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Tuesday, May 21, 2024   

Circle Magazine review of "Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt"
by Victoria Acroyear
Circle Magazine, Homeslice Reviews
Printable format
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I feel sorry for all of you poor bastards out there crippled with credit card debt, and even sorrier that I never had the opportunity to join you. 

Ever since I conveniently blew off my education loans a few years back, no sane lender would touch me with a ten-foot electrified APR. I have precisely one credit card -- the ultra-rare and super prestigious American Express Aluminum Card. My limit is fifty bucks. I buy three a.m. pizzas with it from time to time. In a society whose voodoo economics are founded upon the very concept of cyclical personal debt, I am the perennially non-solvent outcast. So how am I not living in a cardboard box beneath an overpass, you ask? 

Because I get paid the hefty pocket salad under the table for doing that which no other reviewer would deign to do, which is provide an aesthetic review of Scott Bilker's Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt. Now, before I start singing the praises of Mr. Bilker's prose style, or his innovative use of trochees and spondees in the anapestic diptych (or whatever), I must admit that when I picked up this nattily turned-out trade paperback, I wasn't exactly expecting William Morris's The Life and Death of Jason, which was all to the good, as I didn't get any epics between these covers. (All sexual innuendo aside, I rarely do.) 

What I did get was a surprisingly witty and to all appearances effective how-to manual for hoodwinking these bloated social parasites that we now know of by the euphemism "banks" into cutting us a little slice of economic justice now and then. Granted, the power is entirely on the side of the large financial institutions, such that Mr. Bilker's winning tactics often shed their savor of victory in a larger context. 

In fact, after sober reflection, much of the content of this book comes off like a prisoner in an Aztec sacrificial dungeon winning a reprieve from the old heart-yanking business and getting off lightly with a refreshingly simple full-body flaying alive, instead. Any time one of us poor microserfs (to use Douglas Coupland's once-famous neologism) has any sort of dealings with the money monolith that drains us, we're going to lose -- that can't be helped, that's the way the system was designed to work by those whom it continues to benefit. But at least with the help of Mr. Bilker's book, one can fight a series of strategic rearguard actions, and manage to cut one's losses a bit. 

After all, there's no sense in completely rolling over and playing dead -- before it's time, anyway.



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