Black Friday is part of the dark void at the heart of contemporary America. Every year it seems the advertisements creep in earlier and earlier, and our “holidays” come to resemble more of an all-day advertising pitch than a day of rest and reflection.
When the struggles of our ancestors are reduced to trivialities, the trivial is all we are left with to “celebrate.” Celebration in contemporary America means consumption. Where our forefathers stopped to give thanks for a good harvest, survival in battle, or healthy progeny, today we take time to read the sale clippings for tomorrow’s next marvel of planned obsolescence. As you read this, many of our own relatives have been in line for hours or more just pawing to get inside the local Wal-Mart, Best Buy, shopping mall, or wherever.
Watching news clips at the early hours of every “Black Friday” is a morbid fascination for this author. As of this writing, in Long Island, one Wal-Mart worker has already been “trampled to death” by a “mob of wild shoppers.” It speaks volumes that this is an expected happening every year. It takes “dying for a bargain” to new heights.
Within all of the madness, there are saplings of resistance to this bland corporate affair that deserve our attention. The outdoor performance clothing store REI has started a campaign it calls #OptOutside. Its CEO’s statement includes,
We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth.
Of course what this most SWPL of retailers does not realize is how shockingly “White” such a statement is. One report quotes a local California State Park Superintendent who hopes that the REI campaign will “get people to see our parks.” As Steve Sailer observes, nature reserves are “safe spaces” for Europeans.
Enjoying the outdoors and reminding ourselves of our connection to the soil below our feet, the very soil our ancestors won and worked, is a noble goal. By taking a step outside, and a step away from the mall, you begin to see the world anew.
Away from the maddening crowds, rampant advertising, and media/retail debasement of traditions, one has time to think and, if you have a family, it is a time to bond. It’s through these first small acts of resistance that we begin to know ourselves and build our future. We certainly won’t build it through buying it.