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Posts Tagged ‘consumerism’

It begins.

We are only one day away from the annual violent potlatch known in the States as “Black Friday.” It is a day when the zombies of consumerism rise from their resting places and crowd the malls. They come with one aim in mind: Get the deals. Beat the system. Make a killing on over-priced and generally quickly forgotten or “re-gifted” merchandise. While doing so, in full holiday spirit, they cut each other off on the highways, fight for the few remaining parking spaces in the parking lots and garages and walk around with a scowl the “Grinch” would surely recognize.

Of course, the zombies of late November and into December know intellectually that the prices are already probably inflated enough that the so-called discounts are nothing of the sort. This elaborate game is worthy of another Matrix Sequel. We need Neo to come along and deliver some shock and awe intended for our awakening.

Then, there’s the other hospitable retail practice: advertising incredible sales, and having only four of the items in stock. Once you’re in the store, you will want to leave with something, otherwise all the aggravation, and the bodies over which many have stepped along the way in, would all have been for nothing.

Sometimes I fantasize that what’s really happening is that Voldemort is behind it all. We are, after all, Muggles, and much of what goes on in the realms of magic go unnoticed by us. So, Harry is doing combat even as I type this to save the day yet again for the forces of Light and good. Surely, someone has to do it.

With the economy in such distress, the government is hopeful of spending. It is the lubricant of the economy. By the same token, resizing the economy back to taking human bites is a painful but useful spiritual exercise. The principal sign of our times happens the day after Christmas. Drive down the streets of any suburb and you will find side-walk after side-walk littered with piles of non-biodegradable plastic garbage bags full of packing materials and boxes. Within a year, the contents of those boxes may  well be on eBay or on the lawns at hastily engineered garage sales, or broken, traded,  given as a gift to someone none the wiser, or tossed into the trash because the new and improved model is out.

The greatest addiction of our times is not alcohol, drugs, or sex, it’s consumption. Just think, the Holiday commemorates a poor child who had nowhere to lay his head save in a cave. Later, as a teacher of righteousness, he delivered his Sermon on the Mount, saying nothing about opulent gifting. He did, however, take a few loaves and fishes and caused the crowd to share it so that the little there was, was more than enough.

On this Black Friday, I will keep to my sanctuary, enjoying time with family and friends, off the roads as much as possible, and at a great distance from the birds of appetite, the sound and fury of avarice, and the hypnogogic black dance of this repulsive melodrama.

May your holidays be a time of peace, love, simple demonstrations of great love, holding, and cuddling. May we, too, find the opportunity to give the one thing that we treasure the most and tend to part with very reluctantly – our patient and undivided time.

Pax Et Bonum!

© Brother Anton and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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