We have been duly informed of the record-setting spending on this last Black Friday and, no doubt, today’s Cyber Monday spending will also break the record. This is good news for those who are in business (as indeed I am). But is it good news in the Big Picture? What Big Picture? It’s the picture of the Earth running out of resources, as surely we are, while folks still get their thrill by buying stuff. The American public has again validated their characterization as consumers, first and foremost. That’s who we are. That’s what we live for – to buy stuff.
This characterization was yet more forcefully confirmed by the news footage of Black Friday shoppers – the midnite rush, the fights, the pepper spray. Having watched with fascination this televised mayhem, one can easily envisage a new reality series – Gladiatorial Shopping, where participants in an arena fight over various prized shopping items.
Can we wean ourselves off of this addiction? Can we start to learn to live with less? I think we better.