Sunday, November 28, 2010

We Do Love Our Distractions -OR- A Word About Fanaticism

I don't know how you do, because I sure can't. I'm unable to disown things and events done with my official proxy but without my expressed consent. This is probably the smallest minority of the many to which I belong.

If somebody could just explain Black Friday to me in some way that didn't compound the arrogance and ignorance that the day encompasses, -and I certainly dare anyone to try- I just might burn my peace flag.

I do so revel in my Christmas spirit, but even that is becoming harder to reconcile. I love the way my world transforms amid the decked halls and winter warmth within. My outdoor fervor has been winnowed down to a simple garland wrapped Peace Sign hung from the porch. It was either that or a single bare bulb. My family vetoed that idea.
The peace sign is self-explanatory. The bare-bulb statement would have required a script.

I do enjoy most of the outdoor displays that my neighbors fret and labor over because it is just them expressing themselves. Even the grossly overboard and professional contracted contrivances that peg the clueless idiot meter lend a measure of perspective to my own silent protest.

I guess the marketers know their target audience. I know that I am not included, nor do I feel particularly neglected or offended by the crass commericalization of Christmas. In fact, on many levels, I appreciate the absurdity of it all. It affirms my decision to drop out of the mania and mayhem aspects to concentrate on what I hold to be important.

After all, it is the thought that counts, right?

We all have our "makes sense/makes NO sense" standards. Some of us just let ours be pushed and twisted. We all have our buttons. Mine just happen to work, more often than not as I've aged, in the opposite direction. Do enough people actually give BMWs and Mercedes Benz presents to justify the ad campaign? Are there really that many must have items? Need? That I do understand. Want? I suppose it's what makes us human? But for me, the concentrated formula being sprayed during the Christmas season and the tacit dictum that it's good for you, just doesn't wash.

So if you got a great deal on a hard-to-find widget by navigating the store maze to get the cheese, by all means brag away, but then talk to me again in July and let me know how it changed your life forever.

It happens each year because it works. It works because you let it. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it's also a science.

1 comment:

amber ladeira said...

You said it: Black Friday and
all the buy-buy-buy promo madness
is a "science", marketing. It isn't
a true hard science (those would be
physics and chemistry) but a
studied discipline all the same.
And it isn't at all new, been around since the pharaohs.

How does anyone explain materialism, keeping up with the Joneses, a need to be like the rest of the sheep for
bragging holiday-story rights
at the office water cooler/break room?

At Thanksgiving I sent a
$10.00 Butterball gift check to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. In December, whatever I can scratch together goes to Haiti relief.
That's it.

I'm involved in hassling the Illinois senate during this
pre-holiday session, so I'm reading
almost all your posts, but not
commenting on all. Sorry not to
have your comments on mine; perhaps I've offended, or
my blog no longer interests. Oh well, life and opinionating
move on.

Best, A.