Every car I ever owned was used, the best a 1955 Ford Victoria bought in 1962 for $150. Drove it to Logan, Utah,
and back. Others took me coast-to-coast and border to border. And I never owned a house.
Yet I’ve been a reliable consumer, had record players and record collections from shellac, to vinyl, reel-to-reel tapes,
cassettes, CDs, and downloads. Bought the first tape recorder on the market, a Brush Soundmirror. Tried to get interested in clothes, but whatever I bought looked like it came from Sears Roebuck. except for my first civilian suit after the army, custom -made with a crescent shaped handkerchief pocket I drew myself. It came from Sears Roebuck.
I’ve had plenty of other “stuff,” “gear,” “loot,” did my part for consumerism and the manufacturing industry. However, filling shelves and closets was never my idea of happiness. Imelda de Marcos and Evita Peron were into shoes, thousands of pairs each. I call that a fetish.
Now, judging by Black Friday, fetish is all over the map. Lining up for 24 hours to buy stuff strikes me as desperation. Yet the media acts as if it were wacky but wonderful, like opera buffs who get on line at 6 AM and wait all day to see a show that night. I comprehend opera lovers, but not loot lovers.
Toys, trinkets, TV sets churned out in some Asian country, soon busted or obsolete, clothing or video games out of fashion by next season. Has America always been such a spiritual blank, or did it get that way when I wasn’t looking? Is Black Friday all that’s left of the American Dream?
Michele Bachmann wants an electrified double fence with a no-man’s land between, Herman Cain wants a moat with alligators, Rick Perry wants agents with night-vision binoculars, helicopters, and drones. All agree that the goal is an American Maginot line to keep out invading Mexicans looking for a piece of the American Dream.
Could be doing them a favor.