Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A protest, of sorts.

I went to Old Navy yesterday. At checkout, the cashier gave me detailed instructions on how to be a part of their early Black Friday extravaganza – if I remember correctly they’re even giving away a million dollars to one of the first customers that arrives on 4 pm Thanksgiving Day. Lottery-style, I believe.
After she finished (she didn’t even take a breath in the middle) I said “I’m sorry. I don’t play that game. I don’t ‘do’ Black Friday”. In fact, for the whole holiday weekend I avoid shopping malls and their vicinities as I would plague-infested brothels.
I find the whole Black Friday thing a bizarre and depressing tradition. There is nothing in those stores that I want badly enough to fight crazed, sleep-deprived shoppers racing to see who can max out their credit cards first. Not even at 50% off. And now one day isn’t enough – we have to leech into Thanksgiving Day. There is nothing in those stores that I want badly enough to take me away from the company of my family that I don’t see nearly enough anymore and to fight crazed, sleep-deprived … (etc., see above).
Now obviously I can’t fight American consumerism. And when I told the cashier I don’t shop on Black Friday I remember thinking to myself “So what? How is your measly little self making a difference by taking this stand?”10661682_780358862029281_410216697854931409_o
Today I ran across something I think does make a difference. I was invited to participate in Flood the Streets With Art (part II) which asks artists to drop a free piece of art on the streets in their communities for a random stranger to find, take home and love. I love this idea – I’m all in! I will be in Greenfield, IN on Friday, so that is where to look if you’d like to be the one to find it.
I don’t think this is the kind of thing that will stem the tide of our gorging on consumer goods that are worn out or obsolete by next Thanksgiving. But maybe it shifts the balance. Maybe whoever finds my contribution will stop a moment to think.
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