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‘Tis the Season to Waste Money (A Black Friday Rant) November 26, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Culture, Rants.

Ok, so now you’ve consumed your bodyweight in turkey and dressing and other starches and fats. You’ve basked in the glow of your utterly dysfunctional family. You’ve even watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in a desperate attempt to regain your faded childhood.

What’s next?

Well, according to every retail outlet in the damn nation, it’s your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have on shit you don’t need!

Yes, children, it’s “Black Friday.”

Of course, this Black Friday is a bit different. See, we’ve finally realized that we’re in the grip of an economic depression recession, and many of us have either lost our jobs or know someone who has. The Roaring Nineties are officially, indisputably over and with it, our conspicuous consumption of almost everything. Belt-tightening measures (also known as “common fucking sense”) mean that retailers are going to have to pull out the stops to get you into the store—but for what?

Since I’ve been a grown-ass man, “Black Friday” has struck me as a ridiculous waste of time, energy and money. And yet, people fall for the okeydoke every damn year, lining up at stores at the ass-crack of dawn to get some bauble or soon-to-be-obsolete television at “discounted” prices. Now, with the advent of the Internet, people fire up their pathetic PCs or passably functional iMacs in order to “save” money. Since I brought up Apple, let’s take a look at their Black Friday specials, shall we?

Fig. 1: Bullshit.

I really don’t know how the executives at Apple can fix their mouths to call this a “shopping event,” unless by “shopping event,” they really mean “One-day Screw The Consumer Over Event.” If that’s what they mean, then, yeah, it’s an event, all right. But they are certainly not alone in this ridiculousness. Pretty much all electronics retailers are trying to lure people into buying with promises of “Great Deals!” and “Lowest Prices of the Season!” Really, y’all? You know how I save money each and every Black Friday?

I stay my ass at home.

Yep, that’s right, children. I stay my ass at home and don’t bother with the mall until the After Christmas sales—that’s when retailers are trying to unload all that shit they ordered in order to stay in the black. The incentive for me staying my ass at home is simple: I really find people annoying. And during the holiday season, people begin to warp past annoying on into full-on insufferable. Between cloying and insincere wishes of “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” and the umpteen billion “holiday specials” that purport to show us the “true meaning of Christmas” (here’s the meaning: Buy the shit that advertisers hawk during “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”) and the interminable holiday parties (their only saving grace: spiked egg nog), why in the hot hell would I want to compound my irritation by inserting myself into a sea of sale-grazing, overfed and undereducated moo cows?

Fig. 2: If Hell is other people, then this must be the epicenter of Hell.

Here’s what so fucking horrible about us as a nation: after this orgy of consumption ends, these people who whipped out credit cards and cash will have to deal with the financial hangover. They’ll have to go into credit counseling, bankruptcy, or aggressive negotiations with their creditors—and for what? For “gifts” that will likely be returned and “presents” that will lose their luster five days after they’ve been opened. But being the sheep we are, we’ll fall for this again, and again, and again. Each “holiday” will be pimped out earlier and earlier (I saw my first Christmas commercial the day after Halloween, for frak’s sake!) and, like the compliant drones we are, we’ll line up and ask “Please sir, may I have another?”

Bah, humbug!



1. Suzanne - November 29, 2010

I love you, Roger.

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