Walking through the shops yesterday, I spied on the back wall of Debenhams a stack of Christmas paper and Christmas cards.
IT'S STILL AUGUST FFS!!
Easter eggs out the day after the January Sales, Halloween stuff out same time as Summer clothes, Christmas stuff out during the Summer Sales.
There are no seasons anymore. .
Just 'conveyor belt consumerism'.
We don't even have 'seasonal' vegetables anymore as they are force grown around the world and shipped to us at our convenience
Churning out 'When they're gone, they're gone' or 'Only three left' sales shpiel. I saw a sale once, ran for months and months claiming 'Only 9 left, when they're gone, they're gone' slogan - still selling them now!.
We know this is a lie, because if they keep selling, they will keep making them.
The 'toy every kid wants' drives parents into a shopping and stressed out frenzy at Christmas. Fighting over the 'last few' cybernetic kill 'em all games or 'Taylor Swift' doll that has fourteen phrases, three of which sell other Taylor Swift products*
You notice that they never make enough of the 'most wanted' toy for the Christmas stock, but bet your house on it that they'll be more than enough available once Christmas is over and disappointed kids and their parents will then spend additional money buying them in the January sales.
The consumer machine makes us want things, makes us believe our lives will be the better for having this or that product. A product is now a status symbol and you're a loser if you don't have it. You're not allowed to just not want it or not need it or not be able to afford it. Feeding their coffers and draining ours is the game.
Why do we allow them to do it?
'Keeping up with the Neighbours' died out years ago. Now we want to keep up with the Kardashians and their ilk, which is an impossible goal for 99% of the population.
It's a 'look what you can have even if you have no recognisable talent, but just by becoming a reality star' mentality. A young girl told a mum I know that she didn't need to pass her qualifications as she was going to be a reality TV star and marry someone rich.
We should stop and think - what do we actually need? As the Rolling Stones once sang 'You can't always get what you want, but you can get what you need.' (I would add 'usually')
May be if we could make ourselves happy with what we need and any extras are a bonus, we might actually be happier, probably healthier, definitely wiser and in not as much debt.
For debt makes a prisoner of all of us.
And on that note, my soap box is firmly tucked away for another year.
(* as far as I am aware there is no such doll, it's a made up one - I just picked one of the most popular young idols to make a point, sorry Taylor)
HappyWinter/Easter/StPatricksDay/Spring/Summer/Halloween/Autumn/Christmas/NewYear to you!!