Just in case the Mayans are right and this is the final editorial I ever write, I want to go on record about some things.
I’m writing this piece on Black Friday, while every once in a while stopping to look up at news reports about how ridiculous we’ve become as a society. I just watched people fighting over phones at a Wal-Mart — literally fighting.
This is exactly why Americans are despised by so many other populations. This gluttonous and fervent drive for mediocrity and consumption has reduced us to a bunch of ignoramuses, and our demise — which will happen — will be celebrated by cultures near and far.
But what really bothers me more than anything is how misguided this pursuit is at its core, and how I could see condoning it if the circumstance were just slightly different.
Say, for example, instead of watching people in Wal-Mart fighting over stupid and cheap electronics, people were packed into a store like Albums on the Hill or Atomic Records and everyone was throwing elbows to get a new album. Or what if, like back in the old days, instead of lining up for deals on TVs we were all lined up waiting for concert tickets to go on sale. I could almost support that.
But again, only under certain circumstances. If they were fighting over a crappy pop album that no one will remember by Spring 2013, I’d say, “No good.” But if they were fighting over, say, a My Morning Jacket special release, I’d jump right in.
And that, I suppose, is what really hurts here. How have we become so misguided as a culture that we care about a piece of plastic crap that will be outdated in a few months, rather than a piece of plastic (or vinyl) that can last for decades and bring joy over and over and over?
When did we turn the corner as a society where that became not only o.k., but also the norm?
Black Friday will be over by the time this editorial hits the streets, but the holiday shopping season will still have several weeks of life left in it, for better or worse. I think the only way we can make it “better” is by exercising our rights as consumers. Skip the big box stores, hit your local retailers, support local artists and musicians in the process, and tell them that we sent you.
Remember, too, that local artists usually have swag available on their website, and a purchase in that direction can make a massive difference to those artists, as can ticket and album sales. If you need suggestions, look at our best of 2012 list on pages 28 and 29.
Support our scene!
See you at the shows.