Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Hate Black Friday

There, I said it. I do indeed hate Black Friday, but it's for more than the usual reasons people hate it. Yes, I hate the consumerism, the wanton greed, the people trampling each other to buy stuff, the violence, the degeneration of manners. Yes, I hate all that. But there are other reasons I hate Black Friday beyond those usual requirements.

I also hate Black Friday because of the accusations it brings up. "You Americans are greedy pigs." "You're consumer whores not worthy of the wealth you consume." "You're brainless leeches of the planet." Etc. Sure, they may all be justified, understandable, probably true as well...but I still take them personally.

Again, it's because of where I'm born, what I do and what I buy that I'm lumped in with the rest of the undesirables. Maybe I'm even guilty of some of the things other Americans are guilty for on Black Friday (but most certainly not the violence). But can't the detractors figure out some way other than vitriol, piss and vinegar to combat the worst effects of Black Friday? If anything, people heaping on tirades of accusations are probably making Black Friday worse.

I say that because of the addicting effect shopping has for so many of these people. Shopping is a way of stress relief for many of them. The thought of getting something new - it's a way to distract the mind from one's other troubles. And we do live in a troubled society where everyone suffers. I've said it before and I'll say it again: America is not the land of milk and honey that so many others from around the world say it is.

I honestly don't think heaping guilt upon these people's shoulders is going to suddenly make them stop shopping on Black Friday. If anything they'll buy more stuff to be more defiant. So what's the solution, then?

Personally, I think the solution is to present alternatives to wanton consumerism and shopping as ways to happiness. Perhaps instead of heaping on vitriol, these detractors can say "do something else instead!" Things like spending time with one's family, doing community service, stuff like that.

I know negativity is all the rage on Black Friday, but let's not let the negativity infect all of us sane, rational people, okay?

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