Student loans are creating an inescapable crisis for today’s young people (this author included), and the powers that be are actually making it worse to the point that a horrifying game show is some people’s best chance of being debt-free anytime soon.
Redditor Wade Nixon, a.k.a. Dankmus, shot to the top of the site yesterday by sharing his technique for coping with the existential dread of crippling loan payments. He uses the skills from his $20,000 music degrees to make Simpsons remixes, and you know we wouldn’t be sharing them with you if they didn’t fucking slap.
The Australian musician and drum teacher told VICE the memes began with a remix of the iconically cringey Steamed Hams meme he made “for my music mates to chuckle to” in late 2016. The video exploded, and he was encouraged to make more when Bill Oakely, who wrote the Steamed Hams episode, tweeted his remix. Since then, he’s churned out 100 videos.
Each dank track takes anywhere from a few hours to a month to mix, but it’s time well spent when it’s distracting him from the sinkhole of interest-accruing loans slowly eating him alive. “While it may not make the debt go away, it certainly gives me something fun and positive to work with for a little bit,” he said. “Nothing beats getting a positive reaction from someone with something you’ve made yourself, especially in a field I am passionate about.” Along with positive reviews of his catchy mixes, the comments section on his Reddit post is also packed with others commiserating about their debt and swapping advice about how to handle it .
Nixon doesn’t see these memes as pure escapism. His financial situation spurs him to take every gig and teaching job he’s offered, so this memecrafting is relegated to free periods when work dries up. “It’s taken over any time I’d spend gaming, so really Dankmus is filling up all my spare seconds to try and work more in my industry!” he said. It sharpens his producing, video editing, audio effects, and social media skills, which he hopes will broaden his career prospects in the future.
In the meantime, he’s accrued 62 patrons on Patreon, who pay a small monthly sum to support his art. It's not enough to even scratch the surface of a five-figure debt, but he knows exactly what to do next now that he’s gone viral on Reddit: “I’m going to do what I’ve always been doing.” said Nixon. “Make dank tracks!”
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