The Psychopathology of Consumerism:
What have we become? Like cattle headed to slaughter, we roll out at this time of the year at the bidding of shop-till- you-drop gimmicks.
Meanwhile, we fight and claw for the raw deal at the various suburban box stores offering low wages and no benefits to staff. So, how much can we save on that blouse or vest for Sally and Sam? WalterMart is offering 25% off, while SearingSnoocks is offering 30%. Let's run to SearingSnoocks! It's only 30 more miles down the road and we've got the gas! What about the Chinese girls slaving in non union factories at pennies a day? What do they make off the deal? Who is actually winning? Is it really the mesmerized consumer teary and googly-eyed while giggling gleefully at 30, 40, and 50% off deals?
"Oh," the Politicians and WallyMart heads say, "it's the American workers." Yes, it is our right to slave part time at minimum wages and no health benefits while we shop till we drop looking for that fantastic deal." We make this statement as employees of corporations are lining the pockets of senators, congressmen and supreme-court justices in Washington D.C. while sitting on presidential cabinets making decisions regarding our planet's future, our future, and our children's future.
Meanwhile our consumerism is devouring the planet into what might soon become more lifeless than the moon or, Goddess and God forbid, a Wall Street Tycoon. Yet, mesmerized by commercials with intelligence levels less than a jackass after having a brain amputation, we roll blindly into the gates of the shopping centers turned shopping malls turned humongous big box stores. To share with you what brought out this little speech, consider the following release from the Associated Press.
A shopper in Los Angeles pepper-sprayed her competition for an Xbox and scuffles broke out elsewhere around the United States as bargain-hunters crowded malls and big-box stores in an earlier-than-usual start to the madness known as Black Friday.
For the first time, chains such as Target, Best Buy and Kohl's opened their doors at midnight on the most anticipated shopping day of the year. Toys R Us opened for the second straight year on Thanksgiving itself. And some shoppers arrived with sharp elbows.
On Thanksgiving night, a Walmart in Los Angeles brought out a crate of discounted Xboxes, and as a crowd waited for the video game players to be unwrapped, a woman fired pepper spray at the other shoppers "in order to get an advantage," police said.
Ten people suffered cuts and bruises in the chaos, and 10 others had minor injuries from the spray, authorities said. The woman got away in the confusion, and it was not immediately clear whether she got an Xbox.
On Friday morning, police said, two women were injured and a man was charged after a fight broke out at an upstate New York Walmart. And a man was arrested in a scuffle at a jewelry counter at a Walmart in Kissimmee, Fla.
In the U.S., Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, has taken steps in recent years to control its Black Friday crowds following the 2008 death of one of its workers in a stampede of shoppers. This year, it staggered its door-buster deals instead of offering them all at once.
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2011 A24
Lennon and McCartney of the Beatles wrote in the song "Revolution", "you say you want a revolution, well you know, we'd all love to change your head." Yes, it is more than changing Wall Street. It is, ultimately, about changing ourselves. This Christmas, change how you celebrate. Speak from your heart to your kids about consumerism and how it is affecting the planet as well as our behavior. Instead of buying your wife a new nightgown, give her your heart through sweet words of affection. Instead of buying your husband a new bag of golf clubs, give him a night he will never forget. Be creative, be-loving. Enjoy each other.
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