Shopping for the Holidays
Why are you shopping for the holidays this year? I had a job today installing some telecommunications equipment at a bank around Madison Ave and 50th Street in New York City. I decided (or my body did) to use the Rest Rooms at Penn Station on 34th Street. To my surprise, that place was a Mad House. Then I realized the whole city was abuzz. Then the horror set in.
THE WHOLE CITY WILL BE OVER RUN WITH ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE TYPE SHOPPERS FOR THE NEXT 23 DAYS! How does that happen? We are a nation that shops and consume on demand. From the time we get up to the time we go to sleep. From the time we are born to the time we die. When we wake up in the morning we have to run to Starbucks, Mc Donald, Dunkin Donuts or some other place to get an overpriced coffee (we will get into the price of coffee another time). Around noon we are told to go out and buy a meal. The really bad part for me is the pre-programmed shopping days installed on the yearly calendar. Massive shopping for the holidays is the results of that. Any holiday. All holidays.
Somehow the powers that be managed to morph every holiday into and opportunity to shop. Who the hell were Saint Valentine and why in the hell do men get into trouble if they do not shop and spend money on that day? Who gets to decide and why is that AWESOME power to control and motivate the masses to just shop and not used to motivate the masses to do something good for humanity every day? How are they able to get us to celebrate DEMONS on Halloween?
How are they able to turn the resurrection of Jesus Christ into a day to buy chocolate rabbits, candy, eggs, clothing, and baskets? That one is particularly clever in my book. Do I have to mention Christmas? Shopping for the holidays in mandatory here. Do you think you see where I am going with this? When was the last time you saw three or more Native Americans gathered together? You did not see that coming, did you? I ask because as I stared at the hurried masses moving around like a frenzied ant hill the day before Thanksgiving and the fact that I was on the island of Manhattan. I was taught in school the island was sold to the Dutch for $24 dollars and a song (not sure about the song).
If the Native Americans knew what they now know today would the country be celebrating Thanksgiving? I bet they don’t go shopping for the holidays. Back to the topic. We consume on demand and take pride in it. The powers that be go so low as to market to your children and the country sees you as a loser if you don’t keep up consumerism at all cost. I have been working projects with a co-worker lately and he has seen a change in me as I have been moving towards a more minimalistic lifestyle. Now I bring my lunch to jobs sites. I also bring water everywhere I go and if I do buy food out I never buy a drink. Just cutting out soda has done wonders for me.
As he watched me preparing my lunch one day he began to tell me what he believes my yearly salary was and that I could afford to buy lunch and I did not need to be eating what I was eating. With pride (as he now brings lunch when we work together) he unpacks a lunch and brags about how he purchased enough food the day before for lunch today. He thinks like many and like I once did. Spending is seen as a sign that you have made it, that you are doing ok. It’s seen as something to be proud of even when you don’t have the funds readily available. Credit Cards and the Christmas holiday is a perfect example of that philosophy. The unhealthy pressure for people to spend and consume is always there in our society but around the holiday season, it is magnified 100 times.
Why are You Shopping for the Holidays This Year?
Some people go into debt just to keep up. Hell, it is encouraged. They are pressured to purchase and project the symbol of doing well. I was shocked to find out if you are a native of another country and you go back to visit from The United States you are expected to return with massive amounts of gifts and treasures. Some cannot return home to their native country without it or they feel like a loser. Not sure if that is true but it makes sense given the level of brainwashing we have been subjected to. We are programmed to spend and consume. For example, I was at lunch and explained to a co-worker that the Filet Mignon and Brussels Sprouts I was eating was recovered from a dumpster on a Freegan trash tour a few nights before and I probably took more than I could eat in a week and should have left more for others.
He quickly associated Freeganism with not having the money or being poor. He said I should buy my own Filet Mignon and Brussels Sprouts. His spending and consumer pride programming will not allow him to understand it is about waste, not money. I am sure the Filet Mignon and Brussels Sprouts were offered for sale a few days ago and I could have purchased them and have done so many times but they were free a few days later. The cases of Filet Mignon was packaged in airtight packaging (similar to bacon) and looked to be thrown out because the sell-by date had passed the day before. It looked perfectly good to me and was going to waste. Brussels Sprouts looked good also and they both tasted good for the few days in a row I prepared them.
It took a few days for it to begin to sink in that it was about waste as he taunted me with his store bought lunches and insults to the fact I could afford to do the same. ironic that people are killed every year at this time trampled in doorways of department stores trying to catch a sale but turn their nose up to free items. Today is Thanksgiving and some stores are already open and as I navigate the streets of NYC.
As I work for next few weeks I will pretend to be defending myself from the attack of THE PER-PROGRAMMED SPENDING AND CONSUMER ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE as they flood the streets, stores, and restaurants of the Tri-State area. The waste will be abundant and my Freegan trash tours should be bountiful. On a serious note be safe and careful out there and please, please respect each other and don’t trample anyone to death this year. You have over 300 days next year to purchase that same product for the cousin you hate. Avoid shopping for the holidays, during the holiday and take advantage of that time.
Nothing To Lose.