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.|
I have wondered if the continual altering of US notes is because of North Korea. I think NK’s primary export for some time has been US$100 notes.
Is this the plan? They’ll keep changing the appearance of money, gradually making “In God we trust” smaller with each new look, until among all the variations it gradually disappears completely and no one will notice.
Maybe the people with too much time on their hands are U.S. Treasury employees paid with our tax dollars. Sounds like a freakin’ art colony going on there.
It's not so much that good counterfeits can be made; rather, it's that so many hundreds of thousands of otherwise honest people can make counterfeits that are easily passed to the unwary.
You are a day late.
It looks fine to me too...but I’m color-blind. I will never understand the panic/fear that purple seems to generate in people.
A "successful" counterfeit is anything that the crook manages to unload without it being traced back to him. It doesn't matter if the money is detected as soon as his victim takes it to the bank if, by that point, the crook is long gone.
By that standard, U.S. currency has some problems based on the fact that a decent printer could produce a fake that would withstand a quarter-second glance, which is all some money is apt to get in some transactions. In some venues where lots of cash gets passed around (certain swap meets, etc.) it wouldn't be hard to find a vendor who doesn't look too closely at cash; even if one is caught, if one has bought and sold enough merchandise before using the funny money, one would have plausible deniability (e.g. one could claim that one must have been given the fake note by someone else--one would be out the value of the note, but could likely dodge prosecution).
IMHO, currency should include some reflective or iridescent features that are visually obvious from any angle. I have no idea if the new currency does anything like that.
No doubt. Its all a sinister plot Mandrake - they are all planning to steal our vital essence. I, for one, am ready for them Mandrake.
No. I pay 3.18 for a gallon of gas. I think. Maybe 3.28.
But even so, your change is a bit more than pennies.
You can buy two gallons of milk for 5 bucks.
I have no idea what a pack of cigs cost and I don’t really care.
A color laser printer can’t replicate a watermark or embeded metalic strips. So BS to your theory.
Thats because he is the product of a 3 and 2 dollar bill
That's just <drum roll...> loonie!
So, BS for your ignorant response ~ you should have at least read the entire comment.
Orange juice however remains more expensive than gasoline.
I find it a bit ironic that a product from Florida USA that doesn't require refining is more expensive than a product the raw material for which must be shipped half way around the world before they can even begin turning it into a useful product.
Won’t be long and paper money is going to include imbedded video shorts.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
If you don’t like them, I’ll take them off your hands ...
Does everyone who accepts a $5 or $10 bill examine the watermarks and other such features?
Ridiculous. Instead of monopoly money I call it batman money.