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Black Friday

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2007 by amson

Before I begin, let me announce that it is National Buy Nothing Day!

I post this each year on Black Friday… with some variation in my anecdotal thoughts and ramblings. The haiku is the same, the “afterword” may have changed slightly:

An Haiku
(November 2004)

Gluttony part two
Our table tops are clean now
Shopping can commense

It seems that gift giving in the “season of giving” has become a compulsory orthodoxy. No? Explain to me the mad dash to outlet stores and strip malls at wee hours of the AM each Friday after Turducken day.
See, it’s just that I loathe with a passion the whole “it’s Christmas season, go spend money” thing. I hate it, it’s so superficial and backwards… but this society is stuck in this “thing” up to our botox inflated eyebrows and foreheads. To be honest, I’m not in disagreement with showering those you love with favors, gifts, and niceties, but why can’t we do it all year, every month, rather than buying each person 12-15 boxes of stuff all for one semi-agreed-upon-day. This notion only perpetuates unhappiness and ungratefulness with those gifts we receive. If we were to spend the same effort, attention, and money on one special gift or offering maybe once a month or so, the effort would be much more appreciated and recognized. Theres something to be said for the spontaneity of a random gift, or the invigoration of a spurr of the moment idea. Maybe I’m wrong… but I just believe the whole “gift giving on a certain day” is out of control. Everything we see in this society, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, is in some way fashioned or tethered to this “capitalistic, superficial, materialistic” notion of gift splurge. We could better use our time and finances (as a nation) to come closer together and more tolerant of ourselves as a “national unit”- for we are still a divided, rifted nation.
I love the holiday spirit as much as the next guy/ girl- but I lean more towards the holiday we just tossed in the trash- Thanksgiving. Now that’s a time of sharing and togetherness! We eat together, we sleep together, we watch football together, we decorate and cook together, but most of all… we don’t feel the need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on “stuff”.
So the above Haiku attempts to explain what I feel is the paradox of Black Friday- the irony with which we disembark on a great family tradition like Thanksgiving, and turn our focus to the “art” and science of spending money….