Here is a random fact you should know about me - I hate shopping. When I say shopping, I specifically mean shopping for clothes, shoes, jewelry, and basically anything that a typical girl should like to shop for. I would much rather go to a book store or a CD store or...well Best Buy and Staples are pretty fun I'd say. ;) But let's face it, most girls (and A LOT of guys) love to shop for clothes and the other things I listed. In fact, our nation seems to pride itself in the clothes people pick out and wear. Yahoo's top news story the other day was about Kate Middleton's sister who apparently has bad fashion sense! We have pre-academy award shows where stars are interviewed and the first question the interviewers ask is who they are wearing (not what - who!), and it is usually a dress or suit from a famous designer. Now when I see these things, I get bored sick. But Americans generally love that kind of stuff. The only thing Americans obsess over more than their fashion sense is celebrity fashion sense...or rather, celebrities in general. Americans obsess over the things celebrities do with their money; whether it be wearing expensive clothing or getting their kid's book deals or renting out a theme park for the day or buying a frozen yogurt; Americans love it all. Material wealth is what celebrities have and Americans want it!
before I continue, I know that there are small businesses who do not
use these tactics to trick people or gain more cash by ripping people
off. I also know that some Black Friday shoppers use this day to be
generous and buy Christmas gifts. However, big corporations and
dedicated Black Friday shoppers do not get this excuse. Let's look at
the basics of Black Friday for a second. Both consumers and companies
prepare for this day as if it were a Holy day. People discuss Black
Friday as if it is the event of the century every single year. People
dedicate their weeks to clipping coupons and scrolling through their
emails and figuring out what they want that is on sale. And it is not
just the preparation for Black Friday. It is being a part of it.
People set up tents and stand in huge lines for that one product they so
desperately desire as if it will fulfill their hopes and dreams...and
well, their life.
John Green recently wrote a blog post about
Black Friday and says, "I would argue that all these people standing in
line aren’t really
there to save money. (Like, standing in line at Best Buy for four hours
to save $20 on a TV is almost never an economically rational decision.)
They’re standing in line to be part of something. And the something
is consumer spending, the foundational idea of (and driving force
behind) America’s relative economic health. And because we associate
economic health so closely with community health, Black Friday is a way
of both giving thanks and making an offering. In the end, I would argue
the rituals surrounding Black
Friday—combing through emails and advertisements for coupons, waking up
before dawn, communing with strangers in large indoor public spaces
(Target, Wal-Mart, etc.)—aren’t just similar to religious rituals. I would argue that they are religious rituals, just ones played out in a secular world."
says it better than my entire Wasted Wednesday post ever could. But
just think about what I am saying and what Green is saying. Black
Friday truly has become a religious holiday. It is a day people devote
their lives to and I would argue that more people devote themselves to
Black Friday than Catholics do to Lent at Easter time. I mean, it's
completely ridiculous. Yet people do it every year as if this is what
life is worth living for.
Let me tell you all something - Black Friday is nothing someone should be fighting to live for.
Black Friday is now a religious tradition in America and it all ties
into this ideology Americans hold that material wealth is how one gains