Monday, December 20, 2010

My Anti-Christmas Message


Due to a few errant and upset emails, let me state this is not an attack on the spirit of Christmas. Just the excessive commercialism that has developed. 

My normal sense of optimism and good humor that I maintained for most of my life has largely been overridden during this time of the year. However, I do remember a time, even as an adult, I welcomed the change in seasons and looked forward to the approaching holidays to be with family and friends. Now, while family and friends remain, this time of the year seems spoiled and tarnished where we are inundated with hysterical commercialism earlier each year equating love and friendship with material goods.  
I cannot really pick a specific time when things went bad and I am sure it is different or nonexistent for others. But for me there just seems to be some hazy point where we crossed a line and the holidays became less a celebration and more a business equation with the fate of the nation hanging in the balance. Now understand, I am not against capitalism but around the last week in August the commercials take on a panic-stricken nature determined to get the American consumer motivated into going deeper in debt.
For example, we are shown saccharin sweet couples confirming their love with the exchange of some diamond jewelry or cute children engrossed in the newest toy as their parents look on joyfully, both commercials more than slightly associating their products with happiness. The sad truth in all this is we have become so dumbed down that many do associate love and caring with items that many times end up forgotten in some box on the nightstand or abandoned in a closet.  If that was the extent of what I see as the problem I could ignore it, Hell in truth I am guilty of the same thing in many ways but we have gone far beyond just wanting to buy love and happiness,
The land of the free and home of the brave has become a nation of mall zombies who are more than willing to trample anyone who falls under foot as the local retail outlet opens up for Black Friday rush.  The national infrastructure can fall apart, the American high school dropout rate can be a global embarrassment, and young men and women can die in a war that no politician can justify other than for political reasons and that is just some boring story on the half-watched nightly news.  But goddamm it Americans will get excited about a freaking two-hundred dollar laptop at Wal-Mart to the point there is a near riot in the last few minutes before the store opens.
The final question I will leave you with is one that hit me like a ton of bricks in the video. If we will trample each other to death in the best of times for ultimately meaningless items how will we act if we ever find the store shelves empty of food?
I don’t buy the entire message of the video, the guy who made it wants to “save the republic.” If our country has become this, and by all evidence it has, I want no part of this strange Amerika whose only purpose is idle consumption and moronic behavior and whose existence only serves some corporate bottom-line.   


David Barber said...

The same thing happens over here, Beach. Nobody has got any money but there are still huge traffic jams to get to the shops. Not particularly up here in Scotland, but I'll guarantee you that Manchester will be at an almost standstill this week. It's what Christmas has become!

Take care, mate and best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year!!

Mauigirl said...

Creepy video, and probably all too true. I've heard a lot of theories about what may happen if the rest of the world no longer uses dollars as their reserve currency. Let's hope they're wrong!

Suzan said...

Thanks for the call, friend.

Right after we hung up I found this article which underscores our whole conversation.

People have gotten stoopider and stoopider watching Faux Mox Snooze.

And now they believe the nonsense falling from the lips of the Reaganites/Bushbites/Cheneyfrights (brought to us by the Newtight).

It's sickening to see people vote themselves into poverty - but how do we stop them from rushing over the cliff?

Love ya,


Pixel Peeper said...

That was a very depressing video, and many times I've ranted and raved against the commercialization of Christmas. Hey, it's not about the fat Coca Cola guy with the red cap - it's really about the guy in the bishop's hat, that's who Saint Nickolas was...

However, for every person in the video rushing to buy those so-called bargains, there are hundreds of Americans who are not out there shopping themselves into debt. It's just that they don't make it into the news. Not all listened to our fearless leader when he said, "Be Americans. Go shopping." It's just that we are the quiet ones.

Hoping for a nice, quiet, peaceful Christmas that is spent with family and friends making good memories!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You make a great point. We act like it's anarchy when it isn't. What in the hell are we going to do when the real frigging Jethro starts to bear down on us? Like I think I told you before, my "solution" for that is going to be gin, OJ, and ativan....and quickly.

Beach Bum aka Captain Barbossa said...

David: Yeah. Back at you and stay warm.

Maui: My granddad had a bunch of old silver dimes, quarters, half-dollar, and dollar coins that I remember him keeping just because he worried the paper dollar might one day be worthless.

Suzan: Great talking to you as well. Yeah, no one who watches Fox on a regular basis has ever impressed me with their understanding of even the most basic knowledge. Sort of like the professional wrestling of journalism.

Pixel: I agree and I actually had a part mentioning those who do not act like lemmings but left it out since I wrote this right after getting off work and what mental power I had left was fading.

The only problem is the mob mentality and that they are like magnets drawing people in who would otherwise know better. My main question still holds though. If people are like that in good times how will they act when things get really tough?

Will: I understand but since I have kids I got to hold on for them as long as possible. If the smelly shit really ever hits the fan I have a plan.

Randal Graves said...

My favorite commercial has to be the jewelry one where there's a storm raging outside and the chick gets frightened from a loud thunderclap which as everyone knows all chicks do my stars! and then the dude goes on about not ever letting her go. A bit o' capitalism, some decidedly old school Victorian patriarchy et voila, swank city.

Dave Dubya said...

I agree, "I want no part of this strange Amerika whose only purpose is idle consumption and moronic behavior whose existence only serves some corporate bottom-line."

Too bad that's what we've been living under for as long as we've had TV's telling us what to buy.

Cloudia said...

We sure live in amazing times...

Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral



Beach Bum aka Captain Barbossa said...

Randal: LOL!!!
I bet that one has pissed off a bunch of ladies dedicated to fighting the patriarchy. It bugs the Hell out of my wife. The only commercial that is worse in my opinion is those ones where someone gets a new car as a present.

Dave: We sure gladly took it all hook, line, and sinker.

Cloudia: Hope you are doing well!

Liberality said...

I hate that jewelry commercial but I've never seen it--just read about it on the blogs and how moronic it portrays women.

You know I don't like x-mas all too much and what it has become. Crazy is the only word for it. We are all fucking CRAZY.

You have a nice holiday cruise though!

Beach Bum aka Captain Barbossa said...

Liberality: I live by this Mark Twain quote: "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."

I've always felt a little crazy was a good thing but these days all the stops seem to have been removed.

Ranch Chimp said...

Good Afternoon Bum and Christmas Greeting's! (no pun intended)

I dont want to comment much here, because as you probably know, I have wrote plenty over the last couple year's of the condition, and of course the option's we have etc. But I did want to say that the posting is an excellent look at the current condition/ reality. As far as pessimism, optimism, skepticism, or anything else ... it is importante to also understand that we comtribute to creating our own realities psychologically and physically, so we also have the option of choice on how we let it effect us. The answer's to our issue's and rectifying what we need are clear as day ... but that too is a matter of choice ... we only are controlled by that which we "allow" to control us.

Thank You Bum ...

Anonymous said...

The video shows the "Lord of the Flies" side of modern culture ( of a certain ilk) in a riveting way.

Depressing - in a word. Stupid people equals depressing.

Marja said...

Sad to see that beach. Here people spenging heaps as well as they should be saving. We are still richer though than 95 % of the world My friend came just back from South America where poverty is and in India but the people are smiling there.
Did you stil got the widget to work on Jennifers blog for the kids in Nepal. I did. In case you didn't Jennifer put an adres in America on my blog comments where you could send a cheque when you don't get it to work.
Thanks you very much for your caring and I wish you and yours a very merry christmas and a fantastic 2011

Beach Bum aka Captain Barbossa said...

Ranch: I will certainly toast one to you tonight after my two rugrats are safely in bed with one fearing a non-visit from Santa if she gets up to early. And always feel free to comment as much as you want.

Frannie: I think I made a few people mad with the post. I usually don't mention it but I get a few hate emails every now and then.

Marja: Never could get the widget to work on the computers at the hospital. I did research the address and sent a small, unfortunately, check in the mail.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Season's Greetings to you, Beach, and to all your readers.

lime said...

unfortunately my computer no longer has sound so i can't enjoy the video but that final question is a telling one indeed. i am no fan of consumerism and have been trying in a small way to turn the extended family gift exchange into a chance to do charitable giving instead of just shuffling around envelopes of meaningless gift card for each other.

wishing you joy in the best parts of the holiday and peace during the rest.

Pixel Peeper said...

Merry Christmas, Beach!

Beach Bum aka Captain Barbossa said...

Doc: Have a good one Doc!

Lime: We are going to alter our behavior next year. The kids have had far too much and it mostly becomes junk by Spring.

Pixel: Merry Christmas! Did your hear? We are looking at nine inches to a foot of snow for Sunday.

Teresa said...

I understood your post and I was feeling about the same way, thats why I posted the litter girl singing the song from the Grinch....Where are you Christmas. Looking forward to the Vampire story.

JMyste said...

Beach, I for one would like to show my absolute support of your Christmas sentiment.


Beach Bum aka Captain Barbossa said...

Teresa: I was worried, I actually got a real death threat over the post. People get really reactionary over Christmas and it one thing about our society that freaks me out.

Here in Columbia and it was pretty laid back. My son and I just finished cleaning up the kitchen and I am going to watch a few movies on DVD.

Hope yours was great.

JMyste: These rants have been a reoccurring thing for me as I watch a great nation piss away every advantage and just beg the Chinese to take over everything. It really is true, the gods do drive insane those that they wish to destroy.

Welcome and come again, got you on my blogroll.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

The only thing made in Amerika now is debt...lots and lots of debt.