often faked, followed by twenties.
These things are difficult to deal with ~ no matter what argument you might make the other side is going to say it's "not sufficiently tasteful" anyway.
So, why bother. Just skip straight to the insult ~ the writer is a Philistine. He has inferior taste. Blech!!!!!
Same as cash, which is just as good as money!
Spending a lot of money to make our currency less subject to counterfeit. I read somewhere that the first counterfeit twenties to be discovered were identified only because they turned up the day before the issue date for the official ones.
Replace the five dollar paper note with a five dollar silver coin. A $5 silver coin a tad thinner than the present penny would now be worth about $2 in silver.
Good point, because one has to ask, why now?
Ordinarily counterfeits are easily caught due to the many security features now included in our money. "Successful" counterfeits are quite rare since those security features are so difficult to copy.
I like the look of it. I like purple. (plum)