The season of greed, envy, materialism and consumption has arrived complete with pepper spray in one store. Many call this season Christmas. Yes, today is the day that people stand in long lines to spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need because they are on sale. Can’t pass up a bargain.
I can pass up a bargain. I’ve never shopped on Black Friday as it is referred to by its many devotees. I once ventured into a mall on the day after Christmas to take advantage of a sale. That was thirty years ago and I never did that again. I don’t like to shop and I don’t like crowds.
I’m not swayed by the planned obsolescence that is common in the market place. I replace items when they break or no longer function, not because this moment’s version of the latest technological gizmo is better in some very small way than last year’s version or even the six month ago version.
Oddly, all of this conspicuous consumption is done to celebrate the birth of a man who urged followers to give away all their worldly possessions to the poor and follow him. Perhaps the shop ’til they drop crowd is simply replacing the possessions they gave to the poor. Though I’m pretty sure the message wasn’t give away your possessions to the poor so you can buy new stuff. And they probably just stuffed the old stuff deeper into their closets.
Yes, I’m a bit cynical. However, I did refrain from ruining everyone’s Thanksgiving by not posting yesterday about wondering if Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving – loss of lands for a handful of beads and blankets infected with smallpox – probably not. (You just got the abridged version.) So I’ll sign off by saying to the easily swayed shoppers – Happy Black Friday and to my fellow cynics (I know there are a few out there) – Happy Mocking of the Shopping Day.