Manufactured greed (or the enslavement of America during the holiday season)

sepiapipe 003Well, it’s the day after Black Friday, and as predicted there was violence across America as people stood in line to get *supposed * deals.  Myself, having worked in a retail environment (the back office of a department store chain over 20 years ago) knew that the "Black Friday" phenomenon is a case of catering to the fears and subconscious greed of the general public.  The fear of not having the latest and greatest things, and the greed of most people in general (the "I’ve got mine, now fuck off" mindset.)

Myself, I am pretty much immune to the fever that grips these assholes when Black Friday comes around.  My life is more or less involved in providing basic needs (i.e. food, shelter, utilities) and not revolving on having things that everyone else has.  Yes, I have a computer and my hubby has one, we have a big screen TV (that I bought over three years ago) and a Blu-ray player (also bought three years ago.) 

The closest analogies that I can make is from two episodes from Original Trek (yes, my sci-fi geek roots are showing, and I have been watching it on Netflix.) 

The first is the episode "Amok Time," where Spock becomes irrational (Pon Farr) and has to return to Vulcan to take a mate.  His bride-to-be challenges him and he is forced to fight Kirk to win the right to marry her.  The only thing on his mind is winning, no matter the cost.  It seems like we as a culture go through a yearly blood-lust to gain material possessions, and you try to gain the upper hand over everyone else for bragging rights.

The second is the episode "Return of The Archons"  where the Enterprise crew encounter a peaceful, pacifist society that is controlled by an all-seeing being, Landru (read this as Walmart.)  The society for most part is peaceful, but there is a time called "Festival," where the populace goes ape-shit.  Some of the populace is immune to it, and has been trying to overthrow the control of Landru.  They are mind-controlled (read this as advertising.)  As a pragmatist, I am pretty much immune to advertising. 

The point that I am trying to make is we as a culture for the most part have allowed our worldview to be shaped by advertising and what the mass media have spoon-fed us.  The right wing is so fucking enamored of the opinion that the government wants to control what we do and how we think, but they are blind to the fact that the same machine that forces the American public to gather en masse outside a retail establishment at midnight on Black Friday is THEIR creation. 

As long as big business is allowed to manipulate the American mindset to enrich their pockets, we as a people are helpless to resist because we are addicted to mass media.  The so-called "Zombie Apocalypse?"  It ain’t coming folks.  It’s already here, and unless more people shake off the barrage of advertising and soundbites that mass media feeds us, then we are truly fucked. 

-30-

© 2013, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

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