Well, the day has finally come. Black Friday. Midnight shopping, lines wrapped around Best Buy for $350 laptops, people buying junk simply because it's on sale . . . I used to be a big Black Friday shopper, but no longer. As I have come to think about it more, I have found our culture of conspicuous consumption to be rather disgusting. We give so much social clout to the owners of McMansions, flashy cars, designer purses and iPhones. Why?
Conspicuous consumption is perhaps the greatest problem in American culture. In an effort to keep up with the Joneses, Americans (including the Joneses) have mortgaged their futures and are on the brink of collapse. The average American household has almost $10,000 in credit card debt, and the national savings rate occasionally flirts with positive numbers. What does this mean? This means that, on average, our creditors own our future. Rather than step back and ask why, Americans simply charge ahead, becoming more aggressive, even to the point of trampling people to death to save $10 on a DVD player. (Sadly, this happened again this year http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7755278.stm.)
How do you explain to someone that his/her loved-one was trampled . . . to death . . . at Wal-Mart?
Merry . fucking . Christmas .