The Logical Philosopher

Monday, December 19, 2005

Corporate Christmas

* Maybe it's just my abundance of time to watch life move around me this year; * Maybe it's my altered perspective on life as a quasi-maturing parent of a 3 year old who has made the link between presents and Christmas time; * Maybe it's the fact that I've started to read No Logo and The Corporation;

... But doesn't Christmas seem very corporate this year ... ?
I was downtown today to pickup a few last Christmas presents and, even on a Monday afternoon, it was as busy as a typical Saturday is. In the mall people seem to be escaping from the cold, cheeks flushed from the winter wind yet their fingers warm from swiping debit cards and signing on the dotted line.

"Where's the travel books" blurted a short lady to the bookstore clerk, "...and I'm in a hurry" she hissed, her flushed red cheeks adding to the 'don't fuck with me' look to her face. I personally would have sent her to the New Age section to see if she could go find herself, but I suppose the clerk didn't have that luxury...

In the electronics store it wasn't much better "I need an Ipod shuffle - and make it quick!" an elderly man snapped at the young clerk. "And what's this extra warranty thing? Don't YOU warranty the products you sell?" I honestly thought he was going to have a coronary and was hoping to leave in case I had to perform mouth to mouth on him. "Why do I have to pay extra for that?", he seethed.

It went downhill once his card was denied after reaching his limit for the day. "I'm sorry sir," the clerk said, wincing as if to know what was coming next. "Christ almighty! What a crock! Run it wait" he stammered, reaching for another card out of his wallet. He threw another one down and impatiently tapped his fingers "Try this one, and make it quick, I've got somewhere to be!". At least he remembered to say 'Christ' in the spirit of the season.

These individuals were pretty representative of what I saw today. The bustling masses, spending more in one day than an entire individual needs to live on in most other parts of the world. Giving for the sake of giving, or was it giving for the reciprocal sake of getting - I got the impression most people were succumbing to the corporate logos and marketing because it was that time of year. I hope nobody gets me anything this year if that's the attitude they have.
Does joining the masses make us all pawns to the corporations and lemmings in the marketing of life?

Or maybe I'm just realizing the world without my typical, neatly packaged-by-semester academic views for what it really is...

If that's the case: Shit. I think I want to go back to school...