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Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Cyber Monday. Buy Things Or Don't, It's Fine Either Way

Posted by Alex Falcone on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I appreciate everybody taking to Facebook this weekend to tell their social network not to buy things. It's really sweet of you. On the other hand, we're all old enough to decide our own feelings on capitalism. I buy things. I buy things on normal days, I buy things on holidays. I buy things for regular price and on sale. And it's fine.

Unless you're reading this on a library computer, noshing on some dumpstered bagels, and wearing clothes you got from a thrift shop in exchange for hope, you buy things too. So what does it accomplish to not shop on Black Friday (or Good Friday or Friday the 13th)? Is it because you don't like people being trampled to death for a TV? I don't either. But stores aren't trampling people, it's customers. It's customer-on-customer trampling. If you don't like trampling, you should tell stores not to open on Black Friday because their customers might trample each other. Or maybe just tell people, "If you go shopping, try not to trample anybody on the head until they die. K? Thanks."

Aside from the trampling problem, most of the people posting in yelly capitals are taking this moment to speak out against "commercialism." The supremely vague notion that it's bad to want things or buy things or have things or sell things to other people who want things and buy things. Good luck with that. You might as well try to eradicate pessimism. That's just as ephemeral.

The strangest thing is that this weekend of "commercialism" is dedicated to buying things to give to people you love. If you really have a problem with the exchange of goods for currency, why would you pick gift giving as the prime example of evil capitalism? Christmas isn't a day where everybody goes out and buys something they don't need and then throws away the perfectly functional old version. That's called iPhone Release Day. Black Friday is about concentrated selfless capitalism (and trampling awareness on Youtube). Choose your battles more wisely, Facebook activists. And make sure your posts are short because I'm reading them in line at the mall.

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