And this year, it's even worse, because Black Friday is morphing into Tawdry Thursday: stores are opening on Thanksgiving night in order to beat out the competition. It's the apogee of the insidious Christmas creep that now starts before Halloween. Shopaholics are justifying cutting the sacred family mealtime short by characterizing the early retail feeding frenzy as the beginning of a new all-American tradition. Instead of schmoozing over the pumpkin pie, suggests retail analyst Olivier Rubel, park yourselves in the Walmart parking lot for some real family together time. The big box stores are counting on you.
"People like to shop," he told The Sacramento Bee. "When stores are open longer, more people can come to find deals or discounts. Stores are just lengthening the time of a promotion, which will increase the volume of sales."
(Rubel is also a professor at the UC-Davis Graduate School of Management. So double-kudos to the student protestors on that campus!)
And now for the remedy. From AdBusters, the same fine publication that spread the word about the Original #OWS, comes your guide to Buy Nothing Day, the official start of OccupyXmas:
You've been sleeping on the streets for two months pleading peacefully for a new spirit in economics. And just as your camps are raided, your eyes pepper-sprayed and your head's knocked in, another group of people is preparing to camp out. Only these people aren't here to occupy Wall Street, they're here to secure their spot in line for a Black Friday bargain at Super Target and Macy's.
Occupy gave the world a new way of thinking about the fat cats and financial pirates on Wall Street. Now lets give them a new way of thinking about the holidays, about our own consumption habits. Let's use the coming 20th annual Buy Nothing Day to launch an all-out offensive to unseat the corporate kings on the holiday throne.
This year’s Black Friday will be the first campaign of the holiday season where we set the tone for a new type of holiday culminating with #OCCUPYXMAS. As the global protests of the 99% against corporate greed and casino capitalism continues, lets take the opportunity to hit the empire where it really hurts…the wallet.
On Nov 25/26th we escape the mayhem and unease of the biggest shopping day in North America and put the breaks on rabid consumerism for 24 hours. Flash mobs, consumer fasts, mall sit-ins, community events, credit card-ups, whirly-marts and jams, jams, jams! We don’t camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline.
Historically, Buy Nothing Day has been about fasting from hyper consumerism – a break from the cash register and reflecting on how dependent we really are on conspicuous consumption. On this 20th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day, we take it to the next level, marrying it with the message of #occupy…
Shenanigans begin November 25!
|(Poster Courtesy of Adbusters)|
Shop locally this year even if it means buying less stuff. Support Main Street and screw Wall Street.