Black Friday might as well be considered the holiday of November. Thanksgiving is technically the special holiday that kicks off the Holiday Season. Although Christmas starts it’s infiltration of displays and retail outlets before Halloween ever gets finished, Thanksgiving is really just thought of as the day before the biggest shopping day of the year for some. I remember as a kid when the Friday after Thanksgiving was like a relaxing family day (or something like that). However, it has now become only about the deals. (oh my GOD the DEALS!) People start standing in line hours before the stores are set to open, camping out overnight, so they can be sure to get Lil’ Johnny’s Gameboy for 20% off. I respect the desire for a good bargain, especially in this economy, but it’s out of hand.
Here’s how I see it:
All we have become is a mass consumer driven society who are willing to fight tooth and and nail for the last Tickle Me Elmo. Parents obsess over the need to obtain the most ridiculous toys for their spawn simply because they are the most advertised, marketed, and therefore popular toys on the market. Is Lil’ Susie never going to grow into a normal adult because she didn’t get a Bratz doll for Christmas? No, most likely she will be a better human for it later.
I’m not arguing that toys are terrible things. I’m presenting this forgotten concept that once upon a time, children had imaginations, and the world was their oyster. Today, children have video games and TV to babysit them and parents have mountains of credit card debt because they wanted their brats to have the best. Even if the little shit doesn’t actually deserve the best.
Who walks away on top in this cycle?
Executives at Mattel, Microsoft, Nintendo, Apple (no hate, I love Apple, but 10 year olds don’t need iPod Touches), whoever else mass produces shitty toys for stupid ass kids to love, drool on, break, and then push aside when the new toy comes along. That sounds a lot like Toy Story, but I’m not speaking on behalf of the toys’ feelings, this is about the fact that society has fallen into a sad, sad state.
I’ll continue on later to talk about the perspective of employees stuck in the destructive path of Black Friday.
I almost forgot: there should be a small plug here about purchasing gifts from independent businesses and supporting hand crafted trades. Not only is the work better, but you’ll feel better about feeding a person and their passion and not the already greedy hands of corporations who export labor to third world countries to provide you with low prices on junk.
Here’s a link to my shop.