It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for the big fat cats to cash in on your appetite for greed and low self-esteem. Christmas is around the corner, and the capitalist gods have sent their finest to wring out every ounce of self-respect we have: Black Friday. Since its beginnings in mid-20th century America, Black Friday has evolved to summarise the disheartening toxicity of human nature. This year, I would like to invite you all to reconsider the whole affair.
The only sale you should concern yourself with is the sale of your soul when you subscribe to the cancerous rhetoric of Black Friday. With the aggressive marketing on all forms of media it’s hard to keep your head screwed on straight. We’re being waterboarded with the latest must have deals and offers that nobody asked for - but look! They have 50% off a retail price that was 70% overpriced anyway. Wonderful. 30% off on some shoes made by thirteen-year olds in sweatshops? Awesome. The Communist Manifesto in a festive hardcover limited edition? Exactly what I wanted, Mom! A perfect marriage of my privileged upbringing and socialist views. It’s a consume-as-much-as-you-can campaign, and they plan to force feed us until we drop dead. The blackest aspect of Black Friday is its rotting heart. My mind is already exhausted by the mental bludgeoning from the sadomasochistic relationship I have with the retail industry, and the shopping season has only just started. They’re selling us the coffin and charging for the labour to nail it shut. It’s going to be a bleak couple of weeks for the sane.
Festivities have always had a cynical scent in the air. Now more than ever, the preconditioned idea that we need material goods to feel good and to feel accepted by others is deeply depressing. Black Friday is merely the looking-glass that allows us to see the disgusting nature of humans. This is not an attack on what people do with their money, rather on the whole attitude and culture of materialism that slowly degrades morale and self-worth. The need for stuff is preconditioned; the idea that the objects we own determine our value is ingrained into our collective conscience. It feels good to have things - at the time, at least. The emptiness and regret come later: these worldly collections of atoms aren’t necessarily the answers to your problems. Be measured in your overindulgence, before you get overwhelmed by it all.
I urge you not to spend your dollars on more glorified doorstops, but to spend your short time on Earth with your loved ones; treat them to a square meal, take them skydiving or to a pottery class. Money spent on experiences makes you far happier than money spent on physical objects. The bombardment of consumerist pornography on sight at every junction in our busy lives gives us a chance to reflect on the environmental, social, and personal impact it all has. Whatever the latest offer is, know that even the best recreational drugs have a come down.