At this point, the economy becomes engorged with consumer products

bnl_stickers.jpgI got my economic stimulus check in the mail today, and I don’t know about you guys, but I plan to stimulate the hell out of this economy. By the time I’m done, the markets are going to be as aroused as a 43-year-old divorcée in an Abercrombie & Fitch store.

I always assumed that I’d been doing more than my share to keep the gross national product hard and firm, but the Bush administration has shown me that I’m still not doing enough. I have to admit that my support of the Coca-Cola and tobacco industries isn’t as stimulating as it once was; after this many years, the spark is gone, and we’re just going through the motions. And I pump a lot of money into the videogame industry, but buying them, unwrapping them, and not playing them seems cheap and un-American, somehow. I could be doing more.

The answer, I realized, is not just to buy things, but to encourage other people to buy things. More and more things. Assuming that everyone has already bought the adventure game series that’s sweeping the nation (and really, why wouldn’t you have bought it already?), there’s the Surfin’ the Highway collection, with just about every Sam & Max comic ever made. (And no joke, the hardback version of this book is almost too good for Telltale to be putting out. I can’t remember anything that’s risen to Most Treasured Possession status so quickly). But what about other good stuff, that’s not put out by a company I work for?

If you’re looking for music, Beck’s new album Modern Guilt is pretty good, if you’re into that sort of thing. Plus, on Amazon you can download the MP3s with no DRM, rendering the iTunes store obsolete. Other records I’ve liked recently are The Swell Season by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, The Shepherd’s Dog by Iron & Wine, Volume One by She & Him, and Raising Sand by Alison Krauss & Robert Plant isn’t too bad (but kind of dull and more “alternative country” than Krauss and Union Station).

And of course, if you’re still unfamiliar with the genius of Soul Coughing, George Bush has given you a perfect opportunity to correct that.

If you like old TV series, I don’t know that there’s ever been one cooler than “The Avengers”, and you can get a set with all of the Emma Peel episodes. If you’ve got a region-free DVD player, (or you know how to use the internet), “The IT Crowd” is a near-genius series from Graham Linehan of “Father Ted” and Richard Ayoade of “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace”. I haven’t seen a comedy series with so many inspired moments since, well, “Father Ted.”

If you like the videogames, the new Final Fantasy Tactics A2 surprised me by not sucking like the GameBoy Advance version did. It’s the first worthy sequel to what is, I think, the best videogame ever made.

Also, Civilization: Revolution comes out this week, and I’m buying and playing the hell out of it, as soon as I’m done working on my own game.

Or, you could buy part of a tank of gas.