It’s Friday at 4 a.m. Lines of groggy shoppers spill into the parking lot, gripping their crinkled coupons. When the automatic doors open, the U.S. version of The Running of the Bulls begins, and it’s every consumer for themselves.
The height of the “Black Friday” shopping period was just a few weeks ago, when Americans rushed to take part in the day after Thanksgiving sales. On news broadcasts that night, viewers saw a recap of the day’s events – middle-aged women rushing through department stores, pushing aside their fellow shoppers, all for the sake of finding the best doorbuster deals.
Unfortunately, the “Black Friday” tradition has become a staple in the United States, synonymous with the ideals of overspending and consumerism: two ideals that inspire a very short Christmas list this year – “make some changes.”
It’s because of that need for change that filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (of “Super Size Me” fame) made a film highlighting a group of anti-consumerists who are singing and preaching their “Stop Shopping” gospel. Spurlock’s film is a documentary that follows Bill Talen in his quest to promote anti-consumerism. Since 1999, Talen has proclaimed himself a reverend of the Church of Stop Shopping. Today, his congregation numbers in the thousands.
Although Spurlock’s documentary might highlight some of the more extreme followers of the anti-consumerism movement, the filmmaker does highlight an area of concern during the holiday season.
Globally, 20 percent of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86 percent of total private consumption expenditures, according to Globalissues.org.
There’s no reason for college students, and Americans in general, to have to fall into the pit of holiday overspending. Instead, there are a slew of other ways to show someone that they are an important part of your life. Be creative, because contrary to what the commercial says, every kiss doesn’t have to begin with Kay.
Finding the perfect gift for those on your list is often a daunting task that provides more stress and anxiety than it seems worth.
By adhering to the old motto of “’tis better to give than to receive,” people have become overwhelmed by the very ideals of shopping and overspending.