Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Making the difficult choices.

One of the great things about modern society is that we can choose to ignore great parts of it and still get along well in the world. Such will be the case on Friday, the day the humans call Black Friday.
If we are to believe the advertising, several stores will be left without doors, as they will have been busted by low prices and great deals on stuff we didn't know we needed.
Where stores used to open at 9:00am or even as early as 6:00am, they now are opening as early as 4:00am on Friday morning so that ravenous consumers can snatch the latest gimmicky product being advertised at "unbelievable prices."
You'll see the lines forming late Thursday night. There will be shoppers in tents, sleeping bags and lawn chairs hoping to be one of the few who pick up that incredible $100 TV [limit 10 per store - no rain checks]. The TV reporters will interview them and they'll talk about what piece of junk they hope to rush in and grab before the 200 people in front of them in line rush in and grab it.
It's a tradition as deep and rich as the holiday itself, and at times, it seems to be the reason for the holiday - and I'm sure it's the reason Thanksgiving was never moved to Monday like all the other holidays. After all, what's the difference between President's Day, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving? They were once all proclaimed to fall on a specified day, and only a select few were moved to Monday to accommodate working people, so that we'd have the sacred "Three-day weekend." You can bet your ass that the retail lobby or some other such organized group kept Thanksgiving on Thursday so they would have the long weekend of shopping.
And while you're asking yourself questions, ask yourself this one. Almost all of the stores that you'll see on the TV news also have Internet portals where consumers can and do shop. So why then, is it necessary to coerce consumers to queue-up on Friday morning to get their deeply discounted prices? It's because the junk they're standing in line for is severely limited, and the stores are figuring that after waiting twelve hours for a $100 computer and finding none, the consumer will stay long enough to spend the hundred bucks on something else. In some circles it's called bait and switch.
Here in America, we call it a holiday weekend.
The reason I choose to ignore it is because I hate to feel as though I'm being used - unless it's sexually - by anything bigger and smarter than me, and I feel as though going out on Friday to shop is leaning into a punch. Besides, there will be 29 other days of "incredible door-busting savings" if one chooses to spend their money on Christmas gifts.
As for me, I'll sleep-in and watch the TV news.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I hate to even bring it up...

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Even before Adam Lambert's show-stopping performance at the 2009 American Music Awards was edited for the west coast feed of the awards show, the singer told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson that he felt censoring his performance would be wrong.
"You know honestly, if I offended some people ... it's apples and oranges. I'm not an artist that does things for every single person," Adam told Access' Shaun backstage following his racy performance of "For Your Entertainment," where he kissed male keyboardist Tommy Ratliff, who is straight.
It's great that a guy who has been in show business for fifteen minutes suddenly has a point of view. This is the problem with shows like "American Idol" who foist music on us - it creates controversy where none existed and makes a star out of someone whose biggest previous accomplishment was winning the Air Band competition at Mesa Verde Middle School. Really.
Besides, the guy didn't even win "American Idol." He finished second. Can you imagine the train wreck that won? I can't wait to see what iconic music comes out of that.
It's also not much of a surprise that something so banal and sanitary as the American Music Awards (and their rich tradition that is only slightly older than Lambert himself) would censor his performance. This is the same awards show that gave the "favorite male artist" award to Michael Jackson and the "favorite album" award to Number Ones, a collection of decades-old material that he re-released in anticipation of the tour he couldn't stay off drugs long enough to start.
Death truly is the greatest salesman.
It's such an irrelevant event that I'm going to stop writing about it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some things are too easy.

The cat sleeps peacefully at the foot of the fire. Some things in life are too sublime to mention. The logs cost five bucks but the pleasure is immeasurable.
Maybe he doesn't know that. Maybe he doesn't know that I make a special trip to the PetSmart to get him the 71-cent food pouches when I could just as easily get the generic 50-cent stuff from the supermarket. He cares when he eats it, I suppose, but doesn't appreciate the sacrifice.
If only people were so easy to please.