It is part of the American tradition that the day after Thanksgiving, insane hordes of shoppers descend on stores to elbow and claw their way to secure the Best Bargain Ever. It is a celebration of our consumer culture and the idea of getting the most bang for one's buck, the best value for one's hard-earned dollar.
I understand and I kind of approve of the idea. The buck has to stretch further than ever these days. I'm sure there are enough blog posts lambasting consumerism today, which I'm not. Granted, I believe there's too much emphasis on things and stuff, at least in my experience - everyone always seems to want the latest and newest thing that's out there, and a lot of that is driven by the businesses themselves. If anything, I bemoan the excessive advertising rather than the products themselves or one's desire to acquire them - the commercials that run 24/7 so that my 4-year-old daughter has decided what gifts she wants for Christmas based on an adult marketing team trying to sell the products of a big, faceless company.
I'm not the type of person they're marketing to, not someone who wants the newest and latest thing, but I can understand the drive of consumers who want to be on top of the technology curve. It's the same drive that causes people to succeed in their careers and the pursuit of their hobbies - the idea of forward progress. It can be used well, or it can be carried to over-the-top levels, like Black Friday. But I don't think it's the impetus behind buying which is wrong or unusual. I think it is the motivations of selling which is problematic in our culture.
So I wish good luck to all the shoppers today. I hope you get the best bargains. :-)
The Abbreviated Epics anthology from Third Flatiron Anthologies is out today! It includes my short story "The Lost Children," a re-imagining of the Minotaur myth. Other contributors include Siobhan Gallager, Iain Ishbel, Deborah Walker, Manuel Royal, Jordan Ashley Moore, Martin Clark, Ben Solomon, Margarita Tenser, Gustavo Bondoni, Adria Laycraft, Daniel Coble, Steve Coate, Jo Walton, Elliotte Rusty Harold, Marissa James, Jake Teeny, Patricia S. Bowne, Stephen D. Rogers and Robin Wyatt Dunn. And the cover - I love love love the art. Check it out!
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with nearly a hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. When not writing, I'm the Book Reviews Editor for the magazine Bewildering Stories. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Connecticut, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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