Saturday, November 25, 2006

Juxtaposed Thanksgivings

Did you finally brush the crumbs off your belly, click off the remote on yet another football game, roll of the couch and click on the computer for a little bit of active blogging?

Perhaps you are dog tired from Friday's trek to the local mall to duke it out with your neighbors for some fine capitalistic hedonism, doing your part to churn the economy making more pennies per purchase for your favorite credit company?

Both fine exercises, no?

If you come out of the fog of your capitalistic induced frenzy, no doubt, you will notice that there seems to be two different types of Thanksgivings perpetrated this year; both of our making. The first is the one the president would wish us to have:
We're grateful to live in a land of plenty and during a time of great prosperity. And we're grateful to Almighty God for the freedom to enjoy all these gifts.
Perhaps it's the last bit of this phrase that is most troublesome: "the freedom to enjoy ALL these gifts." I thought Christianity taught charity, not excess, but I digress.

The message I get from the President is that it's our god given right to consume gigantic quantities of every thing. To hell with the hell we have propagated in other parts of the globe. Ignore Iraq, and spend, spend, spend. It's the best antidote to what's wrong with the world, no?

For blogging purposes, let's juxtapose these two Thanksgivings. Then, I'll step out of the way for folks to discuss in the comments. If you are appalled, I'm with you. If not, why not?

Here's one thanksgiving, commonplace across America this past weekend:
But bargain hunters competing for scarce quantities of “doorbuster” discounts have given this day an increasingly sharp-elbowed, close-fisted and purse-swinging edge.

Shortly after midnight yesterday, an estimated 15,000 shoppers pushed and shoved their way into the Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah. Police soon joined them, responding to reports of nine skirmishes.

Once inside, shoppers ransacked stores, overturning piles of clothes as they looked for bargains. A retailer’s dream — too many customers! — quickly turned into a nightmare, forcing store clerks to shut their doors, and only let people in after others left. The mall even briefly closed its outside doors to avoid a fire hazard.

It’s like a mosh pit,” said Lexie Dewegel, 19. “You get pushed everywhere.
Now, let's turn to Iraq - a place that wouldn't be the way it is today if we never went there in the first place. Certainly, it is rather pointless to discuss the worthiness of the invasion at this time. What would be better is to discuss the present, and how we fix it.
BAGHDAD, Nov. 24 — Defying a government curfew, Shiite militiamen stormed Sunni mosques in Baghdad and a nearby city on Friday, shooting guards and burning down buildings in apparent retaliation for the devastating bombings that killed more than 200 people the day before in the capital’s largest Shiite district, residents and police officials said.

Militia fighters drove through neighborhoods in Baghdad and the provincial capital of Baquba, firing at mosques with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades on the Muslim day of prayer.
In juxtaposition with the mall scene presented above, I think it gives us a grave reminder of what is wrong with America. In one Thanksgiving, you are liable to be shot for your Playstation 3. In the other, you are liable to be shot for just being you. How nice.

Blog on friends, blog on all.


Anonymous said...

Dude, it's their fucking End Times, which they are bringing upon us all.
Oh, believe me, I do appreciate being able to buy a delicious organic turkey for a special family dinner, but I'm appalled at the other end of the consumption spectrum, which you have described above. And nasty profitarians would scoff at my serving a healthy bird, claiming I'm as much a part of their mendacious process as they are; not at all, because I don't believe one of their rallying shrieks,"He who die with the most toys wins!!!"
Obviously I am an ardent choir memeber of your philosophy.
And I could actually live without any fancy stuff.

windspike said...

Life sans fancy stuff, minimalistic in every way sounds like a very practical, sound approach, Isa. Glad you are part of the choir.

sumo said...

No shopping for me...avoid it like the plague that it is. I wouldn't stand in a line early in the morning just to get a few dollars off of something that nobody really needs anyway. I give money so that they may make their own decisions...they know their sizes better than I do anyway. I know that is a cowards way out...but it works well. I make wonderful candy that people live they get some labor out of me for that at least.

Kvatch said...

But bargain hunters competing for scarce quantities of “doorbuster” discounts have given this day an increasingly sharp-elbowed, close-fisted and purse-swinging edge.

I read this morning that Americans, for the first time in history, owe more than they make. That was hard to interpret, but I think it means that peoples debt is increasing and has eclisped their income. Gives some extra weight to your notion of a minimalist life.