27 November, 2009

"Black Friday" or Buy Nothing Day

Today is, of course, "Black Friday", the consumer orgy on the day after Thanksgiving that's supposed to balance everyone's books (the books of the retailers, that is).  It's a term that was once used only to those inside the retail trade but it seems to have moved into the common parlance.  It's an unfortunate phrase with a pejorative association for me.  It makes me think of crucifixions or stock market crashes.  In general, something to avoid.  I think a lot of other people feel the same way.  
It's also National Buy Nothing Day.  A good time to reflect on our spendthrift ways and where they've taken us.  This year, with the economy in tatters, it's not so difficult to ask ourselves whether we really need all the "stuff" we're so keen on accumulating.  I'm all for things that make us slow down and assess our lives and the value we tend to place on the wrong things.  
On that note, I was at the wonderful Thrift Town on 17th and Mission the other day and couldn't help note their depressingly large selection of Christmas, I don't think any other word will do, crap.  If you find yourself wondering "who the hell would buy this stuff" when you're in the holiday aisle at Walgreen's, the answer is evident; lots of people.  The next time you can't resist that little something glittering in front of you, think about where it came from, who made it, what it's made out of, and, finally, where it will end up.

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