January 22, 2012

Cutting Money

The first time I cut into a dollar bill it felt sacrilegious.
The first time I cut into a Chinese yuan I felt nothing.
When I destroyed my first dollar bill I broke a fundamental, unspoken precept.  I ignored the universal agreement that money, American money, deserves a primal place in our psyches. So I decided to cut other currencies to see how that felt.  To my surprise I didn't feel anything.  The doller had value, the rest of it was just paper.  So I tried coins. The satisfying snap of metal breaking under the pressure of bolt cutters was satisfying but even then the American pennies seemed more real than the the pesos.