First the bad news: as if you didn’t already know, today is “Black Friday” in the United States – the sort-of official start of the Christmas shopping season – and the busiest shopping day of the year. So busy, with so many people frantic to rake in the deals that stores put on specially, that in years past people have been trampled to death during the rush…
Now the good news: you don’t have to go shopping today.
You don’t have to get trampled to death, or stampeded into “buying” into the consumerist frenzy.
For a number of years now, as an alternative to Black Friday madness and consumerism more generally, the Friday after Thanksgiving has also been “Buy Nothing Day.” One of the groups that has most strongly promoted “Buy Nothing Day” since its founding is the gang at AdBusters.
One thing you could do instead of going shopping is listen to music…
Or you might listen to the Lux Radio Theater version of The Shop Around the Corner with the voices of Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche. The earlier film version was directed by the great comedy director, Ernst Lubitsch, and starred James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. It is showing a few times on TCM over the holidays – you can find the specific dates on my round-up up selections from their schedule (here).
The Shop Around the Corner was remade loosely a few years ago as You’ve Got Mail, the reboot of the romantic comedy pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I am tempted to list it as another guilty pleasure – I have a serious soft spot for both of those stars, and for romantic comedies in general. It doesn’t measure up against their original pairing in Sleepless in Seattle, nor to the original Shop Around the Corner, but despite my antipathy to the corporate takeover of the bookstore trade, and to AOL, I still enjoy it.
This really had nothing to do with “Songs of the Season,” but starting tomorrow or the next day I will be posting properly festive music, hopefully on at least a daily basis…
For more on Black Friday…
- Black Friday (shopping) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- 10 Black Friday shopping tips – Boston.com
- iPhone Apps for Black Friday Shopping Madness – Mobile and Wireless – News & Reviews
- Black Friday Ads – The Official Black Friday 2010 Website for Black Friday Deals!
- Buy Nothing Day – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Buy Nothing Day + Carnivalesque Rebellion | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters