Wednesday, November 21, 2018
If You Are Excited for Black Friday, You’re an Idiot
As a Canadian, we never had Black Friday growing up. While I love America, they can keep some of their traditions to themselves. Sadly, our invisible wall at the border couldn’t stop the seeping of Black Friday into our culture. This is going to be a rant post, so be prepared. Black Friday is stupid, and I am going to show you why. I hope if you are offended by this post you reach out to me and explain why. I suspect those who are won’t because deep down they know I’m right.
If you can’t see what is happening, you need help
I would like to think that I am not influenced by advertisements. Sadly, I know we all are at least swayed a little bit by ad placement. One thing I know I never fall for is Sale Promotions. There is stuff in my life that I need. Things I put off getting, things that wear out, things I just need. I do not get things just because they are on sale. We are all guilty of impulse buying but for me, that buy is a pack of gum in the checkout aisle or over buying at the grocery store. I have never understood how someone can see a commercial and decide I’m getting that. It obviously works though, or else the companies wouldn’t spend tons of money on ads. Think about this: If you are participating in Black Friday you are essentially owned by advertisers. If that is the case, who else owns you? Scary shit.
Is it even a sale?
But it is so cheap. Is it? Is it really? So, let me get this straight. This million-dollar company has decided they have enough money and now they are just going to give away their products and not make a profit? There are only 2 scenarios that could be possible when something goes on sale:
1) This is the actual cost of the product and the rest of the year they are ripping you off completely
2) They realize enough idiots will fall for it, so they can lower prices while still making a profit
While I understand that it may be cheaper than it usually is, my point remains the same. Essentially it all comes down to what we think true value is. What is that TV really worth? Is it worth the $800 it cost last week, or is it worth the $500 it costs on Black Friday? Does it really matter? Do you like supporting companies that manipulate pricing to drive demand? Do you even have $500? Do you even need the TV? Do you know what is cheaper than a $500 TV? Not spending your money and staying home! I always laugh when someone says, “It was on sale, so I had to get it.” You, my friend, are a sucker.
What about the pilgrims? Or Jesus? Or Martin Luther King? Or anything?
Ahh yes, the grand tradition of taking a holiday and turning it into a consumer dumpster fire. I have written about it before, but this is one of the reasons I hate Christmas. They took an innocent special holiday and turned it into a shopping bonanza. I have gone into several client’s homes recently and seen their Christmas trees already up. In mid-November. I won’t get into the historical connotations associated with Thanksgiving, that would be a whole new post. Overall, Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time where we give thanks for the blessings we have, according to the textbook. The fact that it went completely sideways and turned into a shopping vomit splurge should turn us all off.
More Stuff??? Really???
Now I am not a scientist or an ecologist, but I can almost guarantee there is a dolphin dying somewhere right now because of Black Friday. Think about all the energy needed to put on this annual shit show. Children overseas to make the products. The gas used to bring it here. Banners, flyers, and skids used to push the products, all killing trees. All of this so we can have more stuff? Do we really need more stuff? What happened to our old stuff? Is it in the landfill now? Or the ocean? That dolphin swallowed your old iPhone and is now choking. We don’t need more stuff, period. Stop letting stuff rule your life. People are important, not stuff. The only people who are not important are the ones fighting with you in line at Wal-Mart over the newest toy. You both deserved those elbows to the ribs. #hoarders
Wealthy people don’t care about sales. Think about that!
Do you think for one second that millionaires give a shit about Black Friday? When they want something, they go out and get it. Now isn’t that a better way to live? “But Joe, if I am not wealthy, the sale actually helps me get things I need.” Now I am not going to dive into systemic poverty. I also realize that there are people who cannot, and will not, get ahead due to no fault of their own. I do however believe that this is not the case for most people participating in Black Friday. While you might be broke, you are definitely not poor. The difference is simple. Poor is something that happens to you. Being broke is something YOU caused. Broke people shop on stupid shopping holidays. If you took the day that you spent shopping and instead spent that reading about budgeting, or investing, or simple personal finance, you would never have to worry about something being on sale again. Literally just one day.
This is how Trump won
Sorry for this point, but I am going to get a little deep. Actually, I’m not sorry because it’s true. Falling for the hype of something as stupid as Black Friday is a window into what makes our society tick. Think about this:
- We blame the “1%” for the troubles of everyone else
- Who owns the companies that put-on sales? The “1%”
- We support their wealth by participating in these sales, thus making them richer
- We go into debt to support our shopping addiction, thus making the banks richer
- We wonder why we can’t get ahead in life, and why the “little guy” never had a chance
- We then look to snake oil salesmen leaders to solve our problems, when it was really within our own power to solve them, to begin with
Now I am no fan of Trump, but this point isn’t about him. It’s about responsibility. When you blame someone else for your problems, you have lost at life. While it may be possible that someone else caused your problems, it is still on you to fix them. Blaming others put you in a mindset that will not allow you to gravitate out of your current state. While I said that rich people don’t care about sales, they also don’t care about the government either. Sure, they love the tax breaks and other perks that come with certain governments. They overall do not care who is in power because they know that their destiny is not intertwined with outside forces. This is not the Congo where depending on who’s in power, you might be in jail or not. You have absolute control over your life and how it turns out. When you let go of control and hand it to the big corporations, or the government, or the banks, you create a lifestyle where you are dependent on others for your success. That will lead to you never being successful. If enough people do that, we get an asshole like Trump as president.
Think about Black Friday on the micro and macro levels. The micro: Do we need more stuff? The macro: Do I really want to support this kind of ritual? I support anyone that LEGIT needs something and uses Black Friday to get the best deal possible on it. If you, however, don’t go out with an item in mind to get because you need it, you’re an idiot. God help you.
“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” – Will Rogers
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