Christmas in August?

by Timothy R. Sunday
File under: Fake Culture25 Aug 2013 12:20 EDT

If we continue to allow retailers to tell us when to celebrate Christmas, a duplicate holiday may emerge. As CNBC reports, the beginning of the shopping season has already been pushed back to August: 

The 'Christmas' shopping phenomenon is a prime example of a total death of rationality in a debt-based culture, the total loss of self-control and self-planning in an end of year materialistic frenzy to balance our books. For retailers, this means their financial books, which are dependent on a mob mentality of social pressure to drive holiday sales.

But for consumers there is also a kind of balancing, a spiritual and emotional one. You can't blame the retailers alone, since they are tapping into a deep vulnerability in the American psyche — a sentimental need to pretend to be close to friends and family once a year, an annual personal reminder that one is not supposed to feel alone at Christmas. This intimacy is difficult and stressful, if not impossible, for the typically strained American family, so these relationships are objectified into various and sundry physical objects — gifts. An honest assessment of the vocabulary used around this shopping season, always growing in length, reveals the psychology. One 'has to' buy something for the Aunt Suzy one sees once a year. It's not a gift. It's mutual social blackmail, designed to prop up failed relationships and a failed economy, where shopping has become more essential than manufacturing. 

In such a fake circumstance of forced generosity, spending money means saving money, as the article points out: 

You see, one saves money by shopping. In the same way, you have to buy everyone from your boss to your brother a gift because you genuinely care about all of them and have found something you know they will enjoy. It's the Kenyesian logic of both finance and personal relationships — you have to spend, because everyone else is doing it, and values are becoming very inflated and hard to discern. 

The result of this mentality is mass madness on an large scale, panics of the type one imagines ravaged superstitious villagers in the Middle Ages, but happening here and now, in our advanced 21st century society:

Of course, to be honest, most people engaging in this hysteria probably aren't even buying gifts. They just want get something for themselves, and the retailers understand this as well. 'Good will among men' has become an excuse to liquidate overstocked inventory in a ritual of extreme over-indulgence. Corruption, graft, and outright crime by public officials can't draw more than a handful of protesters, but the (imagined) opportunity to save a buck on a big screen TV will bring out the mass of humanity. 

The problem with fake holidays like modern Christmas is that they make it impossible to distinguish between real joy and pretended joy, real celebration and made for television specials. By so doing, they preclude the enjoyment of real festivals, and our ability to imagine what they might be like. Our souls have already been sold, made of Chinese plastic. Our highest ideals have become advertising slogans. Yet you can reclaim it all by simply refusing to go through the motions and having a real Christmas- on December 25th. 


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Tim says:31 Aug 2013 0:08 EDT
Marketers: Kill yourself. . . no, seriously, kill yourself.
X-Citizen says:26 Aug 2013 23:53 EDT
Another insightful article. I'm just old enough to remember when Christmas meant something. Now the holiday hangs in tatters - victim to the wolves. Americans will soon turn on each other. I don't know if a Syria like situation could happen in the USA, but it will be bad.
Any Non Mouse says:26 Aug 2013 15:23 EDT
The debt-fueled-money-machine is rapidly running out of steam.

Most big-box retailers are barely hanging on as it is. That's why they're resorting to these "Christmas In August" measures. However, despite their efforts, most people refuse to keep going further into debt to spend. And as a result of this, the whole house of cards is poised to collapse.

They can't allow this to happen so they'll print - they will print whatever it takes. And the value of the dollar will drop - slowly at first and then all at once.
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