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  • Writer's pictureJeff Eaker

The Rapidly Diminishing Return on Fuck-You Money

Poor Jack McGrath just wants

to be a stringer.  

But he can’t hold the strings because he broke all of his fingers.  

So he says to himself, “Man. Why’s everything always so bad?”  

Truth be known a broke-finger stringer, might’ve been the best stringer they ever had.   

I have a super simple way of determining my wealth. I’ve used it since I was a kid. I measure my wealth by mentally asking myself how much money, at any given moment, could I conscientiously blow on baseball cards.  


When I was a kid, I mowed lawns all summer so that when the baseball card convention came to town, I could get my dad to take me to the Sheraton to buy that year’s set.  


I still have those sets. Topps. 1978, 1979 and 1980. The Pirates with the flat-top hats. The White Sox with those god-awful collars. And my Astros with their ridiculous rainbow jerseys.  


When I got my first job in advertising, my starting salary was $23,000. It paid the rent and gave me a little going out money, but not much room for baseball cards.  


These days I’m doing pretty good, financially speaking. I could go on Amazon right now and get this year’s set of baseball cards without even stressing or mowing someone's lawn. No problem. I wouldn’t even have to ask my wife.  

Better yet, I could even go on eBay, and I’d be willing to drop… oh, I don’t know… $175 on a cool rookie card? I could handle that. That’s not out of my wheelhouse. It wouldn’t keep me from being able to pay the bills that month.  


That’s how wealthy I am.  


I’m not trying to brag or anything, but, as you can clearly see, I’ve done quite well for myself.  


But even though I’m obviously doing fantastically, I’m by no means rich and a long way from having the ultimate economic indicator of success— Fuck-You Money.  


Fuck-you money means you don’t have to take any shit from anyone. Well, you still might have to take it, but you don’t have to accept it.  




“Hey Jeff, we need you to re-write the script from yesterday.”  


“Nonsense. You said it was perfect.”  


“Well, people think the ending is a little negative.”  


“Oh, really,” I’d say. “Do they want it to be more negative?”  


“Umm, no. They want a happy ending.”  


“Fuck you. I don’t do happy.”  


And then I just get up and walk-out. There’s an awkward silence but a slow golf clap begins to materialize as I sashay towards the elevator banks with full birds blazing.  


They’d fire me immediately and then I’d send edible arrangements to the entire executive leadership team just for laughs.  


That’s Fuck-you money.  


Which I don’t have.  


So, in reality, I say, “No problem, man. How happy do you want it? We talkin' clown happy?”  


Elon Musk on the other hand is very different.  


I have no idea where Elon Musk presently ranks on the list of the world’s richest people.  

I know where he ranks on the list of the world’s douchiest people. But, I’d wager a Mike Schmidt rookie card in fair condition that he is the all-time, undisputed, heavy-weight champion of the world in Fuck-you money.  


It would seem to be his favorite type of currency.  


He basically bought Twitter with Fuck-you money. He bought it so they couldn’t kick him off anymore.  


His company Space X is completely funded by Fuck-you money. Somewhere he got it in his head that he wanted to go to Mars. The only problem was no one would sell him a rocket. Even Russian arms dealers wouldn’t sell to him.  


So he just said, “Fuck you, Russian arms dealers. I’ll build my own stupid rocket.” That’s SpaceX.   


I can’t help but see his Cyber-truck as a giant, rolling heap of Fuck-you money. It’s like he told his designers to put together the most ridiculously ugly piece of crap they could and he’d put it into production just to annoy people. And if you want to judge the state of the Fuck-you money economy for yourself, you need only take a peek at the folks standing in line waiting for one of those stainless-steel turds.  


But the biggest move he's made in the world of Fuck-you money came with his most recent claim that advertisers were trying to blackmail him by pulling their Twitter ads. Which is exactly what responsible advertisers should do when the guy who owns the platform they're advertising on turns out to be a boot licking Nazi fuck stick.

I'm actually kind of proud to be in an industry that has some semblance of a backbone. I know that's really reaching because I'm talking about advertising, but none-the-less I'll take it.

We don't have a ton to be proud of these days in the ad industry. But I'd say spending a little bit of our own Fuck-you money to put the screws to a bigot is worth celebrating. I might just have to buy myself a new set of baseball cards.

Thanks for reading. I'll see you again real soon.

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