Today is the day, Black Friday, the day retailers go “into the black” in their accounts. For this to happen, countless consumers go into the red in their already cinched-tight household budgets. Debt, debt, debt and the consumer is willingly bled dry with each swipe of the card. Blu-Rays, laptops, I-phones – the list is endless and the cost high but what is it all for? Nothing. This is meaningless. One might argue that X wants a new video game; it will make X happy! Perhaps little X should have been taught to value something of value.
This is madness. I hereby declare today any color but black. Why not a beautiful, Green Friday, a day spent enjoying the wonders of the green world? Go for a walk, discover something, enjoy the November air and you will see it – flaming beauty everywhere. Orange, yellow, red, and all the colors of Autumn. Take in the swirling browns and grays on the trunk of a gnarled oak who has seen empty stores come and go.
If shop you must, then do so with a rebel’s heart. Go to that dark and dank used bookshop you have passed so many times – there are precious worlds tucked away between those cracked leather covers. Go to that crooked farmer’s stand on that empty corner and discover jams and jellies canned the way your grandmothers would have canned and spread some tradition this year. Go to an out-of-the-way historic site and visit the gift shop – you may learn something about your own past that you can pass along and brighten the holidays for years to come. There are countless ways around garish commercialism.
Nonetheless, madness will ensue today and hereafter. Somewhere, a few seconds ago, a shopper took a right elbow to the gut over a gaming console and there is only one reason why – both of these credulous consumers are empty inside. Only those unsatisfied in their very souls are so desperate. They look without to avoid the void within. If you have meaning, true meaning, in your life you do not need fad clothes, gadgets and gizmos, or gaming escapism. Conspicuous consumption is for those who have nothing better to show the world. Show us your true colors! Is it only black?
I assert that there is a world of color in all of us, but one must dig to find these gems and sometimes the digging hurts. Dig anyway. Black Friday is all about greed. Grab, grab, grab and all of it is useless. This or that somnambulist shopper amassing video games, movies, new phones, I-pods, designer clothes, laptops, whatever is on sale! Money, money, money and all of it wasted on nothing that matters. Is this the American Dream? No, this is more of a nightmare.
Nightmares, dear reader, wake one with a jolt. Perhaps that is what we need. Some will surely continue to dream, continue to want, continue to grab at anything under a blinking neon sign. Others, however, are wide awake, painfully aware, and not interested in the latest this or that nonsense. These are the barbarians already inside the gates and they will not go quietly into that black night. No, they will make a noise never to be forgotten. Perhaps a rebel yell, something to awaken the greedy consumer from his frenzied slumber and let the light shine in. There you will see it – color. There are so many colors this day can be. Keep the black in your account, let the stores sit empty, and enjoy your colorful world. It is right in front of you.