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Black Friday resistance plan

November 21, 2012

The hype around Black Friday is building. It’s reaching its annual fever pitch. Let’s compare it to something much less important to americans like “global warming”, shall we? Here we go:

Note how, as time passes, we become more interested in Black Friday and less interested in global warming.

How do you resist, if not the day itself, the next few weeks of crazy consumerism that is relentlessly plied? Lots of great ideas were posted here, when I first wrote about this. There will be more coming soon.

In the meantime, here’s one suggestion I have, which I use all the time to avoid over-buying stuff and which this Jane Brody article on hoarding reminded me of.

Mathbabe’s Black Friday Resistance plan, step 1:

Go through your closets and just look at all the stuff you already have. Go through your kids’ closets and shelves and books and toychests to catalog their possessions. Count how many appliances you own, in your kitchen alone.

Be amazed that anyone could ever own that much stuff, and think about what we really need to survive, and indeed, what we really need to be content.

In case you need more, here’s an optional step 2. Think about the Little House on the Prairie series, and how Laura made a doll out of scraps of cloth left over from the dresses, and how once a year when Pa sold his crop they’d have penny candy and it would be a huge treat. For Christmas one year, Laura got an orange. Compared to that we binge on consumerism on a daily basis and we’ve become enured to its effects.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of going back to those roots entirely. After all, during The Long Winter, as I’m sure you recall and which was very closely based on her real experience, Mary went blind from hunger and Carrie was permanently affected. If it hadn’t been for Almonzo coming to their rescue with food for the whole town, many might have died. Now that was a man.

I think we need a bit more insurance than that. Even so, we might have all the material possessions we need for now.

Categories: musing
  1. karen
    November 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Mary went blind from Scarlet fever, not hunger 😉


  2. karen
    November 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    No, several years earlier. I think it was in On the Banks of Plum Creek. (I read them all about 57 times).
    But yeah, as far as Black Friday goes, totally with ya there. I make it a point not to go shopping on this day.


  3. mathematrucker
    November 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I used to stay out on the road a lot during holidays including Thanksgiving. My introduction to Black Friday occurred about ten years ago in Birmingham, AL. I’d parked overnight someplace by a mall. I got up the next morning hours before sunrise, at about 5 AM. Through an early-morning mist I could see that the mall’s huge parking lot was packed full of cars. This was something I’d never seen before, in a place very unfamiliar, so I figured maybe the city had something going on. But the 5 AM part just didn’t add up. The sight was surreal then, and still would be now.


  4. c.gutierrez
    November 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Great post. Thanks — and happy Thanksgiving!


  5. November 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    When I was elementary school age, our church gave us each a brown paper bag. In it was an orange, chocolate drops, and hard candy. It was the one thing I looked forward to at Christmas! I often wish my children and grandchildren understood the excitement of giving simply.


  6. November 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    From friends I know, I wondered whether “compulsive buying” was a subject of study. It turns out that Wikipedia has an article entitled “compulsive buying disorder”. They cite a book by Stuart Vyse, “Going Broke: Why Americans Can’t Hold on to Their Money” published by Oxford University Press in 2008. This book is based on interviews with eight people who have had debt problems, five of which went through bankruptcy. Advertisements present a utopian world made up for selling. The side of mounting debt and the unpredictability of life doesn’t get much coverage, e.g. movies about people going into bankruptcy.


  7. November 23, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Great insights, I will follow both steps 1 & 2. Little House on the Prairie is one of my favorites!!


  8. November 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Watch the STory of Stuff and know that every ‘discount’ is a price paid by someone less fortunate than you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8


  9. November 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Reblogged this on Voyage to a New World and commented:
    Actually, now we know the reason why we don´t see headlines on oil crises or climate change!!


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