Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The triumph of corporate capitalists over our holidays

This is an excerpt from my new book.  Much of this book includes fictional short stories and journals I wrote.  All local people’s names have been changed. From The Journals Of A 21 Century Schizoid Man;

If this holiday season is anything like those to come in future years, we may as well kiss Christmas/Winter Solstice and any other festive occasion that various people celebrate good buy.

Thanksgiving has always been overshadowed by the buying spree for Christmas. Every year we expect the commercials to start up with Santa and his elves. But this year was quite different.

It wasn’t enough that people lined up on Thanksgiving night and wait for the “Black Friday” sales. That happens every year and many people such as I just ignore it. This year was way different. The corporate rulers of our country decided we needed a whole week of Black Friday sales, to really pull in the money. A few retailers, including Walmart, decided to make their employees come in on Thanksgiving night, to open early to make a few extra sales. There were complaints across the country, by both Walmart workers and people who sympathised with them. The move was unnecessary and it ruined the Thanksgiving holiday for the employees.

If that wasn’t enough, corporate retailers extended Black Friday for a week. Commercials flooded out of my TV, most having nothing in them about Christmas, except people buying for their shopping lists. Santa was selling cars in a suite.

Never in my entire life have I ever seen the kind of Crass Commercialism that has plagued these so-called “holiday seasons.” Commercial after commercial showed greedy-self-absorbed people bragging about the money they saved on smart phones, iphones, TVs and Cars.

Forget “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” These messages that “Christmas doesn’t come out of a package or store” does little to affect the crass commercialism that was thrown at us over and over on TV commercials.

If TV commercials aren’t annoying enough, I get plenty of commercials in my e-mail from companies trying to sell me crap I have no interest in.

Here is an example of some of the crap that has been piling up on me from my e-mail account;

“Zuuzs,con; It's Cold/Flu Season So Stock Up! - Up To 40% Off Cold Remedies. Other messages from similar companies; 12 Days of Joy - Special Holiday Surprise Every Day For 12 Days; Stock Up & Save - Full Price Legwear: Buy ONE get ONE 50% off; Save On Holiday Gifts - 20% Off $60; Shop Holiday Gifts On The Cheap - Great Picks Starting at $5; Cyber Savings All Week - Special Offers On Top Brands & Products;, Great Holiday Gift Ideas - 20% off all orders; Naturalizer, Save On Holiday Gifts - 10% Off Your Entire Order; Radioshack, Capture The Memories! - Up To $80 Off Nikon Cameras…”

Worse are the elaborate big ads for the crap I really have no interest in buying;

Corporate America has completely hi-jacked our holiday season by replacing them with crass commercialism that has nothing to do with any real holiday.

It will be up to us as individuals to avoid the constant buying sprees that have nothing to do with any holiday. It is just large corporations taking advantage of us to sell as much of their junk as they can.

We decorate our homes and spend time with our families--if we so desire. And buy cheap presents from locally owned mom and pop stores. We can avoid the chains altogether, for those of us who have the will power. I always enjoyed Christmas and the seasons around it as a child. Now I celebrate the Winter Solstice, for tradition. It’s not really that much different and I still visit family members.

Ebenezer Scrooge (from Charles Dickens's 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol.) would fit right in today. He would be just like all the other corporate captains cashing in on what is supposed to be a group of holidays.  


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