Fighting the Debt-Matrix on YouTube: “cuttenfreuden”

DH = Dear Husband
DD2 = Dear Second Daughter
                “Are you asleep?” I whispered to DH.  He opened his eyes.  It was just after 4:00 a.m.  “I have an idea,” I said – very quietly, in case he wasn’t actually conscious.  He produced a sound.  “Hmm?”  So I felt free to share the idea that had come to me in the last couple of sleepless hours.
                Two weeks ago Saturday night, I woke up, looked at the clock, and saw 2:27 a.m.  So it was really two weeks ago Sunday morning.  It was the day after I had posted “Debt and Credit Cards:  Beware of ‘smallenfreuden’”, and my mind, of its own volition was racing around the ad.  “DD2 and I were watching a bit of TV,” I’d written, “when a commercial came on that I’d never seen before.  I was at once captivated by the quirky charm of the ad with its 1950s-era . . . style, and I was pleasantly bemused by its focus – a word I’d never seen or heard before:  smallenfreuden.  But when the commercial’s purpose became clear to me . . . I muttered my contempt . . . [It] was all about Visa, and the ‘joy of small’ that comes with using the credit card for ‘small purchases you’d make anyway’.  In the days before our journey out of debt, I would have remained somewhat amused by the commercial from start to finish . . . One full year into our debt-reduction, however, I see it as an insidious new agent of the Debt-Matrix.”
                I went to the guest room, hoping that a change of scene would bring the sleep I wanted.  But it didn’t.  And then, the idea came to me.  DH had been saying for years that he’d like to create a short video, put it on YouTube, and see what would happen.  He has had a fascination for video editing since his childhood, when his family won a movie camera.  I’ve seen old footage of the stop-motion animation he produced in his early teens.  “Try to think of an idea,” he’d say.  “Something about our dog?” I managed at one point.  Our dog is really cute, but that didn’t do it for DH.
                Now, however, I had a vision:  We would put together a video to counter the message given in the “smallenfreuden” commercial.  Imitating the cheesy style of the ad, along with its rapid-fire eye candy, we would tell the world that it was smart to use money actually saved up and in-hand when making purchases, and that the best thing to do with credit cards was to cut them.  I had ideas for the narration; I had ideas for video and images; I had ideas about which family members, friends, and colleagues might take on which roles.  And by 4:00 a.m. I was waking DH to tell him all about it.  He liked the idea, semi-conscious as he was, but he wanted to go back to sleep.  So I left the room again to grant him his slumber, and went to my computer.  By 7:00 a.m. I had a script complete with descriptions of video clips and still images.
                Over the past two weeks, we have reworked the script, asked people to be our actors, taped, and taken footage over lunch hours and evenings in different locations.  This evening, we captured two scenes and sat down one last time to edit.  Our end product is just over 40 seconds long, but we’ve put more hours into it than you would think possible.  It’s now after midnight Thursday night – so it’s really Friday morning – and we’ve just put our creation up on YouTube.  Check it out if you’re interested, and share it with your friends if you like it.  DH and I are pleased to give you cuttenfreuden.

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