This is a weekly installment of Craig Murdoch’s column series, “Dazed and Crazed.”
It is coming to be that time of year again. All Americans’ favorite holiday — Black Friday. It seems so ironic that a day in which we are supposed to utilize as a day of reflection on all we have that we are thankful for is immediately followed by a day to celebrate materialism and consumerism. A day where there are always a few people trampled to death each year to get a bunch of cheap stuff for cheaper. A day where it is decided that, though the day before you were telling everyone how thankful you are for everything you have, it still isn’t enough to be thankful for, we gotta keep adding to our giant piles of stuff.
What goals do we really have in life? Is it to always have the ability to keep accumulating crap and then be able to brag about the respectable size of your pile of crap while mocking those with a smaller pile of crap and marveling with envy those who have a bigger pile of crap than you? Do we ever stop and think, why do we want a giant pile of crap?
Do we have an emptiness inside us we are trying to fill? For Americans, it seems that being able to buy a bunch of crap is the ultimate goal in life or at least in a corporatist society of consumers it is. It’s always a competition. If you get a footing and get enough crap you can use that crap to build on your original pile of crap and start to work your way up the social classes and eventually become a part of the elite. Then you can use all your crap to control the rest of society and work out ways to drain them of their crap, seeing as how that’s the only possible way for you to gain more crap at that point. And what have the elites of society, the supposed “best” competitors, won? They get to keep trying to screw over everyone else to make their pile of crap bigger, they get to play dress up and pretend that they are somehow above the rest of society, seeing as how they have the biggest pile of crap.
They get to control everyone else and make the rules which are good, if you’re into that sort of thing. They get to create unofficial national holidays wherein people are so eager to give them their money, they’ll kill one another for the chance.
I don’t mean to get on a high horse, obviously everyone is born into this type of culture, it isn’t a choice and we are all forced to participate whether we like to or not, unless we want to become hermits. But it doesn’t feel right, none of this consumeristic culture feels right.
The manipulation runs deep. I wonder if anyone realizes that though you would save money if you bought something on sale, you would save more money if you didn’t buy it at all?
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