Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Shopping Holiday

Engage full snark mode.

Well it's that time of year again my friends. Time for all good Americans to focus on what really matters. Not family, community, charity, or world peace, but that national sacrament of late-stage capitalism known as Holiday Shopping that started auspiciously enough with a day known as Black Friday. 

Whether you do it online, or drag yourself to the mall amidst the sea of humanity scrapping and fighting for the latest must-have gizmo, toy, or thing-a-bob, rest assured that your actions are vital to the national interest. In fact, the annual consumer bonanza unleashed in the last fiscal quarter is so central to defining life and vitality in the U.S. that the economy's strength in the beginning of the following year is literally tied to how much stuff we buy for the holidays.   So, buy, buy, buy my friends. 

So get out there and do your duty: Buy American. Be American.  Shop.  Shop some more. Keep on shopping. Shop till you drop, and remember, this is what it means to be a patriot!  Remember even George H. W. Bush bought a pair of socks!  And all by himself!  He must have been oh so proud!

Now, being one who doesn't like to give advice that I myself am unwilling to follow, I must say that I too have been making the holiday pilgrimage to the shopping centers, online stores, and corner markets lately, both to purchase desired items, and also to observe others in the process of this sociologically fascinating ritual known as holiday shopping.

As someone who regularly writes about American culture, you can probably imagine that I have long been especially intrigued by the way in which holiday behavior and symbolism replicates notions of economic correctness and conservative ideology, and therefore acts to reinforce the control of the old guard.  Yet, are the holidays really holiday-like without the shopping? Could we really stop shopping even if we wanted to stop?

So, enjoy the presents and remember that the shopping is a little contradictory.  And embrace those contradictions just realize that you need to continually buy more and more stuff to keep the system afloat.  Toward that end, if any of you wish to send your pal Dirk D. DeDurkheim a gift you can contact me directly.  I need your help in getting a wii and some wii games.  Damn those things are expensive.

Snark setting returned to normal.

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