An MVP in the World Series of Consumerism?

Cyber Monday ConsumerismSo… it’s Cyber Monday, a day we are encouraged to overwhelm the internet by spending our American dollars on stuff made in China by political prisoners and disgracefully underpaid workers in prison-like factories.

It’s the latest in the World Series of Consumerism that began on what used to be a holiday called Thanksgiving. But this year it wasn’t just the Detroit Lions and their traditional game on Thanksgiving, along with demolishing a bird in the secondary. It was the debut of the new Game One of the Consumerism Series.

Black Friday followed — it was the old opening day of the series. Back when it was best three-out-of-five games. Now you must take four-out-of-seven or you’re pictured as going home empty-handed.

It wasn’t that long ago that Thanksgiving was a sort-of holiday. Until it was time to join the Black Friday encampment to get into the arena at dawn. The all-stars even trained extra-hard to forego Thanksgiving altogether, waiting in line in sleeping bags.

Why waste a day when the Consumerism Series already had players waiting on the sideline? So we were all told we would never be contenders unless we took to the field with them — so we could buy stuff made in China by political prisoners and disgracefully underpaid workers in prison-like factories.

stuff-we-don't-needThere was no break in the action following that Thursday-Friday double-header with its orgy of pushing and shoving, broken-field running, and aggressive take-aways when the opposition had possession. We had the half-time show.

That was Small Business Saturday. It’s the only day on which we are encouraged to spend a little of our money on hand-made crafts and a vast variety of things that at least might have been made by a human being who injected pride into the process, instead of watching gauges on machines that squirt hot liquid plastic into thousands of identical molds, all at one time.

And in between that and today’s big game, there was something else entirely.

Sunday was World AIDS Day. It marked 32 years to the day that the global AIDS epidemic was declared. And it marked 30+ million human deaths to AIDS, worldwide, since that distant day.

Sorta changes your perspective a bit, doesn’t it?

larry-wines-informalBut don’t even think about stopping to think, or you might miss an online bargain today, or fail to do your part in setting new profit statistics for some multinational megagiant corporation who gets their stuff for 9% of what you pay for it.

They get it from China, where it’s made by political prisoners and disgracefully underpaid workers in prison-like factories.

All so you can say “Merry Christmas.”

Larry Wines

Published by the LA Progressive on December 2, 2013
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About Larry Wines

Larry Wines is editor of the Acoustic Americana Music Guide, and a former newspaper political columnist.