Dear Dirty America


The Black Friday Beast Before Christmas

The Black Friday Beast Before Christmas
November 27
14:23 2016

Perthshire, Scotland

As is the way of things at this time of the year, the Christmas season is just round the corner. But before we stagger towards the 25th of December, there was the fascinating American celebration of Thanksgiving.

I’m genuinely amazed that a section of the US population thinks other parts of the world also celebrate this occasion. This shows, I think, that these people don’t actually understand what it is they are celebrating. They must be under the impression that Thanksgiving is like Christmas!

People who have been through the glory of a family day, are now compelled to head for the shops for the madness of “Black Friday.” If this wasn’t bad enough, now I see “Cyber Monday” has been added to the desperate race to bankrupt millions of families. This is yet another step in the wrong direction!

And as far as conspicuous consumerism goes, it’s almost as bad as Christmas. The pressure on people to spend more and more on “bargains” is unrelenting.

The insanity of “Black Friday” has spread to British shores now. And as we have nothing to do with celebrating Thanksgiving, I can only imagine, naked greed is at the heart of the decision, as usual!

Over here in Britain, the first signs of Christmas are normally seen in late August. This gives us plenty of time to prepare. Mostly preparing to worry ourselves sick about the spiralling cost associated with the season of goodwill.

I, for one, always buy Christmas cards and wrapping paper when the sun is still high in the sky! So the pressure is on families, months ahead of time. They, the shops, should really just leave the decorations up all year, and save the trouble of putting them up in September.

When I was a child, we didn’t have much, so Christmas was a really special time of the year. These days, children can have anything at any time. They are constantly bombarded with advertising for the latest video games, etcetera. So Christmas either has had to become a mega extravaganza, costing thousands of pounds, or it is a terrible let down.

This is fine and dandy if the parents can afford all the electronic gadgets and technology, which is vital to the very being of their delightful offspring. Other parents, single and couples, have a very different experience of the “festering” season.

A huge rise in expectation has made their lives a nightmare, trying to get enough money together so their children don’t feel left out. Peer pressure is a massive problem for parents who have very little spare money for costly presents.

This leads to unmanageable debt being built up, and can ruin relationships. Unscrupulous money lenders take advantage of the situation and so called “pay day” loan companies are no better. Massive interest rates and heavy handed debt collection methods are the norm.

These companies don’t care about the misery and heartache they cause, as they take advantage of the most vulnerable people in society. Compassion isn’t a word with which they are familiar. It’s all about the profit!

I think there should be no Christmas decorations up before the first of December. No Christmas advertising on television, internet, or radio before that date either.

There is far too much emphasis on selling overpriced plastic crap, disguised as the latest must-have toys or gadgets, which generally get cast aside after a few days, to be tripped over by any passing adult.

But the children’s part of Christmas pales into insignificance compared to the amount of food and drink bought in the pre-Christmas period. I’m sure the same could be said about Thanksgiving. This is truly mind boggling!

In the days before the big event, families stock up with enough food to feed an entire street. Two massive trolleys overflowing with so many loaves of bread, a small house could be built with them. They must be stored in massive freezers!

I could almost understanding if the stores were closing for a couple of weeks, but in most places, the maximum is two days, and in some places one day.

Milk is another thing bought in bulk at this time of the year. Gallons of it are trolleyed out to waiting flatbed trucks, to be stored in sheds filled with fridges. I’m surprised there aren’t massive power cuts due to milk and bread storage!

People wrestling each other for the last turkey isn’t unusual either. There is a mania, which turns normally unpleasant and rude people into being even more unpleasant and rude. They batter into your legs from behind with a fully laden trolley, and expect you to apologise! Unbelievable!

Then we come to the alcohol.

More trolleys are needed for this exercise in consumer greed. People are literally sweeping the shelves with their arm, into their groaning trolleys.

“Will fifteen bottles of red do, or should we just get the twenty as usual?” is heard across the store, as they buy anything which looks even slightly alcoholic! When asked if they are having a big party, they look shocked, and reply, “No, this is just for the family!” Well, it wouldn’t do if they ran out of booze on Christmas night!

These are apparently sensible, average people, who probably don’t drink much during the year. But rustle some Christmas wrapping paper in their vicinity, and they become raving alcoholics!

Even after the supermarkets have been open for almost one year prior to Christmas, people are still banging on the door, after the shop has closed!

I think over the last few years, the mania has become worse. With the amount of money spent on advertising, there will be even more insanity than usual  around the annual shopping bonanza!

There is no Christmas spirit left, other than the contents of the thousands of bottles sold before the big day.

This year, there is something strange in the air. A feeling of change. A feeling that nothing will ever be the same. Let’s hope it is a change for the good!

Follow The Party of Common Sense on Twitter, at @tpocs


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Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

[Black Friday sale inflatable photo by Rusty Clark; Black Friday Target sale crowd photo from Gridprop, both courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]


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