November 27, 2009

Conflicted consumerism

I like the concept of Buy Nothing Day; I'm pretty anticonsumerist normally*, and I feel like reporting on Christmas shopping has taken this nasty turn, with stories built completely around companies needing to make half their yearly gross in December, and profits are down from this time last year, and you people need to go spend money or the economy will fall apart and it will be your fault!

This morning, I had failed at BND by 9:30 AM, and spent the next little while enjoying my capitalist-consumerist-traitor chai and wondering if it mattered that much. I'm not in the US, and today is just another Friday here, not the shopping-pocalypse. I'm not making a Statement to the German public if I don't go all out with the Black Friday madness: nobody else here is going shopping at 4 AM either, because that's crazy. Incidentally, you really don't want to take me shopping with a gajillion other people at 4AM. I'm grumpy enough about crowds and shopping when I'm awake.

*I think of this as simple pragmatism, because I don't see any point in trying to join a game I can't really compete in. This is actually a big leap in maturity, and not just foot-stompiness, as previously I didn't see the point in playing a game I couldn't win. If status can be bought, but I'm never going to have enough money to be Important, why play? Why give other people's opinions of me that kind of power? Since the goalposts will always be moving, why sign up for a life of feeling inadequate?

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