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Black Friday in retrospect…

Good morning, Netizens…

Things to consider in retrospect to Black Friday:

Did you go out and shop yourselves insensible on Black Friday? Did you spend yourself into debt without remorse or fear this year? Did you get out of bed at an ungodly hour of the morning to stand in lines outside your favorite store in the hopes of buying a loss-leader item?

Some other things to consider on the day after Black Friday:

Most of the television announcers who are squalling like pigs just before slaughter about the “new resurgence” of shopper confidence have no factual proof of their assertions. Sure, there were huge crowds at various stores throughout the country, lots of pictures of happy shoppers exiting the stores with full shopping baskets and even a few riots from people who tried to jump their place in line. I remember last year, which has to rank high on the ranks of economically dismal Christmas Shopping Seasons when some of the same announcers made some of the same joyous predictions about that Black Friday. So you see, many of the announcers, but perhaps not all, are paid to say good things about Black Friday even in the face of economically-uncertain times. God forbid they should ever report the facts. It might negatively impact the coming Christmas Shopping Season.

If a deal simply sounds too good to be true, the chances nearly always are they are probably bogus and thus not true. One of my favorite tales from last year’s “super sale” on Black Friday at a regional outlet was the laptop computers being offered at what were ostensibly bargain basement prices, so much so I even went to look at them, despite my ambivalence about Black Friday. I didn’t really need a new laptop. My old one, with some enhancements and modifications, does everything I need it to do and more. But I had to look. This new in-the-box laptop included a low-end Intel processor, tons of software junk I didn’t need and a dirt-cheap price below $200. It was a piece of crap I wouldn’t lend to one of my cats and the price wasn’t that good to begin with.

Do NOT feed the landfill. Perhaps to some this might sound altruistic, naive and negative, but stop and think about what you are buying, especially for your children, grandchildren and other young members of your family. What are the odds that the Christmas presents you buy this year for your younger members of the family will end up discarded, not recyclable and thus tossed into the nearest landfill within two years? Five years? It is a difficult decision you have to make as a parent/grandparent/guardian, choosing when that doll or gadget your offspring are screaming about is a piece of plastic junk that will end up useless and discarded within a few years.

So now perhaps you may understand why I avoid the crush of the crowds on Black Friday. Most of the Christmas presents have already been purchased, or at least cleverly planned long before now. With this out of the way, it leaves me and mine expendable time to truly prepare for the mysteries and joys of the true Christmas Season.


The transition from dirty politics to dirty Christmas…

Good morning, Netizens…

Have you noticed the larcenous ease with which we have migrated from the political attack advertisements during the election campaigns to the self-serving saccharine sweet Christmas advertisements? This is part of a planned event called advertising.

As in previous years, each year the date Christmas advertising begins hitting the airwaves seems to draw closer to July Fourth and predictably enough, each year I complain more mightily about how we seem to have entirely lost sight of the meaning of our once-sacred holidays.

Even those demarcations of shopping holidays, such as Black Friday, which if one follows the tradition, takes place on the day after Thanksgiving Day have already been expediently moved up the calendar this year. All the big sales, those offering steep discounts for Christmas Shoppers, have already begun; and here we are, still several weeks ahead of Thanksgiving, and several major vendors are already advertising Black Friday sales and it isn’t even Friday.

Additionally, while we adults have been practicing economic survival, attempting to keep/get decent jobs ahead of the holidays, maybe save a buck or two in the process, McDonald’s has been pitching intense advertising at our kids. Of course I’ve seen this move coming. However you would never catch me eating in a McDonald’s. There are, thank God, enough high-quality eateries left in this town I need not look past my list of favorite places.

Everybody has their hands out this pre-Christmas Shopping Season. How do you tell the difference between our run-of-the-mill scam artists, bunco chimps who have no moral values whatsoever about stealing from you or assaulting your body and our typical Christmas scammers? That one’s easy. Look for the festive Santa hat, tinsel in their hair and listen for the jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and check your calendar to see if it is really Christmas yet.

Of course, your results may differ.