Be Very Afraid. If You Really Like that Sort of Thing.

I have neither the knowhow nor the tangible resources for filmmaking, but if I did, I think my concept of the perfect horror movie subject would be the infamous occasion of Black Friday. As we Americans approach the national holiday I like the most of them all, Thanksgiving, I think with a shudder that Black Friday’s grim shadow lurks just behind it.
For if I have a tender feeling for the holiday that not only marks the anniversary of my first date with my soon-thereafter life partner and makes me immensely thankful for that gift but also marks the national celebration of gratitude in general, I have an almost antithetical feeling about the retail frenzy that follows it. The former only throws the latter into higher, less flattering relief.

I love shopping, don’t get me wrong, but I hate being told how and when to do it, and what or whom for, and to what magnificent extents. I dislike being so easily manipulated by commercial ploys and plugs as it is, and the stink of desperation mixed with hyperbolic greed on Black Friday becomes overwhelmingly off-putting to me.

Digital illustration

What makes us turn into beasts when we get a whiff of the hunt? When a crazy sale is advertised, do I become predator or prey? Or should I just pray?!

There are obviously large numbers of people who are not only comfortable with the event but energized and entertained by the spectacle and Olympian scaled enthusiasm packed into the post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza. I wish them all happiness and success in it. For myself, the greatest pleasure will derive from managing as successfully as I can to not even know it’s happening and staying immersed in the afterglow of my most overtly grateful time of year. Accomplishing that will be yet another reason for me to give thanks.
If I need any diversions during my quiet hideout from Black Friday, I can always work on a script for a rollicking thriller film with plenty of retail rowdiness and gruesome greed. Coming soon to a theatre near you!

12 thoughts on “Be Very Afraid. If You Really Like that Sort of Thing.

  1. I am one of the women who loathes shopping. I’m not into clothes except I do love coats lol. I order via Amazon when I can. The commercialism of everything has gotten so bad. Everywhere we look it’s about making a buck. It gets a bit old. I do love your drawing here. It represents how I feel when I have to go to the stores especially at this time of year!

    • Hope you won’t have to go grumbling and grrrrrowling out in the fray at all. I’m with you. I get so tired of the hyperbolic commercialization of everything. I actually like shopping best when I have no intention of buying anything, just getting out to people-watch and to look at interesting things I don’t really want and definitely don’t need. 🙂

    • Excellent. Since coming to live outside of the bluish bubble of the NW, I’ve been a little bit taken aback at times at how folk around here find such interesting ways to put a religious spin on so many things I didn’t realize were inherently so religious. I should have known, since many of my relatives are far different in their views than I am, but I don’t have such constant contact with them that I was always so conscious of it, I suppose. Here, it’s (literally) plastered on billboards and gets trumpeted around in conversation and the news at every turn. Certainly thought-provoking, at times, but for me it most often just gets me very provoked. 😉

      • When I visited Lubbock this past spring for the first time in about 16 years, I couldn’t help noticing how many religious signs and billboards people had put up, akin to what you say you’ve seen in Denton. Similarly, the rural and suburban areas outside Austin are noticeably more religious and conservative than Austin, which is the Seattle of Texas.

        In recent years the phone company has been overlaying area codes, meaning that if you add a phone to your household the new number may have a different area code than the phone you already have. I’ve wondered whether a second and differently governed version of the country could be overlain on our existing one. At the time of becoming an adult, each citizen would decide which country to become a part of. Of course if an act is legal in one version of the country but illegal in the other, there would be conflicts, but the country is already in conflict with itself in many ways.

        A book I highly recommend is Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind, which explains how different systems of morality arise.

    • Good for you! I managed to boycott it myself, but the beasties did try to sneak into our house via a backed-up sewer! Yikes! Hoping that when the plumbers come for the third time on Monday they can really get it fixed, because having all three bathrooms effectively out of commission is *almost* as unwelcome as standing in line with a zillion hyped-up shoppers to buy junk on Black Friday!! 😉

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