how Black is your Friday?

25 Nov

Every year, round about this time, I am re-reminded how many people – close friends, even – go absolutely apeshit over this Black Friday business.  Since I manage to spend a good deal of the year deluded by the naive faith that most folks are hip to the fact that The Man is out to keep them down via a blind devotion to consumerism at all costs, I am always sincerely astonished when Thanksgiving rolls around. It’s then that I again realize, oh yeah, I am deluded.

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How ironic that Black Friday immediately follows one of the humblest of holidays.  A lovely day to spend with family & friends,reflect on how most of us Americans have it fairly good, despite recent financial debacles, and hopefully have a nice meal.  I’ve also heard told that there’s a tradition among some to watch and/or participate in something called “football,” which is reportedly especially bonding among male family members who would otherwise have nothing to share with each other.  Anyway, it can’t help be noted that the boring congeniality of Thanksgiving must always give way to the sheer excitement of shopping hysteria on a national scale.

Black Friday indeed. Sounds like the name of a Sisters of Mercy song.  It seems to me that the titular ominous blackness of this celebrated day does not really refer so much to the experience of the vendors, who will have total chaos ensue within their stores, or even the hapless shoppers, who not only get sucked into a spirit of mass panic, but  have been known to be stampeded, punched, and inappropriately manhandled in various ways on this special day.   No, I think the darkness inferred in the name, Black Friday, is more rightly directed at our consumer culture in general.  There is something inherently disturbed about a society that validates, in fact codifies massive over-consumption as a treasured national tradition.

But, ahem. Please let me clarify that I am as turned on by buying shit (or more rightly, the possibility of buying shit, since my unemployment checks aren’t doing much to facilitate actual buying right now)  as the next American. iPhones and personalized steak branders and Fluevog shoes (especially Fluevogs) are hella cool.  I also like to have an occasional glass of wine, too, but I sure as hell ain’t setting my alarm at 4 a.m. to go on a 14-hour Chardonnay binge.  Let’s just take it down a few notches, people.

Actually, why not take it all the way down?  The BEST way to save money on the official first day of the holiday shopping season?  Don’t fucking buy anything.  Omigod, omigod  …. deep breath and …. ahhhhhhh.  Now doesn’t that feel better?

Happy Thanksgivin’, and Keep on Disgruntlin’!

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2 Responses to “how Black is your Friday?”

  1. wwalant November 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    but what if Fluevogs are 60% off?

  2. the disgruntler November 26, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    only if I can fondle them in private, not with thousands of other shoppers around

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