Thursday, November 28, 2013

If You Put It On Sale, They Will Come

Our nation's soul is on the bonfire tonight, and the marshmallows are a blue light special. 

I am back on my soap box again tonight.

The grocery stores in town seemed to be closed, and all that are open are just the big boxes...

Of course, you knew that already.

In past years, I managed to avoid a lot of this mania since I stopped working retail. Then again, even only two or three years ago stores were closed Thanksgiving day. So, if you ran our of something like dish soap, you were out of luck unless you paid through the nose at one of the convenience stores still open. If somewhere was open, you thanked the clerk for being open while giving them a sympathetic "this sucks" shrug.

Tonight, however, we ran our of dish soap, and had a dinner to clean up after. Since the most available place open was WalMart, we decided to brave it.

I was fully expecting the borderline chaos, the mania. After all, I had seen my fair share of Black Fridays from behind the counter working mall retail.

Tonight though, knowing that today is Thanksgiving, a holiday intended to count our blessings, spend time with our families, and celebrate our harvests, we have this.

We live in suburbia, and near a fairly suburban WalMart. Granted, our community has a bank robber still on the lamb who robbed a bank that had been knocked over before in the past six months, but we we are a generally safe community.

I have never had the worries of dying from a botched drive by living in Plainfield, Indiana as I did when growing up in North Miami, Florida.

I was pretty accepting of the situation this evening when I found parking. Sure, it was a bit like a busy Saturday, I could deal.

Then, we saw the line of empty Plainfield police cars lined up in front of the store. My jaw almost dropped. there was a good eight cars parked in front of the store, front ends pointed towards the parking lot. A bit of frost was beginning to gather on the windshields and hoods. I blinked, remembering the horror stories from other locations on Black Friday in past years. I am not surprised by a show of police force, but at a store? On private property? On Thanksgiving?

I uttered, "Who the fuck is paying for all these cops?"

Going in, amongst the madness, we counted at least ten milling about. They were not just there to hang out, I assume.

Again, "Who the fuck is paying for all these cops to guard WalMart?"

And why?

Let us be honest with ourselves. Is this worth it? Is this level of consumerism worth betraying the agreed upon meaning of a national holiday. This is not necessarily like Christmas or Easter which isn't celebrated by everyone.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday, about being thankful for things the things we agree upon as American.

So here we are. We have perverted it.

We got our soap, walked around to take a peak at what they did have in stock. Of the things I would genuinely want, I didn't see a sale that was worth the pandemonium, and I knew there wouldn't be. I have worked for my share of companies, and I know this scam.

Black Friday and now this creep into Thanksgiving has become the biggest conn, and its taking the very things that unite us as a country away.

I am prone to hyberbole, but I do mean this. We're stripping it all away in the name of having more and more crap. And I like my share of crap. I piss my money away on my share of crap.

Where does it end?

The clerk who rang us up seemed like he stopped giving a crap about the whole thing sometime after they opened, hours before we showed up for dish soap. He said it was the greediest thing he had ever seen.

Welcome to middle America in the 21st Century.

The Greediest Thing We Have Ever Seen.

I have never wanted to pack up my own shit so much, find another country, give up my citizenship and go.

One day, my home in Florida will be covered by water, possibly in my lifetime. One day, parts of America will be gone because of what this greed wrought.

I am proud of what my grandparents and ancestors achieved as a nation. I am ashamed by what we are becoming.

If you are looking for a cheap ass toy on Thanksgiving, you are part of the problem. If you are refusing to pay your employees enough to survive without leaning on the crutch of the taxpayers, you are part of the problem. If you are offering deals to make a buck to sacrifice a piece of our country's greatness...

You are the problem.

Meanwhile, the town cops are guarding WalMart while someone who stole people's hard earned cash and threatened people with a gun is still out there... somewhere.

I'll leave this here with A Perfect Circle's cover of "Imagine." I nearly hate the song now for the blandness in most version. APC took the saccharine and turned it into a dirge for what could have been.