Monday, November 26, 2007

Rainy Monday in the Real World

It's Cyber Monday. For those who don't know what this is, it's not some futuristic holiday celebrating all things www. We are, I'm sure, all familiar with the tradition of insane shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving (although some stores actually started as early as 9pm ON Thanksgiving this year). Well, then we moved to the whole-weekend sales.

Now, apparently, American marketers have gone even further by making the Monday following Thanksgiving "Cyber Monday," in which all the sales are online. And why wouldn't they be? Everyone is back at work! Sure, what better way to help the economy than by stealing corporate America's productivity away? Hm, something's wrong with that picture...

I apologize if I sound a bit bitter this morning, but I am simply so tired of the buy, buy, buy mentality that is so pervasive in this country. Somehow the "I want" or "Wouldn't it be nice if I had" idea has shifted into "I have to have it," "I need it," and "I can't live without it." This is perhaps why so many Americans are living so much in debt, under the thumb of credit card companies. The need to buy new "stuff" all the time is everywhere. Generations before us used to use things until they absolutely just couldn't be used anymore. My parents had the same giant microwave (that my mother won in a raffle, I believe) for about 20 years. One of the knobs fell off at some point, but it still worked just fine. They got rid of it when my sister gave them a new one for their anniversary--because she thought they needed a new one, that actually had buttons, not dials. They were perfectly happy to use their old one until it broke. I still wonder how much more life that microwave had in it.

Then again, things today just aren't made to last that long. We live in a disposable world, and have the trash to prove it. Although we are a minority of the world's population, we produce a majority of the world's trash (I couldn't find the exact stats, so if anyone has them handy, send them along).

Ok, I'll leave you with that for now. I really need to get some homework done. It's going to be a busy week.

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