Dagny Taggart made that remark as a sarcastic reminder to her brother that the words one chooses can reveal a lot about the speaker’s character. This post isn’t called “Black Friday” because it’s about today being the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season, or because retailers everywhere hope that today will be the beginning of the sales trend that will help them to end the year with their “books in the black,” but rather because of what I see as a darker, unrecognized revelation behind the choice of the word “black” in both cases.
“Once again it’s that time of year when the red-suited storm troopers have come to hold our loved ones (and nation) hostage until we bankrupt ourselves fulfilling their ransom demands. However, I think that perhaps their masters will be disappointed this year, due to the fact that their previous ad-induced bling-bling flings have already pretty well deflated the bubble. Can anyone please explain to me why everyone is so surprised to find that the banks, including the little piggy, are empty, considering the deranged and frenzied spending binge we’ve been on for the past few years?”
And now, with everyone being sated from yesterday’s feeding frenzy and filled with a lust to spend inspired by weeks of impending sales notifications (not to mention the not-so-subtle reminders that our loved ones are depending on our generosity), I thought I’d take the opportunity offer a gentle reminder of where we actually came from, and how we got where we are, in the hopes that we’ll all take it easy and, for once, actually enjoy the holiday season ahead.
I want ice water.
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