Chasing Contentment by Erik Reymond, Free for CAPC Members
In Chasing Contentment, Erik Reymond identifies the lie that satisfaction and contentment come through consumption.
When I was kid, I liked creepy old horror movies. I have fond memories of watching The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and my all-time favorite, The Blob. The Blob was about this amorphous alien thing that crashed onto planet Earth via meteorite. It was a black, tar-looking thing that basically devoured everything it touched, and every time it devoured something, it grew larger. Friends, Black Friday is the Blob. It has burst its bounds and is threatening to devour the single greatest holiday that we have left. This year, horror of horrors, Black Friday will actually begin on Thanksgiving Thursday at 6pm.
No longer are corporations content to wait until the stroke of midnight to hawk their wares at incredible prices. Those pristine hand-washed glass doors cannot contain the greed sucking on them from the inside. You probably think that people are injured every year on Black Friday because of the press of the crowd outside, but the truth is far worse. Black Friday is actually sucking them in to feast upon their avarice.
Think about it. In my grandparent’s generation, people probably went out and bought a toy for their kids a few days before Christmas. Now, people are probably going to be trampled or squashed on Thanksgiving Day to buy presents for practically everyone they know because it is expected of us. (There is a Wikipedia page devoted to Black Friday and the violence that has occurred.) This is our thin red line! Force the monster to keep its bounds to Friday or you may have to eat your next turducken at work people!
For the love of grandma’s chicken and dressing! For the love of turkey and cranberry sauce! For the love of falling asleep after lunch watching football games we don’t really care about! Let us stop this madness here and refuse to participate! If holidays are like heroes who give us days off of work, Thanksgiving is the most glorious of them all. Our hero Thanksgiving has never asked anything of us except to eat and be merry. Our only responsibility on that glorious day has been to be with family and to feast with them, to nap in front of the television with them, and to awaken to eat more food. No pressure of buying gifts. No worrying whether our cards are too sentimental or not funny enough. Just family time and the best meal we probably get all year.
This monster, this beast called “Black Friday” is threatening this greatness, and I vote we kill it with ice, just like they killed the Blob. The Blob hated the cold, and so they wound up dropping the thing in the Arctic. So… kill it with ice! When a family member says, “HEY! They have stuff at Walmart on sale at 6pm today, LET’S GO!” just give them the icy death stare, and say, coldly, “There are leftovers to eat and relaxation to be had.”
I don’t know if we can pull this off, but we can try. When the Black Friday monster tries to spill over and make Gray Thursday, let’s just not be there. And know this, if you do go, I’m eating your turkey, and I won’t even be sorry.
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