Had to mortgage the house to pay off the maxed out credit cards so I could do more shopping

When we were children, people we didn’t know came into our bedrooms at night and brainwashed us to believe in a deep state kind of way that it’s patriotic to overeat on Thanksgiving and overspend on Black Friday.

Wikipedia Photo

I don’t know what I bought today because I was on the run most of the time from rabid shoppers who kept trying to yank my latest deal out my hands before I got into the stolen armored car I was driving today. I seem to have a garage full of electronic equipment that will enrich my life along with the lives of the store owners and the corporate CEOs. It’s been a long day. It continues to be a long day because I’m writing this post from the lobby of a bank where I just cashed out a stack of I Bonds to make sure I had funds left for a stop at Quik Trip on the way home.

You probably have similar stories to tell, stories you’ll pass down to your children and grandchildren about the importance of buying lots of stuff. Nobody has even explained why we need the stuff, only that we need to buy it. If you leave it in the box it came in, your grandchildren can sell it for big bucks on Antiques Road Show 75 years from now. They (your grandchildren) will either think you were totally insane or the cat’s pajamas when they get the cash.

If the fates are with them (your grandchildren), that cash will be enough for ten or fifteen Black Friday’s worth of shopping to continue the tradition.  By then, people will probably be buying by rote without realizing how patriotic shopping was when the tradition started back in the 1950s.

I don’t mean to sound cynical about all this.



Memorial Day, a Day of Memories Sweet and Sad

At first light, the memories will find us. They are infinite and deep, though time has stripped away the individuals’ names, their faces even, who fell lifetimes ago on our behalf. Those who fell, fell for the future, for generations hardly close enough to dream about, for worlds not yet born and hopes not yet conceived.

Following the journeys of the fallen, we cannot help but think of Lincoln’s Words, “we can not dedicate…we can not consecrate…we can not hallow this ground.” It has already been consecrated, and we cannot add or detract from it as we keep the sweet and sad memories close in our hearts.

Before the twilight’s last gleaming, we will have followed our fathers and grandfathers, our mothers and grandmothers, our friends and our neighbors’ friends down the long miles of Memorial Day. It is, as Lincoln said in 1863, the “unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”

Our dedication comes at a great expense of time and money as we walk the aisles our ancestors walked according to the customs of their times. The aisles are more modern now: the pickle barrel and the checker board have long since been replaced with the folkways of a new century. But we are diligent. We soldier on from appliances to apparel, from tools to jewelry, from sports and fitness equipment to automotive sales.

When evening comes, the remains of the day will sit upon tables and counter tops in either paper or plastic comprising our developing memories, both sweet and sad, of our trek across the sacred ground, kept pure and holy for those whom we follow into the night.

JTpoliticspushcartCopyright (c) 2011 by Malcolm R. Campbell

Excerpted from the Pushcart nominated Jock Talks…Politics