Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Hobbies As Expensive As Audiophilia

It would be remiss to begin the adorable little bullet point routine without mentioning how hilariously expensive high-end audio bullshit is. This is the website for McIntosh, and I’ve linked to what they call the Reference System: McIntosh’s helpful bundling of all the shiny, heavy things one needs to listen to music properly. Remember Wheels Up, the private jet club, and how they didn’t have prices on the website? This joint, either.

It looks like this:

Reference_music_XL.jpg

As you know, finances at TotD are generally calculated in terms of Ford Foci, and I must admit to being taken again by McIntosh. I figured: one Focus? Two? How much could a stereo possibly cost? One made by humans?

$294,213.76. In today’s dollar. That’s 17.3 motherfucking Ford Foci. That’s a fleet. You would have a business if you had 17.3 Ford Foci: rent the fuckers out. On the other hand, you would have a much cooler den with the stereo.

To further flip-flop, I will admit to not understanding this in the same way that I don’t understand Ferraris and John Mayer’s watch collection; performance and luxury has diminishing returns for me. A three-Ford stereo is outlandish, but a 17.3 Ford stereo makes no sense. Can it possibly be 5.7 times better?

And now the flop: rich people are always gonna spend their money on bullshit, and McIntosh Amps are built in America. Let’s keep the bullshit dollar at home.

Plus, their stuff is quality; it has to be. To charge their prices for as long as they have–without advertising, mostly–they must have the best stuff. Rolls Royce, Dom Perignon, McIntosh Amps.

Y’know what: God bless McIntosh Amplifers. (Please send me things, McIntosh. I will pose for pictures with whatever you send me.)

My patriotic backing of the company notwithstanding, their products (which I will only assume are not the most expensive you can buy) all cost the same as an instrument of transportation: some products cost as much as a bicycle or used moped, and others cost as much as a Bentley (a new one).

There are, however, hobbies as expensive as audiophilia, perhaps moreso. Let’s find out what they are in the bullet points, which we join already in progress.

  • Polo is miraculously expensive, plus every once in a while, you have to shoot a horse; it’s also nothing but Argentian playboys.
  • Demolition derby with yachts. (Larry Ellison likes doing that.)
  • Batmanning.
  • Art is obviously a little pricey at the top end.
  • I mean, you can still get a painting to go with the couch for a few hundred bucks, but I’m talking about the fancy stuff.
  • The purtiest pitchers.
  • And the abstractest statues.
  • Racecar driving can run ya.
  • You can take your Miata out for a track day for a reasonable fee, but you can also buy an F1 car and race in the actual races with actual drivers.
  • I swear.
  • They’re called pay drivers, and they have to buy another car or two and let some people without money but with racing ability drive them.
  • Then these people are allowed out on the track at, say, the Monaco Gran Prix with all the real drivers.
  • At the same time, too.
  • Say what you will about baseball, but no matter how much you offer the Royals, they’re not going to let you play shortstop.
  • That extreme-asshole version of hunting where you go to Africa and shoot a lion will cost you a ton, but it’s not the most expensive game.
  • That would be man.
  • Man is also the most dangerous game.
  • A manhunting scenario is going to be expensive: there’s no way to cut corners.
  • You really need your own island, where the laws of society don’t apply
  • And you also need there to be no people living nearby, because even if the law doesn’t apply, when the villagers hear about what you’re getting up to, they will eventually storm the house and kill you.
  • You need an island.
  • Obviously, the house would need to be built which means importing labor onto your island.
  • This raises costs dramatically.
  • Unless the first men you hunt are the construction workers.
  • That’s actually a smart idea.
  • A hidden cost of an island designed for playing the most dangerous game is the booby-traps: people don’t realize that you can’t just set ’em and forget ’em.
  • They get triggered by animals, or men you’re hunting: a booby-trapped jungle is a constant headache.
  • Plus, a lot of the time you send the maintenance guy out to fix one of them, and he is killed by a booby-trap.
  • A good thing to do in that scenario is retroactively declare that you had been hunting him; that way you get to put a W in the books.
  • You will notice I haven’t even gotten to the expenditures you will incur finding men to hunt.
  • Money can be saved snatching hobos, but a hobo’s not much of a challenge to hunt, is he?
  • They stumble easily and often, and if you leave a roast chicken out in the jungle, then the hobo will be drawn to it and you can shoot him.
  • Where’s the sport in it.
  • You want someone who’ll put up a fight: the gold standard is an Army dude of some sort.
  • Someone who’s good at Armying, not Jenkins from the mess hall.
  • You can’t just steal that guy.
  • The army counts heads every morning, and someone would notice.
  • They would come looking for him, and you don’t want the Army looking for you.
  • All you want to do is hunt man.
  • The most dangerous game.

11 Comments

  1. An excellent comparison with auto racing and paying drivers. However, the finances of high level racing like F1 and Sports Car Racing (LeMans etc) is that “paying” drivers actually bring sponsorship dollars rather than just writing a check. Often, the sponsorship is through their wealthy father’s company or something, but nominally they are “bringing finance.”

    How different is this than “The Other Ones” touring with a high profile pop star who brings his own audience, as opposed to Mark Karan (or John Scofield or something)? Discuss.

    Music, unlike auto racing or baseball, isn’t a competition, but they are both entertainment enterprises.

  2. Since you derailed, let’s pick up in comments:

    * Freebase and hookers, if you’re serious about it

    * Gambling, if you’re bad at it and have the money

    * So Vegas, basically

    * Coup d’etat

    * Sports team ownership, dilettante style (see: New Jersey Nets)

  3. You didn’t go all the way with your argument which has it’s logical conclusion with the plot of the JCVD / John Woo classic “Hard Target.” Use ex-Army hobos for your dangerous game. Then you meet up with some GI Joe’s hot daughter in NOLA where Wilford Brimley yells at you in the worst creole accent you can imagine.

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