Black Friday, 2016 – $3.34 billion in sales
Cyber Monday, 2016 – $3.45 billion is sales
How much of that was you? I’m sixty bucks strong in that Cyber Monday figure. What? I had a legitimate need. Black Friday all I bought was a Whopper meal and a tank of gas. Anyway, my point is not what I purchased. It’s the sad fact that these retail holidays are the start of hunting season. Not hunting animals for food or sport, I mean the first push of the holiday shopping season. And just how sad this all really is.
We dutifully load our angry selves into our gas guzzling cars to go fight with other angry people for junk we don’t need. I mean really, did you need that 5th TV for the second room in the basement? How many gifts did you buy with the thought, “If (s)he does like it, they can just return it”? And how many brief negative interactions did you have to endure to buy all this garbage?
And sure, you saved a ton, but you had to spend a ton all at once to do it. In the end, the result is more shit in landfills and more cash in the 1%er’s pockets. Also, less savings, less space and the added chance of humiliation if you bought someone the same shitty gift as someone else at one of your four Christmas celebrations. And what if both of you bought it knowing it sucked but a gift like a prepaid debit card is just so impersonal. No, this bullshit sweater that looks like cock is much better than something that can pay rent or buy food or diapers.
The art of the thoughtful gift is dead as disco. Now it’s a numbers game. But not how many gifts or how much they were liked, the talk in the kitchen at every Christmas is about how long ago the gift was bought and how much was saved because of the oasis-in-the-desert sale that was happened upon while shopping for some other shit. This is mainly the women, as we all know men lack the foresight to shop ahead. Any gift from a man is fresh from the store. We won’t go into the differences in gender because both are victims here. See, the advertising agencies know this and target men and women differently. Children too.
And that begs the question about who is the hunter and who is the prey? Humans have the instinct to hunt. Most of us, myself included, have no idea how to hunt animals. All the food I eat comes dead and cleaned and I like to not think about that. But the need is there. No matter what we have we always look for a better one. The need, the act of searching for it, and then the perceived ability to make good on all that effort is what drives us. Fortunately, the end of our hunt doesn’t have to include a murderous bloodletting and consuming raw flesh with our teeth.
Cuz that shit be crazy.
No, we hunt for the perfect better thing. A new watch that does the same shit as the one you’re wearing with the added feature of being a trophy to attract other hunters. Advertisers are trappers who sell our pelts to the big corporations who make the shiny new shit. So our hunt is not so much of hunt after all, is it? No man, we are being hunted and it’s time we wake up.
We’ve all seen the articles about how the size of the American family home is getting larger and the general happiness level of the American family is in decline. That is because all this is built on a bed of bullshit. The consumer market is a trap we all fell into. This more more more mentality is toxic at it’s best, evil at it’s worst.
We need to take a step back as a species and really look at ourselves. This consumerist hunt is a trap. It’s a generated fantasy that is ruining our planet and economies worldwide. It’s the Matrix, but way less cool. It’s time to tumble down the rabbit hole, Neo.
This post is to highlight the problem. Stay tuned, in a couple days we’ll start talking about the fix.
Now that I’ve said my piece, let me ask you this: Did you really need anything you bought on this past Black Friday / Cyber Monday?
(sales figures from http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/29/online-sales-hit-another-record-on-cyber-monday-as-shoppers-continue-gobbling-up-deals.html)