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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:56 AM

 

Thanksgiving, the holiday that gotten eaten alive.

Well, once again, local and national stores went straight from Halloween mode to Christmas mode, with nary a break for Thanksgiving. Not surprising, given that Christmas and Halloween are the top two moneymakers when it comes to holiday.

But the sad thing is, Thanksgiving is now getting upstaged to an unofficial holiday, a paen to overblown, over the top over consumption. No longer are we treated to peaceful epiphanies about spending time with family around the Thanksgiving table. Norman Rockwell's iconic depiction of Thanksgiving is as dead as he is.

Nope, now that four day weekend that comes on the third week of November is now dedicated to Black Friday, that day when all good little consumers. . .er citizens that is, are supposed to get up at some god awful hour of the night, trudge down to their local mall or chain store, stand in the freezing cold for hours, all so that they can stampede through the store at a given time like a herd of buffalo heading for the last patch of grass on the prairie.

Hell, now Black Friday is now being pushed back into Thanksgiving itself, with various stores forcing their poor, suffering workers to give up their holiday at home in order to put their lives at risk trying to keep order in a storeful of shoppers hyped on coffee, energy drinks and pure greed. It seems like every year the casualties pile up higher, with store employees, customers, and even small children dying in this free market frenzy. Frankly, the only way this orgy of greed, grabbing and grappling could get worse is if they made it into a reality TV series. Sorry, shouldn't have said that, it will give somebody ideas.

For those of you who are too young, there didn't used to be Black Fridays. Yeah, stores opened the day after Thanksgiving, but the event wasn't labeled Black Friday, and it wasn't hyped to the high heavens. The stores opened at normal times, hell, some didn't even open at all because the owners wanted their employees to enjoy an extra day off. The first time I heard of this shopping day referred to as Black Friday was the early seventies. By the late seventies, it was starting to become an event, complete with coupons and loss leading deals. But it was in the eighties when Black Friday really began to take shape, with stores advertising outrageous deals, early opening hours, and lines stretching to the back of the parking lot.

Most of us laughed at such a spectacle back then, preferring to sleep late instead, and then get up to have a leisurely breakfast of left over pumpkin pie and coffee. Nobody that I knew could fathom the attraction that standing in the cold for hours then shopping non-stop for even longer held for anybody.

But now it seems that it is de regueur for good little consumers to participate in the feeding frenzy of consumption. In fact one's patriotism is even questioned if your don't participate. It is just simply bizarre how a once normal, laid back day is now supposed to be devoted to excessive consumption and hysteria bordering, even crossing over into violence.

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving has been downplayed throughout. Yeah, we all know it is a day to eat, even overeat. But I predict that in a few decades, it will be almost completely forgotten, crowded out by those days that are for more profitable, Halloween, Christmas, and yes, Black Friday.

A sad statement about our society. I for one won't be participating in the annual homage to excess, just like every other year. Instead, I'll be a late riser, and grab some pumpkin pie and coffee for breakfast, the only true way that Black Friday should be observed.

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Arrow 61 replies Author Time Post
Reply Thanksgiving, the holiday that gotten eaten alive. (Original post)
MadHound Nov 2012 OP
randome Nov 2012 #1
woo me with science Nov 2012 #5
randome Nov 2012 #7
woo me with science Nov 2012 #13
randome Nov 2012 #15
woo me with science Nov 2012 #18
randome Nov 2012 #19
woo me with science Nov 2012 #25
randome Nov 2012 #29
msanthrope Nov 2012 #36
randome Nov 2012 #43
woo me with science Nov 2012 #39
Robb Nov 2012 #26
msanthrope Nov 2012 #30
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #58
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #31
roguevalley Nov 2012 #45
enlightenment Nov 2012 #2
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #3
msongs Nov 2012 #17
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #4
B2G Nov 2012 #6
bigtree Nov 2012 #8
woo me with science Nov 2012 #9
Mme. Defarge Nov 2012 #10
MineralMan Nov 2012 #11
woo me with science Nov 2012 #14
HERVEPA Nov 2012 #12
Barack_America Nov 2012 #16
navarth Nov 2012 #28
amandabeech Nov 2012 #37
Blue_In_AK Nov 2012 #20
Stagecoach Nov 2012 #21
woo me with science Nov 2012 #40
central scrutinizer Nov 2012 #22
PufPuf23 Nov 2012 #41
treestar Nov 2012 #48
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #51
zipplewrath Nov 2012 #23
MuseRider Nov 2012 #27
woo me with science Nov 2012 #35
zipplewrath Nov 2012 #57
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #59
4_TN_TITANS Nov 2012 #24
msanthrope Nov 2012 #34
Eyes of the World Nov 2012 #32
msanthrope Nov 2012 #33
lunatica Nov 2012 #38
woo me with science Nov 2012 #44
llmart Nov 2012 #56
Raine Nov 2012 #42
argiel1234 Nov 2012 #46
joshcryer Nov 2012 #47
FSogol Nov 2012 #49
marmar Nov 2012 #50
RB TexLa Nov 2012 #52
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #53
RB TexLa Nov 2012 #61
MarianJack Nov 2012 #54
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #55
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #60

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:04 PM

1. It's neither good nor 'sad'. It simply is.

Cultures change. Families are more spread out but also more interconnected with technology. I sure as hell don't need to stuff myself full of food I would never eat on my own.

And I sure as hell won't show up for Black Friday, either. I don't care for the crowds.

But change is a part of the society. Longing for 'better days' detracts from more important, 'Here-and-now' efforts.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:23 PM

5. Nonsense. It *is* sad, and it's not a natural evolution of culture.

It is corporate-driven, for profit, and it is one more sign of the sickness of our society now that we have allowed corporations as much power and presence as they now have in our lives.

Your last sentence is particularly condescending, ridiculous, and ironic. Pointing out what is happening to our society is important for raising awareness and getting people involved to create changes. Gratuitous lecturing of other people for even *raising* these issues suggests that, in fact, you are the one who doesn't want attention paid to them in the "here-and-now."

Constant apologism for corporatism in our society and in our government is a large part of the problem. We are flooded with corporate propaganda that does exactly what you just did: disparage someone's effort to point out an important truth.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:27 PM

7. Corporations cannot drive anything without people willing to be used by them.

The fact that Black Friday is so successful is proof that society has changed. No one is forcing anyone to go shopping on Thanksgiving. But people do. Therefore, that's what people want to do. The vast majority of them, anyways.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:10 PM

13. Of course you will argue that. The role of the corporate defenders

is *always* to argue that the corporatization of our society (and our government) is all driven by the people, rather than trillions in advertising and propaganda and systematic minimization of other options in people's lives. The goal of the corporatists is to create a society in which we work and consume, go home and watch commercials on TV, and then go out and work and consume some more.

Your arguing of both sides here is classic Third Way doublespeak from a faction of our party that seeks to be perceived as sharing the same values and concerns as ordinary Democrats, while simultaneously pushing the corporate propaganda and/or policies that trash those values.

You first argue, ridiculously, that Madhound is silly to just use words on a discussion board and should be involved in "here-and-now" efforts to address the problem instead. Yet you then argue that it's not a problem at all, but a natural transition of our society that people want and enjoy.

Sounds just like the doublespeak arguments we hear from the Third Way about every other corporate outrage in our lives.






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Response to woo me with science (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:17 PM

15. "Systematic minimization"?

All I'm saying is that people will do what they want to do, regardless of how we characterize the holiday. For myself, Thanksgiving doesn't mean much of anything but that's just me.

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Response to randome (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:59 PM

18. It doesn't mean much to you, yet you felt the need

to jump in here and suggest that Madhound should not be posting about this. Why?

You didn't just say that people will do what they will do. You argued that this sort of encroaching corporatization into yet another holiday is a natural, grass roots-driven evolution of society, which is ridiculous on its face unless you want to deny the behavior-shaping power of trillions in advertising money and the very reason for Madison Avenue's existence. People didn't come up with the idea for this change; the corporations did.

Yes, we are targets of deliberate expansion of pressure and opportunities to buy, and systematic minimization of other options for leisure and satisfaction. The goal of corporate America is to create a society in which they profit from every single thing we do. That means commercializing leisure time and our value systems as much as possible through messages on the TV, pushing propaganda and policies that defund libraries and public parks and other free options for entertainment, turning holidays into "buying" days, and maximizing through advertising those holidays that yield the greatest profit. It also means getting people used to the idea that they should work or be buying in the stores on what used to be days set aside for enjoyment of family and friends.

It is very telling that posts like Madhound's can *never* go by anymore without immediate and predictable responses like yours, always from the same small group of people here who reliably support the corporate Democratic agenda and the shifting of our party to defending corporate interests over the interests of the people. It is a pattern that is worth pointing out, I think.


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Response to woo me with science (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:01 PM

19. Whoa! From a debate about the value of Thanksgiving to 'corporate Democratic agenda'?

Pretty much of a stretch, I think. I was simply offering my opinion that a lot of people don't view Thanksgiving the way it used to be viewed.

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Response to randome (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:39 PM

25. Nope, not a stretch at all.

Of course your rhetoric here echoes your typical corporate Democratic rhetoric. It's all variations on the same theme: attempting to deny, rationalize, and normalize the increasing encroachment of corporate America into every aspect of our lives...including our party and our government policies...and our family holidays.

Just as you lecture here that corporatization of Thanksgiving is desired by the people and a positive, natural change in our society, we are fed the bullshit every day on these boards that the corporatization of the Democratic party's policies is a natural phenomenon, merely following the lead of the people.*

And just as you ludicrously deny the obvious *real* source of the Black Friday encroachment into Thanksgiving: orchestrated, multi-billion-dollar Madison Avenue strategies and campaign...we are fed ridiculous denials about the rightward shift of our party. We are told either that the rightward shift is not really happening, or that it is inevitable because this is a center-right country. It certainly could NEVER be the predictable result of corporate lobbying and campaign money flooding Washington and the deliberate creation of propaganda groups like the Koch-funded Third Way.

Madhound makes a very good point about what is happening to our culture as a result of deep and growing corporate tentacles in our daily lives. Of course that point can't go unchallenged by the reliable corporatists among us.


_________________________________
*The ludicrousness of which claim is made evident by the predictable rhetorical lurch leftward by our corporate politicians only during election seasons; by polls showing dramatic and consistent support for liberal policies such as the public option, defending SS and Medicare, taxing the rich, and cutting military spending; and by the overwhelming results of the most important poll of all: the November 6 election....Oy.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:54 PM

29. I never claimed it was positive or natural. I simply pointed out that apparently people LIKE sales.

I come to that conclusion by observing that people in their millions rush out for a Black Friday spend-fest. If I thought it was positive or natural, I'd partake of it myself but I don't.

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Response to randome (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:24 PM

36. You know, I grew up in NYC. We always went to see Santa on Black Friday at Macy's. Always had

Chinese food on Christmas Eve. Always had bagels, hot from the ovens, on Christmas Day.

I don't know what whitebread paradise the OP grew up in, but I rather liked the fact that not everyone celebrated the same holidays, in the same way.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:53 PM

43. Thanksgiving is whatever you want to make of it.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:40 PM

39. And here comes the corporate brigade, right on cue. :)

How familiar this little dance is. Any thread that explicitly discusses the threats we face from the corporatization of America must be mocked and nasty bait set out to derail the discussion.

I'll repeat:

Madhound makes a very good point about what is happening to our culture as a result of deep and growing corporate tentacles in our daily lives. Of course that point can't go unchallenged by the reliable corporatists among us.


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Response to randome (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:49 PM

26. Well, he's only got one boogeyman in his bat belt.

Sort of an Andy Rooney thing.

"Have you noticed there aren't as many homemade gifts given anymore? It's the Third Way CorpoDems."

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Response to Robb (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:00 PM

30. Pinot Noir through my nose, Robb! nt

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:08 PM

58. People are psychologically manupulated into this behavior.

The notion of "free choice" is meaningless from a objective and scientific POV.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:01 PM

31. "Not a natural evolution of culture" - totally nonsensical statement.

You can't differentiate between "natural" and "non natural" cultural changes. If they occur, they are "natural".

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:14 PM

45. i like thanksgiving

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:10 PM

2. Thanks, MadHound.

Well done. I've never understood the need/desire to 'do' Black Friday. I understand that for some it is a useful necessity (at least they believe it so and I won't argue their belief) - but it is a sad spectacle on a day that used to be about gathering together in a spirit of . . . well, shared excess, I guess . . . at least, being thankful for something.

Coffee and pie sound perfect for Friday morning - I'll be joining you (in spirit).

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:14 PM

3. I have, for years, finished the vast majority of my Christmas shopping

BEFORE Black Friday. I detest crowds and think most of the products aren't really all that much cheaper (especially if I have to fight a crowd to get it - I'd rather pay a few dollars more and live in peace).

However, to prove your point, my husband and I were in Home Depot yesterday. We're having a new bathroom floor put in the first week of December and we were looking at flooring. We were out doing some other errands and decided we couldn't get the flooring because it would have to be strapped to the top of the car and we were worried about theft, so my husband suggested we come back next weekend and get it. I said, "That's the weekend after Thanksgiving! Are you crazy!? I wouldn't step foot in a store that weekend!"

Two shoppers who were standing there literally looked at me like I was insane. Like *I* was the weird one because Black Friday is literally the LAST day of the year I'd pick to shop.

Our nation is too easily brainwashed.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:26 PM

17. BF is just xmas greed compressed into a one day time frame nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:16 PM

4. The only places that used to be open on Thanksgiving were 7-11s

and similar stores, in the mid-1970s. I don't recall anything being open on Thanksgiving in the 1960s except hospitals and police and fire stations. Folks cooked and ate their turkeys, and that was that.

Forcing underpaid retail workers to work on Thanksgiving and other holidays is immoral.

I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:26 PM

6. Holidays are what you make of them

Don't let others choices ruin yours.

I'm not so much into judging other's choices. I avoid Black Friday like the plague, but others love it. To each his own.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:42 PM

8. okay, stores are having popular sales

. . . but I'm not sure if the media focus is a good indicator of how Americans feel about the holiday. Folks will still be visiting relatives and eating a big meal -- watching football. Who cares where the media focus is? I'd be surprised if there was actually some decline in the amount of folks celebrating the holiday with family, football, and food. I'm not sure you can get there from here.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:44 PM

9. K&R Way to say it loud and clear. I am hearing more and more people

wake up to the "buy, buy buy" propaganda that we swim in every day and see it in its larger context.

People are connecting the dots now. We are beginning to see that unchecked corporate power and presence in our lives, the corporate purchase of our government, our declining standards of living, and the constant, increasingly invasive messages to feed the corporate machine are all interconnected, and malignant. We are starting to wake up to the propaganda, and starting to question whether it really has to be this way.

Keep saying it loud and clear. We deserve much better than this.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:53 PM

10. Shhhhhhh

Let's make sure that Thanksgiving remains the holiday season's best kept secret.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:56 PM

11. One needn't participate in any of the commercial aspects

of the holiday. Certainly I will not.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:11 PM

14. Many people who have jobs will be forced to. nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:08 PM

12. Well,

On Thursday, I'll sleep late, then make a couple of desserts.
One for the dinner at a friend's on Thursday, the other for a pot-luck at a community oriented dance I'll be attending on Friday.
Saturday an all-day dance.
Those who want it commercial can have it that way.
We who don't can do it our own way.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:23 PM

16. Thanksgiving will always be to me, food, family and a Lion's loss.

I don't know that I've ever shopped on Black Friday. I will go out this year, however, to rent a rug cleaner and do my carpets!

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:54 PM

28. Ixnay on the osslay

So we're playing one of the best teams this thursday? We'll beat em....maybe.....i hope...

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:26 PM

37. The classic Michigan Thanksgiving!

Brings back memories of my dad, my uncles and my male cousins asleep in the living room in front of a TV showing the Lions losing to either the Vikes or the Pack.

Meanwhile, all female family members would be hanging out in the kitchen/dining area drinking coffee (and decaf) and listening to my mother's two sisters one-up each other in funny stories.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:01 PM

20. I'd rather kill myself than participate in any Black Friday insanity.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:32 PM

21. My theory is

My theory is this is Corporate America's way of testing the waters of making the 4th Thursday of November a day people work like they normally do instead of getting a paid holiday to spend with families. They're starting to see how far they can push it. I've got to believe the greedy corporations are getting tired of paying people for 2 days when they don't work; when you consider this is the only 3-day work week of the year, most years. They'll figure if the retail outlets can get people to work on that day, why not expand it to the non-retail sector. And I'm talking the lower-level employees will be affected by this; the executives will still treat it like it's always been. I gotta think, though, there'd be quite the rebellion if people had something taken away that they've always had. But I can't help but think that's the direction we're headed. I hope I'm wrong.

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Response to Stagecoach (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:48 PM

40. It's a constant, relentless push to profit from every hour of our lives.

They will co-opt and commercialize every aspect of our lives, if they can.

And now they are purchasing governments to help do it.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:54 PM

22. To many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a reminder of centuries of genocide

I am not a Native American. I work for a program that helps very low income students at a public university. Because of the way financial aid is disbursed, late in fall term some of our students are facing real food insecurity. I was the coordinator in our office for a food box program. We collected food around Thanksgiving time and identified some student families who we knew were on the edge. We tried to provide a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, yams, etc. as well as some staples like peanut butter and rice that would last a while. I caught a lot of shit from a co-worker whose partner was a Native American. She felt that anything associated with Thanksgiving was hurtful and demeaning. So, instead of feeling good about helping some students I was made to feel guilty. I never was able to bridge the gap with her but went on with the food box program anyway. She has since moved on to another job and we have continued the food box program. We have five families showing up later today to collect our contributions.

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Response to central scrutinizer (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:50 PM

41. There are many good and evolving reasons the turkey rather than the bald eagle be the national bird.

I will be spending Thanksgiving on an Indian Allotment that is a National Forest inholding and off the electrical and phone grid (but with on site power and satellite phone). All the others there will be American Indian on tribal rolls except one caucasian (me).

Hawk, the host, is sort of a relative in that his great great great great grandmother is my great great aunt (senior citizen here. Hawk in his prime) and so, as it is his family gathering, the attendees will all be distant relations.

I am bringing huckleberries that Jeanie will make into pie and will make fresh tanoak (white matusake) mushroom soup myself.

From Joe's Garage.

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Response to central scrutinizer (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:23 PM

48. I don't sympathize with that

Columbus Day, OK, but Thanksgiving was a positive thing. That lady is overly bitter and hate filled.

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Response to central scrutinizer (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:41 PM

51. You are a caring, giving person. It is no small thing to spend your valuable time on helping

others. I don't. I don't see how people have the energy or time.

But the fact that Thanksgiving means a bad thing to some doesn't mean it should be a bad thing to someone else. Thanksgiving was not the time when genocide occurred. That occurred after then (I think), and took place over a long period of time.

Thanksgiving means giving thanks for what you have, and also giving thanks for the newly found country at that time. Nothing more, nothing less.

But traditionally, what it means NOW is a time to gather with family and feast and spend time with loved ones. That's all.

Thanksgiving does not mean, and never has meant, to non-Native Americans, a glorification or celebration of killing Native Americans.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:10 PM

23. Commercilization of Socialization

I suspect you are seeing something more connected to the commercialization of socialization. People are choosing to socialize more in commercial settings than in the home. Sports bars are becoming far more common for people to share sports viewing than getting together in their friends "man cave" in the basement with some chips and dip. Speed dating, E-Harmony, "It's just Lunch" and many of their similar services are commercializing coupling. We are in the age of social media which commercializes common social interaction.

People are "free" to attend these events because they aren't involved in any sort of socialization (such as a large family gathering) which might otherwise interfere. Even at that though I think you might be over blowing the magnitude of these phenomenon. I don't really know all that many folks that participate in any of the BF shopping at all. Yes, the advertisers would want you to believe that there is large participation, and the news media, hungry for content at this time will tend to emphasize particular events. But they make no attempt to put a metric on it to indicate just how much popular participation is involved. The malls here are already crowded, the weekend BEFORE BF. They will be all through the shopping season. BF is mostly a few hours during the night or early morning with some loss leaders for the truly rabid. The rest is just "normal" holiday shopping.

We hold a sit down dinner for 30 every Thanksgiving for "people who have no place to go for Thanksgiving". It's never hard to fill the table with friends, family, and friends of friends and family. I am continually amazed at the number of people with no real Thanksgiving tradition at all.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:53 PM

27. I used to do that

hold our Thanksgiving for friends, family and all of the folks you mentioned. I never had 30 but over the years had near that many eating at one time or another. We also did it at Christmas. I loved doing it. I kind of miss doing it but circumstances have changed and we work every single day here on the farm so there is less time for that. Still, I just wanted to comment. It is interesting how many have never had some kind of tradition. Have a lovely Thanksgiving with all your guests. Enjoy the time .

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:22 PM

35. "Commercialization of socialization": Marvelous label, and interesting post.

I would stress that the commercialization of socialization is deliberately orchestrated by those who profit from it.

People "choose" commercial ways of socializing because our society is increasingly structured around the commercial options, and we drown in propaganda that tells us that they are the only valid options we have. This while corporate politicians restructure our society to replace non-corporate options with corporate ones. Defund those public parks and libraries. We are building a corporate sports center.

We drown in sick, corporate messages about Christmas and every other holiday. How many commercials have we seen this year already with the underlying threat that somebody won't love or respect you if you don't go into debt to buy them all the crap that Madison Avenue says you need to buy, in order to show your love? Now we will have hordes of retail workers forced to work on Thanksgiving, a day that our society previously set aside as important for spending time with family and friends and counting our (non-corporate) blessings.

It is one more pernicious step in the corporatization of our value system; good Americans will obediently work, and future Americans will not even question the fact that people shop and work on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, like every other holiday that has been corrupted into a profit opportunity, will reinforce the corporate values of working and consuming above any other message.

I'll repost the Noam Chomsky quote posted by limpyhobbler, because it fits here:

"...The other one is not discussed so much, but I think itís pretty important. This is an extremely atomized society. People are alone. Itís a very business-run society. The very explicit goal of the business world is to create a social order in which the basic social unit is you and your television set, in which youíre watching ads and going out to purchase commodities. There are tremendous efforts made, that have been going on for a century and a half, to try to induce this kind of consciousness and social order."




(See entire post by limpyhobbler in Good Reads: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1016&pid=19730)

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:39 PM

57. Forcing connections

I don't disagree that commercial entities seek to profit from human behavior and choices. But this commercialization of human interaction can be see in many different ways. An interesting study was done in the late '90s or early '00s that traced the decline of the bowling leagues and other social traditions to the rise of television. But I won't say that it was the intent of early commercial television to undermine bowling leagues. Commercial entities will seek to leverage our behaviors, even the less desirable ones.

I don't really know why people are seeking to commercialize their socialization, and I will agree that this tendency is being pursued by commercial entities. But I don't think it is particularly new. I suspect it is a natural evolution of the industrial revolution. It is us becoming more and more familiar with purchasing virtually every aspect of our lives, instead of creating anything on our own. So we don't sew our clothes any more. We don't make much of our own food. We don't brew our beer, or raise our own vegetables. We pay people to mow our lawns and clean our pools. We don't fix our TV's or tune up our own cars. We pay people to fill out our 1040EZ. More and more we seek some on else, some other expert, to do for us, what we could do for ourselves, but perceive that there is something to be gained by purchasing it.

Maybe corporate America is selling that and we are buying it. But I suspect we are looking for it and they are more than willing to supply it, and encourage us to decide we made the right choice.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:21 PM

59. Oh, don't get me started about Lexus' Christmas commercials.

If my SO brought me a luxury car for X-mas I would be fucking FURIOUS at her for wasting money.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:51 PM

24. I remember those days

when especially on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, nothing was open and the streets were empty. Everyone was home with or off to visit family and friends. Not even a Breadbox, Kangaroo, or Minitmart in sight. I still sit at home on the holidays and laugh at the 'doorbusting' idiots.

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Response to 4_TN_TITANS (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:20 PM

34. I grew up in NYC. I had great Chinese food every Christmas Eve, and fantastic bagels, hot from the

oven, on Christmas Day.


I am grateful I didn't live in a place where everyone observed the Christian mythology. It was more fun.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:04 PM

32. Great. Loved it. k n r . nt

 

nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:17 PM

33. I'll get off your lawn, but not before noting that your view of history is a bit cracked---

Black Friday's been going on now for 50 years. It's a bit late to bemoan something that's been around 5 decades.....

Go see "Miracle on 34th Street" and feel better.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:33 PM

38. I completely dropped out of the holiday rat race in 1995

For years before that I knew we were being manipulated like captive audiences by corporations to buy, buy, buy or suffer the shame of being known not to love our people because apparently the only way you can show your love for your family and friends is to buy them stuff.

The first one I dropped was Mother's Day for myself. I told my husband and kids NOT to buy me presents because I didn't want any. then I dropped my birthday. No presents please. Not even a card, thank you. And I refuse to have it celebrated at work either. I just tell them I don't celebrate my birthday. Period. Then I dropped Christmas when the kids were old enough (late teens). And in a couple of years or so I was holiday panic, guilt trip mode free. And so were my loved ones. My son liked this so much that he dropped all holidays too.

It can be done, and it's easier than people think, because for most people (except children who should get the presents) the holiday's are a drag and a time of real stress, both emotionally and financially.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #38)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:19 PM

44. I respect what you did so much,

and I think it says a lot that your son followed your lead.

We've always heard grumbling about the commercialization of Christmas (remember Charlie Brown's Christmas tree ), but I am seeing a real change lately in the quality of those discussions. I know more and more people who are not just grumbling. They are taking an actual stand and doing what you did, or at least cutting back significantly and starting to talk with family and neighbors about why.

IMO the Occupy movement was HUGE in helping people expose and label the corporate propaganda we are steeped in, and connect the dots to what has been happening in our government and our society.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #38)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:01 PM

56. Kudos to you.....

I did too, but I did it gradually. As the cry for more consumerism ramped up over the years, I ramped my celebrations down until now I spend very little time or money on these holidays. I personally cannot believe how commercial Halloween has gotten. It's ridiculous. Grown adults trying to outdo one another on their decorations. Adults have actually co-opted Halloween from the kids.

People already have too much crap made in China around their houses and they still feel the need to buy more? Crazy. My favorite parts of holidays are just sharing time and a good meal together.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:51 PM

42. I've never particapated in BF, I can't tolerate crowds also I'm a tradionalist. nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:19 PM

46. My family consist of my mother who is working

 

and so am I..

I have no siblings nor do I celebrate "holidays"

I also wont be "celebrating" christmas either


You need to consider millions in this country are single, dont give a fuck about family who are distant/abusive/non existent, etc


I also wont be shopping either

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:19 PM

47. Consumerism is awesome.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:32 PM

49. LOL, I remember my grandmother complaining that Professional Football was going to

destroy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is still here and doing fine. If some gullible chumps want to stand in line for perceived savings, more power to them. It doesn't affect me or my family. One of the worst things about DU is how anything, no matter how noble the sentiment is just grist for some malcontent's hatred.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:37 PM

50. Noam Chomsky, on the 'Philosophy of Futility'

"The goal for the corporations is to maximize profit and market share. And they also have a goal for their target, namely the population. They have to be turned into completely mindless consumers of goods that they do not want. You have to develop what are called 'Created Wants'. So you have to create wants. You have to impose on people what's called a Philosophy of Futility. You have to focus them on the insignificant things of life, like fashionable consumption. I'm just basically quoting business literature. And it makes perfect sense. The ideal is to have individuals who are totally disassociated from one another. Whose conception of themselves, the sense of value is just, 'how many created wants can I satisfy?' We have huge industries, public relations industry, monstrous industry, advertising and so on, which are designed from infancy to mold people into this desired pattern."


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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:41 PM

52. I don't think as many people do the Thanksgiving thing as some think


People that have families don't live near them like they used to, and people's lives are too busy for a holiday that falls during the workweek.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #52)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:52 PM

53. None of my family lives in my state. I ALWAYS celebrate Thanksgiving...alone.

No, it's not sad. Because it's by choice. It's my favorite day of the year!

I make it a special day, just for me and my doggies.

I cook a Thanksgiving dinner for me and my dogs. I watch part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And I watch old movies on TCM (or...this year the CHILL network is having horror movies all day, like "Franksgiving!") I may do a couple of things I feel like doing, like a minor home project or some online shopping (for things I NEED or maybe for Christmas gifts, but I don't buy many of those).

I don't usually hit the Black Friday sales. Too crowded. If I want to get something on holiday sale, I'll do Cyber Monday (BUT IT IS FOR SOMETHING I WAS GOING TO GET, ANYWAY! I try not to let the stores tell ME what to buy.)

It's a great time! I get four days off work in a row. It's glorious, the weather is great, my maple tree is in full autumn color, my dogs are frisky. I take the dogs for a long walk on Thanksgiving. We go to sleep early, all fat and happy.

Love it.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #53)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:07 AM

61. I'm not saying no one celebrates it, just I don't think it's as universal as it once was


as a holiday. I also don't think there are as many people who now take the Friday off as well. It's a one day off do nothing thing for lot's of people.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:59 PM

54. Just on general principal,...

...I catagorically REFUSE to go black fridaying.

PEACE!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:01 PM

55. Sheeple are easily led. How many of youse guys have an Apple product?

How many of you stood in line to get that Apple product?

I watch this over and over in America. Some company hypes up something, a new gizmo or a big sale shopping day or whatever, and people get all excited and just HAVE to have it or do it or buy it. It's hard not to get sucked into it.

But I guess people can get sucked into things, because it keeps happening. Even though someone has an iPhone, they feel the need to get an upgraded iPhone (it's THE thing to have! it's so much better!).

But these hypes can be resisted, if you live your buying life differently. If you learn to distinguish between NEED and WANT, that helps. And try not to spend money, period. That puts a brake on many purchases.

You save a lot of money, a lot of stress, a lot of time. You buy what you NEED, then what you WANT (Christmas gifts are a WANT, BTW)...and when you shop the sales, you look for those things you've already identified as needing or wanting to buy.

I still get caught up in it. My heart will actually start beating faster, when I'm heading to a store that I know will have a lot of cheap good stuff on sale. But I'm able to resist most of it.

Christmas to me does not mean gifts, for me or anyone. I buy them for children, but not adults, unless they insist on buying for me, which of course means I have to get them something. Silly.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:24 PM

60. I always refuse to buy anything on BF.

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