Black Friday has exceeded all expectations! On what has become the most important shopping weekend of the year, at a time when the world financial system is on the verge of collapse and the US economy is suffering from malnutrition, there were 6 percent more shoppers than last year and each shopper spent an average of $400, which was an increase of 9 percent. What is the meaning of this? I see the long lines, the crowds, the pushing and shoving, the mad search for bargains as a result of two troubling factors: materialism and desperation. Some join in the frenzy because bargain prices hold the promise of owning more things for the same amount of money, an irresistible opportunity for one whose pleasure and perhaps even self-worth are derived from the possession of things, a victim of materialism. Others dive into the cauldron out of desperation to find the bargains that will allow them to survive the commercialization of Christmas which has inflicted everyone with the social pressure to exchange gifts. It’s all part of the capitalist process, of course. Growth is an absolute necessity. At a time when the economic future is uncertain, a 9 percent increase in sales is a cause of relief, for a while. However, the money that was spent on Thanksgiving weekend is money that can’t be spent tomorrow. Don’t be surprised if that fact makes itself felt long before Christmas itself. The stock market may be up 300 points, but there’s nothing to celebrate.
Madonna is the material girl living in a material world.