Nov 29, 2013

Thanksgiving, Walmart, and #SocietalDecline

5 pm on Thanksgiving Day: "We are eternally grateful for all that we have."
Three hours later: "Timmy are you ready?? We have to get to Target before it's too late!!!"

8pm tonight: "I'm so so very thankful for everything. What more could I ask for in life??
All day tomorrow: (cranks out a two-page long Christmas wish list on their newest iPhone before posting it on Instagram)

How am I meant to take Thanksgiving seriously when Black Friday (which is apparently Black Thursday now) has become an inextricable part of the pageantry of this day? When we have scenes like these popping up all across our country, mere hours after we got done talking about how blessed we are?


#Walmartfights is a trending topic on Twitter right now. What's that tell you?

Thanksgiving brings out the worst in people unlike any other American holiday. It draws out the greed and duplicity of those who go all-out to "celebrate" it, and puts them on display for all the world to see, like a cheap and outdated washer at Best Buy. The speed with which they can go from gratitude to gluttony is nothing short of awe-inspiring, though certainly not admirable in any way.

In the end, Thanksgiving is just an opportunity to eat a turkey (or any bird of choice), shoot the shit with your family and friends, and possibly huddle around a TV set to watch whatever football game is on. This, in itself, is not at all a bad thing, and could conceivably become a weekly or monthly ritual among a particularly close-knit group of people.

But a once-a-year event under the guise of showing "gratitude" for what we have, when so many of are hoping to find satisfaction -- if not salvation -- in mindless materialism, whether through the shopping extravaganza on that same night, or when we open our presents on Christmas Day?


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