Blog

Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

I bought nothing on Black Friday

A mainstay of Thanksgiving week is the ever popular Black Friday. Remember when we actually had to wait in lines until the clock strikes 12am on the Friday after Thanksgiving? I personally don’t because I’ve an aversion of lines, but nevertheless what used to be an Olympian effort just to score that television for dirt cheap prices (only five available at this price!) is now a leisure stroll through your preferred Internet shopping sites. Heck, most of the discounts were already available before Thanksgiving.

This Black Friday I spent absolutely zero dollars because I’ve implemented intense austerity so to have sufficient funds for an 911 next year. Otherwise I would’ve totally bought that LG OLED television I’ve been eyeing for many years now, plus the just-released new Apple Macbook Air was looking tasty as well. Smart people take the opportunity to do their Christmas shopping during Black Friday, and I’d do that too if not for the fact I simply make personalized photo Calendars to give out to everyone.

In the social media age, Black Friday is not replete without people commentating on the sad state of consumerism and how people are spending money they wouldn’t have otherwise if not for the steep discounts. I saw many tweets to that effect on Black Friday, high-horsed people lamenting the decay of human logic and decency. The few videos of customers physically fighting over a piece of merchandise is always entertaining. Seriously, is it really worth hurting a fellow human being to save a few dollars? Remember: it’s Thanksgiving!

Indeed I don’t doubt that a significant chunk of the population is foolishly induced by Black Friday price-cuts to spend (more) cavalierly. Our United States does have a consumer debt problem after all; it remains too bloody easy to simply put purchases on credit cards and procrastinate the worry of paying to much later (or never: hello bankruptcy!). That said, there’s also another significant chunk of the populace who are financially responsible and leverage Black Friday to buy items they’ve been wanting to at the best possible price. Therefore one shouldn’t use a broad brush to paint the entire consumer base as degenerates of the capitalist system.

Speaking of prices, I do enjoy how Black Friday shines a light on how overpriced items during other times of the year. For example the Google Pixel 3 XL phone that was released only a month ago at $899 can be had at an $200 dollar discount. Anybody buying that phone at full price afterwards ought to feel quite shortchanged.

Overall I think Black Friday is a good time and we all have our idiosyncratic ways to celebrate the occasion. This year I happen to buy nothing but perhaps next year will be different. I’ll certainly be looking at 911-related products for sure.

Rays of fire.

Rays of fire.

$1,000 for a tin-can*

People are getting on Tiffany and Co for its new collection called 'Everyday Objects', in which they sell ornate mundane objects like a sterling silver tin-can for a thousand dollars. 

I don't get the outrage.

Sure, items like silver toy blocks seem on the surface superfluous and money down the drain, but it isn't your money down that drain, is it? Why are people caught up with what a company decides to sell and what other people chooses to buy? Even if I think it's silly (and I do), if someone will gladly part with their $400 for a silver triangle ruler, bully to capitalism. 

I guess not many are familiar with the time the streetwear company Supreme sold a limited-edition brick  - yes, an solid ordinary brick with the Supreme logo on it. While it retailed for only $30, in the secondary market the bricks were going for about the same range as what Tiffany and Co is selling its new collection, and people bought. 

Let companies sell all the ridiculous stuff they want; it may be absurd and it's indeed good for a laugh, but let's stop with think-pieces and twitter diatribes. 

Because we've all spent relatively insane money on things others would find laughable. I'll go: I had a perfectly good car entirely paid for, yet I went and spent many tens of thousand on a brand new car just to be cool and fast. I don't regret it, but from a strict financial standpoint it was pretty idiotic. Thankfully, the world and our being isn't run strictly on financial motivations. 

I'll gladly buy a $9,000 silver ball of yarn if I could.