‘Tis the season and that time of year, where the consumerism that now resides deeply embedded within our American heritage is at the forefront and is cause for nothing short of hysteria and pandemonium on the streets.
Sounds like a bad movie but it’s actually just the Christmas shopping season. Bah humbug I say to that!
I am all for Christmas cheer, and the camaraderie that comes with holiday festivities. And naturally, especially having kids, its important to advocate good will. But, every year, the little grinch within makes me just a little more nauseated by the consumer chaos…it just isn’t supposed to be like this.
This post was inspired by a recent visit to the mall, which is among my least favorite places on the planet. Why go there you ask? Well, I half thought I could pick up a few straggling things on my list, but then it all dawned on me just as it has in previous years – we are helpless victims of a consumer based society, and quite frankly, this consumerism will lead to the death of our nation, and perhaps human civilization. As Stephen Hawking recently prophesized, we have about 1000 years until we have to get the hell out of dodge. My estimate is that at the current pace of progress, versus the pace of self-destruction, we only have a couple hundred years, that is unless Donald Trump turns it all around for ‘US’.
Statistcs show that the US retail economy tops 3 trillion bucks annually. 0.75 trillion is holiday shopping. The average American spends about 900 bucks on Christmas gifts. Some simple math will quickly reveal that ONE PERCENT of this near one trillion dollar spending spree is 10 BILLION BUCKS! That means that if each holiday shopper donated $9 of their annual gift budget to their favorite ocean charity, we’d be living on the seafloor, and have the means to take our seafaring civilization to other planets and beyond, out of necessity – to save our asses and then look back and say thank you to Stephen Hawking and myself for shedding light on the warning signs. US economics hard at work…
Instead, we sit here suffering – jobless, homeless, destitute, crumbling infrastructure, fundamentally flawed healthcare system, with nowhere to go but up, but helplessly waiting for someone else to step up and make the changes we need to see happen, like NOW. Meanwhile, all of the major manufacturers of consumer gifts, whose factories are overseas, are keeping people employed at wages below our minimum wage, and the profits are padding the pockets of those here in the US that are licking their chops for another year of spreading holiday cheer.
This is what goes through my head as I walk through the mall, dizzied by the lights, the sounds, the smells… Bah, humbug I say!
Just remember to keep Christmas about what it is supposed to be about…and I know with absolute certainty that it IS NOT about frantically beating the lines, hitting the sales, trying to keep your anxiety under control, and worrying about who will get what and how much you’ll be returning versus re-gifting, substantially continuing to devalue the American economy, and empowering foreign markets.
Face the music peeps – the Elf on the Shelf is watching, so you better be good for goodness sake.