The Storybank Exchange Almost Explained
This website is my pioneering effort to make real The Living City's new, qualitative-based "storybanking" economy, which features the core story The Storybank Exchange.
In The Living City "storybankers" mint their own homemade currency in "monetary moments, scenes, clips, and stories."
I mint my homemade currency in "book production scenes," which are featured in the opening of every book I make. Here's one of my favorite book production scenes, The Busted Gas Can Book, which I sold to Linda, a former co-worker from Mental Health who bought a book and became one of my character Bookmaker Jake's first supporting cast members.
Start Book Production Scene: $00:00
My book production scenes (which I use to prove my work to you) usually begins with a shot to set the scene. This one shows the back of my former "work director" and friend Bob the Crystal Miner's truck. The box on the right is a 100 pound chunk of pyrite and crystals, nicknamed "The Beast," which I'd just packed down from his mining bench. The gas can on the left was busted by someone not me...I'll blame Archer, the second most badass Crystal Miner in those parts. In any case, even though Bob thought I was nuts ("You'll never get the gas smell off") that evening I packed the busted can down the mountain to my little rustic cabin in the woods.
This was where I officially clocked in for this production scene. I'm working outside my cabin inside my "No Fly Zone," a bug tent which was invaluable during the summer months. I usually start with a clip of me cutting, featured below. But on this day I started by ripping up the can with my trusty tinsnips.
Here I am proving my page cutting clips. Pip the Evergreen Jungle Cat is in the background there providing moral support, posing as a super star TV Celebrity on our Evergreen Jungle Channel.
This shot shows the pains I took to wash the gas smell off the plastic. I'm pretty sure I got it off. What do you think Linda?
I often take shots of my moments drilling and binding. Here I'm binding a busted jackhammer hose to the pages and stitching the hose to the two gas can covers. I remember this took longer than expected, hence the need for the lantern in the next shot. I rarely take proof of work shots for my "minting moments," or the moments I spend printing my photos, writing a short work scene, and producing The Making of The Living City (my homemade currency), but I account for it in my grand total storytime.
For shits and giggles, I like to mount my proof of work photos and my written production scene on dollar-sized pages with offical looking stamps and other authorizing mumbo jumbo to make my homemade currency look more like the strange, green, pressed and dyed pieces of fiber you carry in your wallet. The theatrics are fun, but not necessary in The Living City. The only general requirement for a passable currency there is that it, in some way, proves to the holder that the passer worked for the storytime he, she, or Pip claimed. The proof is what gives any monetary moment of storytime its value.
Storybankers don't use sloppy scribbles of ink for their signatures. In The Living City the word "signature" better translates as "soul" or "essence" or "spirit" or "being" or "form" or simply proof of authenticity. Just for fun I decided to sign the end of my production scene with the Jungle Cat.
Total Storytime: $3hrs:10mins
In The Living City those 6 proof of work shots, along with the jangled narrative I wrote by hand between them, would pass as my homemade currency which I'd store and display (and not hoard) in my "storybank account."
The most super fantastic part of The Storybank Exchange is the fact that- THE ONLY GOOD THAT'S BOUGHT OR SOLD OR EXCHANGED IN THE LIVING CITY IS STORIES. I think that's great, because it means that any economic exchange is about the swapping of our life stories...not the swapping of things and strange service scenes that have no meaningful relation to each other.
For example, if I wanted to buy a bunch of carrots from my star character the Garden Tender, then I wouldn't buy a bunch of carrots from her (the carrots are just yummy props that I get to eat). Instead I'd likely buy a bunch worth of "carrot-tending moments" which the Garden Tender would have likely minted (edited) from her whole "carrot-tending scene."
To steal a phrase from our present economic nightmare, her carrot-tending moments "come complete" with carrots.
And that's about it- In The Living City only good that's bought and sold in The Storybank Exchange is stories.
- - -
The difference between The Storybank Exchange and our current economic nightmare is great, so I cooked up an economist-style math formula to help us deal with the daily grind of having to use the Almighty Dollar.
And here it is:
PROPS (material cost) + (STORYTIME (actual time worked) X THE RATE OF EXCHANGE) = the VALUE of my homemade currency
As you may have noted, THE EXCHANGE RATE is the only wild card in that deck of variables. If I was my character Mr. Chester Weston I would set that rate at whatever "the market" would accept like a good poker player. But, in the spirit of fair play and The Living City, I choose to set THE EXCHANGE RATE at $7.25. That's the rate my Government (with a capital G) set as a "minimum wage" for millions of hard-working super star employees all over The Land of The Free.
Thankfully no one in The Living City has to try to value strictly by the numbers, because doing value by the numbers (without the qualitative balance of stories) is a lot stranger than any fiction I could come up with...
On that note, you can click here to browse the book production scenes featured on the "Intro to Bookmaker Jake: Land of a Thousand Bored Horses" page. Happy value hunting!