Happy Thanks-Spending!!!!

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Here’s a thing: go to your WordPress Reader page, to the Explore Tags search, and type in Black Friday. Go ahead; I dare you!!

Deals. Deals!!! DEALS!!!! Look, Charlie Brown! It’s such a beautiful sight…

We have a serious problem in this country: our priorities need a swift kick in the ass, another to the head, and then yet another well-placed kick to the buttocks. We want to have our turkey, eat it too…and then take away somebody else’s, based on the notion that our access to discounts is more important than their access to quality family time.

Hear me now: You do not need to shop on Black Friday. Especially the part of Black Friday that’s been moved to Thursday.

Are we really so caught up in the machinations of that “invisible hand” that we cannot stay away from department stores for one damn day? That the only suitable end to a wonderful day with family is to go beat up other people’s families over toys and TVs? Seriously: what is wrong with us?

We have been hypnotized by our own greed. Yes, you heard me: GREED! We have allowed our day of thanksgiving to be co-opted by profit-seeking corporations: where once we were thankful for life and warmth and the love of family, now we’re thankful for low, low prices and discount DVD bins. We have decided that it’s okay to haul other people away from their own celebrations so there’ll be somebody to ring us up when we march up to the cash registers with the blood of other shoppers still fresh on our hands, triumphant warriors in the kingdom of Consumerism.

We have turned into a nation of grubbers, because the political class has convinced us that grubbing is the highest form of patriotism. With one breath, they tell us that the collapse of the nuclear family is America’s most pressing problem, and that the best way to save America is to leave our families at the dinner table and go buy some more stuff.

All hail the United States of Stuff!!!

For once, let’s tell Target and Best Buy and Wal-Mart and whoever the hell else to shove it. To leave us in peace while we give thanks for real stuff: love, life, family. Real things. Things that last. Things that money cannot buy. Let’s tell them by just not showing up: they can’t co-opt our thanks if we don’t let them. For once, let your money do some actual talking by not letting it talk at all.

But…since what I’m asking isn’t really likely…

Happy Thanks-Spending, everyone!!!!!

Open the Doors

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Everyone must understand: you can’t ask for solidarity when there’s a problem and then exempt yourself from doing your duty when there is a solution.

– Francois Hollande

Where do we stand, O Greatest Nation in the World?

In one week (minus change), our citizens will be crowded up against closed doors, gazing wistfully upon what lies beyond, fully prepared to beat the living shit out of one another for the chance to be free…to buy a 60-inch TV at a low, low price. And we (meaning our stuffed-shirt, pansy-ass politicians) will defend that freedom to the bitter end. We will go so far as to redefine “Friday,” which now apparently begins at 6:00 PM on Thursday. Because America stands for nothing if not greed (sorry, “free enterprise”).

Black Friday is always the brunt of hypocritical and futile rants. Not unlike Valentine’s Day at my Southern Baptist alma mater. But, like the angry students at my school, who stopped protesting as soon as they got dates, Black Friday editorializing tends to last about as long as it takes Wal-Mart or Target to open their doors, at which point the editorialists let slip the dogs of war and plunge once more into the breach.

This year ought to be different. This Black Friday has potential, in that it might stand out as more than usually black. While we press our noses against sliding glass doors, begging for a bargain, numberless refugees press their whole lives against our national borders, begging for our help. And unlike the doors at Best Buy, our hearts show little sign of opening. As we ransack the shelves at whichever den of capitalism we frequent, little thought will likely be given to those whose entire worlds have been ransacked around them.

Where do we stand, O Greatest Nation in the World? What price our souls? Have we, at long last, no sense of decency?

Spread the word:
Open the doors!