6 comments Friday, November 24, 2006

Dear America and American Consumers:

It never ceases to amaze me how much time and effort the advertising executives of America spend trying to swindle us, the American consumers, on the day after Thanksgiving. From "two for one" deals to "super savings," to "double discounts," it's truly disgusting the extent that advertising will go. No where is this more apparent than at the exemplar of our American values: the mall.

As soon as Halloween is over, Christmas lights and plastic ornaments deck the halls, terraces, and stairs while music proclaiming "good cheer" and "peace to your fellow man" plays in the background to the tune of an ironic juxtaposition. We flock to the modern marketplace on this day, each enticed by the glow of the pseudo-holiday spirit proclaiming cheerful, but affected, festive attitudes. They want us to spend money. They trick us with the deals. They make us desire the goods. They tell us to want it all, and, since we're probably on credit, they tell us to disregard the costs. It's a consumer-eat-consumer world on this day (that's practically literal too!), and that's why the day after Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, the epitome of disintegrating American values.

It would be ill of me to try and canonize myself and say that I do not partake in such consumption because I do and I know almost everyone else does. However, I do not join in the throngs of blithe bevies flocking the walkways of the mall. In fact, I do not shop any more during this season than I do during the rest of the year.1 However, I get the impression that most people in America spend more time at the mall during this season than any other time during the year.2 I also get the feeling that people really don't care about the "holiday spirit" unless it includes flipping you off because you stole their parking spot or pushing you out of the way so they can get the last copy of the latest game for the newest video game system. Happy Holidays, indeed!

The more I've thought about the "holiday season" over the last few years, the more I've started to wonder when everything changed so drastically. When did the "holiday season" become the season of pleasing by reason of the dollar bill? When did Christmas lose its original authentic meaning and transform into "Consumermass"?

I know it's pointless to ask these questions and ponder them away, but when Thanksgiving ends and the "holiday season" begins, I start to become depressed.3 The bonhomie of togetherness instantly dissolves into the detached demeanor of separateness. No one seems to truly care about anyone else. There is little to no compassion. And, ultimately, the true colors of America, green and red, illuminate the sky to proclaim our dire affections: money and greed at the cost of blood, sweat, and tears.

This is never a season of warmth.4 This is never a season of good cheer.5 This is, instead, a representation of our dire afflictions.6 Our greed. Our recklessness. Our lack of compassion. Our thoughtlessness. Our societies' increasing detachment from community, from being connected and concerned. I'm not saying we should become the share-happy society of Sesame Street, but it wouldn't hurt to care a little more. It wouldn't hurt to express compassion. To spare some money for those who are less fortunate. To give instead of get.7

I challenge you to do something different this year. Do something, anything, for the better of the season, for the real reason of the "holiday season." It's not enough to accept things as they are or to say that you'll do something different. Show someone you actually care without the typical drop of few dollar bills. Donate to an organization. Give your time. Give to someone in need. Prove that our "holiday season" isn't what the corporations and advertising executives want us to believe its about, but what we, as a community and a society, truly care about--each other.

With hope for a better "holiday season,"


1: In fact, I'm certain I shop less. So much for the law of supply and demand!
2: Partially due to the long lines, the hordes of people, the bitchy sales attendants, and the lack of knowledgeable employees.
3: In addition to my bouts with SAD. Why does the sun play tricks on me, why!
4: Unless someone has puked on you after drinking copious amounts of alcohol, but that's not really the kind of warmth you want.
5: Unless you are drinking and are in the company of good friends and you aren't throwing up!
6: Of course, too much drinking could be a sign of a dire affliction too.
7: But not STDs, no one really wants those.

0 comments Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hope you're having a rock'n rad Thansgiving and that you are with the ones you love. Be thankful! ;)

2 comments Thursday, November 16, 2006

I can't write much at the moment as I'm playing a very difficult game of catch-up, but I can say the following:

  • The tournament went well. Our team got first place overall. My debate partner and I broke to semi-finals. I broke in Impromptu and got 4th place. (My CA did not break at all. Apparently religion in such a context is an issue down in the South).
  • My car key hasn't been fixed. My brother didn't get around to fixing it in the six days that I was gone. Apparently he was too busy.
  • My computer still isn't fixed. (See above reasoning/explanation).
  • I have two papers to finish before Friday and I'm going insane in the process. Hopefully sanity will return as the holiday break sets in. Hopefully.
  • Things are starting to run smoothly, but I'm not holding my breath because I've had too many things go wrong over the last three weeks to guarantee that things are, once again, going well.
  • I got a wonderful card in the mail today from Carrie, my best friend since the 2nd grade. It was, indeed, the perfect card for the occasion. I appreciate it deeply. Thank you! It brightened my day and made me feel better.

If my computer is fixed this weekend, you'll know. If not, well, I'll be around here and there. *sigh* In the immortal words of Dori from Finding Nemo (which also happens to be both Carrie's and my theme for the semester [along with "I will fight!"]): "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."

4 comments Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Howdy! Alas, I'm typing from another random computer on campus since I have not been able to get my computer fixed. I'm confident things will change for the better though.

In the meantime, I'm heading down south to escape the horrors around me for some rowdy times and slow talk'n; some alligator meat(!) and cajun food; and, of course, for those sweet southern belles! Don't let those charming items fool you though. It's going to be tumultuous weekend as well as a time-consuming one. Still, I'm looking forward to it. Although the tournaments are always a little different down south, I can't help but enjoy the pace of life there. There's some disparate and atypical about it; but that's what's so fascinating about being down there.

Wish me luck! I'm afraid my boyish charm ain't much too appeal'n since I'm a Yankee.

3 comments Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You know that movie Borat!? Yeah?

Well, you should go see it. It's fsck'n hilarious. You will laugh so hard that you'll cry.

In the words of Borat, "It's nice!"

3 comments Sunday, November 05, 2006

God might not hate me and, sure, I could be fabricating and embellishing the "series of unfortunate events" (though, I assure you that I am not); but I certainly am unlucky.

I turned on my computer Saturday morning only to find out that she was a little sick. Apparently she was corrupted by a malicious file and now she's having problems starting up. I'm getting her fixed as soon as I possibly can, but I don't know how long it is going to take since I'm really dependent upon my brother right now (for transportation, for getting food, etc.).

It would be ridiculous of me to say that I am not feeling stressed, annoyed, or agitated, but I'm not feeling it so much. I've had so many unfortunate things happen over the last two weeks that I've learned to let go. It's almost like when you drink too much water and your body absorbs as much as it can hold. It has to filter some of it out, so it does. That's how my mind and body are dealing with stress at the moment. I've been inundated by the stress, but it's not having as grand an effect because I've already had enough.

However, all of these unfortunate events have, in fact, taught me something. If there is anything that I've learned, anything at all, it is that I can only do so much. I can't control everything. Things will not always go my way. Sometimes situations will arise, many of which will happen one after another, that will create problems for me; but I can only solve them within the confines of which I am and belong to. It sucks. It's shitty. It's damn near deplorable. However, it isn't the end of the world.

I'm going to get by as I always do.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

If you have been unable to see my blog lately it is because my server has been down. I'm not sure why or when this happened as I was not notified by my service provider., but hopefully the issue will be resolved soon.

It's fixed now.

8 comments Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Lately I've noticed that I've been saying "You're good to go" an awful lot. While the phrase does, indeed, work to describe countless situations, I'm starting the think that I sound like a broken record for Taco Bell. I've also noticed that I say "We'll see" and "interesting" too much. So, from this day forth, I plan to banish these nuanced phrases from my vocabulary. I'm not sure what I'll exchange them with, but I think almost anything is better than sounding like an advertisement.

On the flipside, I think everyone should start using the phrase "emo-depresso." My friend Chace coined this term, I believe. It's used as an adjective to describe someone who is being overly emotional and depressive; or to describe someone who is listening to way too much EMO music and, as a result, is depressive.

For example:
Jane, quit being emo-depresso! It's only mouth herpes. OR
Well it's no wonder you're feeling so emo-depresso, Jacob. You've been listening to way too much Bright Eyes and Dashboard Confessional.

***NOTE: "Emo-depresso" is not a Starbucks drink consisting of emotional decaffeinated espresso. However, if it was it would be cold, black, bitter, and filled with tears of anguish. No whip cream. No sprinkles. No joy.***

I also think everyone should use the word "skiff." From what I can tell "skiff" is used to describe a small film or layer of something. For example, "The ground was covered by a thin skiff of snow." I don't know. I think it sounds unique. It's certainly easier than the GRE words I was using a while ago. Heh!


Now that I am hooked up with Netflix and loving it, I was wondering what other movies I should check out. I've been on a constant rental stream of Six Feet Under (SFU), but I haven't seen any movies that have jumped out at me. I can rent two movies at a time, so I am open to suggestions. Do you have any ideas? Any movies that you think are "must see"? Let me know. I'm open to almost any movie and I'm interested in seeing something entertaining aside from SFU and Firefly (Well, come on, you had to know that I was watching that too! Inara and Kaylee. Mmmm!)