Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How Much Is Enough?

Hey! Good morning sunshine. Have you heard? The Man just announced we're in a Recession. Twelve months and counting, no less. Wake up! Up you wake. Do you see it all around you? Blink it into focus. You see? I don't. I look for it, but I can't quite grab it. Maybe The Man is lying. Not like he's got a great historical track record, this Man.

"...probably one of the top five Recessions in history..." is what I heard this morning from the brilliant mind of Joey "Da Mayor's Son" Scarborough. Really? People must not be hurting all that badly, seeing how they're willing to stomp a man to death in order to get their hands on toxic, plastic, Chinese shit discounted at Walmart. Some of my friends on the social network I recently joined boasted that they were out there at 3 a.m., wallets in hand, ready to go at it. How's that? Shop 'till you...

In the 1930s we had soup and bread lines. In 2008, in the middle of a Recession, we have iPhone and iPod lines. Wake up! I am beyond disgusted at this time of year, watching B-roll of grinning, agitated consumers pressed flat against locked Walmart/Target/Macy's/Whateverthefucktheretailername's double doors, buzzing to get in. You've seen these hordes. News outlets cover them every year in the Ha-Ha Holiday Vibe and Cheer segments with which they jam the airwaves. These shopping machines have the same feverish, glazed with adrenaline look in their eyes the Hutu militia carried while chopping down the Tutsi with machetes in '94. I'm not reaching. Look at them. They're in a savage, weird shopping trance. Up you wake!

This Black Friday cash-strapped consumers spent 7.2% more on things they didn't need than last year. $10.6 billion in just one day, according to figures released by RCT ShopperTrak, a research firm that tracks total retail sales at more than 50,000 outlets. It's hard to stand it when even my close friends drop the age-old excuse of having held out all this time...all these years until it was beyond necessary...to finally buy new shit. Because for being prudent and frugal, Bhasundara the Goddess of Prosperity is rewarding them with up to 75% off that plastic garlic press made in China. And don't even get me started on the futility of "stocking stuffers."

Please excuse the Scrooge-like rant. I am usually more level-headed and methodical in my pieces for this esteemed site. I'll try to calm down and stealthily exit stage left, eeeven. But not without leaving you with one of my all-time favourite scenes from cinema history. It can applied to everything:



Anonymous said...

good place to link this:

Story of Stuff

i'll link it a hundred times in a hundred places if i have to. :)

the beige one said...

And here I spent the weekend in a post-holiday stupor, not spending money, but not witnessing the dissonance...

Where are these people getting the mon...oh, right...It's plastic and comes with an interest rate.

What became of all that griping about the bailouts?

(S)wine said...

BeigeMeister: credit card collapse is coming soon to a theatre near us: Spring-ish '09.

Anthony Winkler said...

I'm beyond trying to fight the shopping tide of inanity. Living in hurricane land has taught me how to prepare for a natural disaster. I'm planning to use my skills to survive the man-made one that is pending. Unless our man O can keep everybody cool, the shit's gonna hit the fan as (S)wine says when the personal credit market follows the larger institutions down the tubes.