Friday, November 23, 2007
Black, Black Friday
I used to be one of them, more or less. Perhaps I was a lower form of life, due to evolve should I live long enough and actually think to look around and question my existence and how I fit into it. Yes, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I was young once, and I was a CONSUMER.
Yes, I know, you could argue that technically, I am still very much a consumer, no more innocent than those hordes of mutant capitalists descending upon the malls and Walmarts in search of commercial prey. Yet, I can smugly insist that one, I do not have the disposable income these creatures seem to have at their disposal, money they apparently have above and beyond what is necessary to live a comfortable life here in America. No, most of my moohlah goes towards food, shelter, and clo.......well, maybe SOME clothing, but I am still wearing apparel I bought 20 years ago and believe it or not, folks, some of this stuff really does last. Second, I would like to think that should I happen by some miracle be inundated by bushels of cash, that I could find something much more useful to do with it than running to malls and throwing it at retailers in return for tons of stuff that will not make me any happier than I was without it. There ARE still people starving that need not be. Or maybe we could use a pharmaceutical company that actually develops CURES for things instead of stuff that only manages symptoms, when fed with lots of greenbacks. And third, for Bob's sake, I would like to think I have a higher purpose in this universe than shopping and consuming STUFF for lack of anything else to do.
Yes, there are things I lust after, such as a better computer or a larger television or even maybe a nicer car. But sometimes you get to that point where good enough really is good enough and the bells and whistles aren't worth the extra money. Also, I truly believe that despite the fact that we can't actually rid ourselves entirely of commerce, we CAN spend our money much more intelligently than we do now, especially those of us who DO spend lots of it and can influence what gets manufactured and how. There is a really idiotic demand for plastic garbage that certainly could be directed in other directions. We could be driving low and no emission cars right now, relatively cheaply, if consumers had only shunned the gas-guzzling monsters Detroit has been giving the public, an entitled public that has insisted on the biggest, fastest, least ecologically friendly conveyances you could give them. We would have solar panels on pretty much every roof in America had Americans demanded we invest in the infrastructure that could deliver most of our electrical demand from the sun, the wind, or whatever other method not requiring the burning of fossil fuels, which will run out on us if it doesn't kill us first.
So, black Friday to me means just that, BLACK Friday, a day of mourning, a day of horrid realization of just how cheap and empty our values have become. So get out there, America, and shop till you drop. Isn't that what Jesus would do?*
*Or rather, what would Jesus HAVE done. He is, after all, dead, and has been, for a very, very long time.