Monday, November 27, 2017

With Black Friday Over, Get Ready for Merry Christmas

I didn't see the usual local news stories featuring people bowling over each other in a race for flat screens and other sexy items. Nor did I read any thinkpieces proclaiming the end of humanity and sermonizing about how life is not about the accumulation of material goods. I'm sure I've done some version of this in my life, or at least inner dialogued about it. "Hey man you'll never see me elbowing out folks at 5:45 a.m. at Target," making myself feel good for a moment.

Why would we judge each other for being good consumers? We're doing what we've been trained to do. BUY. BUY NOW. And who doesn't want a good deal? No matter where you are on the income spectrum -- who wants to pay The Man more for his goods than you have to? As an upper middle class person, I have a lot of choices as to when and where I want to consume. People with fewer resources than me do not have the same amount of choices. It's misguided and cruel if I look down on folks for trying to save dollars. And people who make good money also want to save when they can. I got student loans, a mortgage, retirement to think about, maybe the kids will go to college. Fuck it, I'll take an iPad on discount.

Black Friday has become normal and now it's just another part of the calendar. It's a Consumption Holiday, followed by another Consumption Holiday. "Cyber Monday," how stupid is that, no one uses "Cyber" anymore. At least change that shit to Digital Monday.

Now that leftovers have been devoured and our Consumption Holidays nearly complete, get ready for President Trump to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and remind us over and over that we can say MERRY CHRISTMAS again. As if Bill O'Reilly's War on Christmas was actually real when in fact it's better described as Fake News. There was never a War on Christmas. It was, and remains, good manners to say Happy Holidays knowing that not everybody in the world (or your workplace, or in your peer group) is a Christian or observes Christmas. Obviously it was never either/or -- either you had to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. People said both, they'll continue to say both, it's selective observation to claim that people stopped saying Merry Christmas. It's dishonest. But honest doesn't pay the bills.

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