Abby Martin remarks on the consumerist tradition of ‘Black Friday,’ urging holiday shoppers to buy local.
Tag Archives | Consumerism
This won’t be news to most disinfonauts, but here are some details you can share with your less informed friends and family. Tiffany Hsu writes at the Los Angeles Times:
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As the hardiest of shoppers prepare for the annual Black Friday consumption frenzy, many are convinced it’s their one shot at a great deal.But “that’s not even close to the truth,” said Matthew Ong, senior retail analyst at online personal finance company NerdWallet Inc. Bargain hunters can — and, in some cases, should — avoid the Black Friday weekend crush, several experts said. Many characterize the shopping bonanza as an expertly marketed ploy to capitalize on shoppers’ fear of missing out. By dangling a small batch of irresistible savings, stores land hordes of hopeful shoppers all scheming to score the retail version of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Yet only a tiny percentage of customers end up with the most desirable deals.
Hand to God when I saw the commercial for this game I thought it was a parody from Adbusters or The Yes Men. Apparently, it’s real. Even better? It’s from a company called “Spin Masters.”
Logo is the game that puts your consumer knowledge to the test! Show off your knowledge of popular brands in this hilarious game of pop-culture. Our life is full of things – from chocolate to cereal, football to flowers – and they all have logos. But could you name them if you saw them? The first person to make it into the Win Zone and answer all the questions correctly wins! Tap into the knowledge you’ve piled up over the years and discover astonishing facts and surprises that will entertain the entire family!
Via the Raw Story, a study suggests that corporate values have so reshaped our thinking and behavior that merely seeing a fast food symbol renders us less able to derive joy from nature scenes and music:
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Focus on time efficiency could be making the small things in life harder to enjoy. The research, published online in Social Psychological and Personality Science, found people exposed to fast-food symbols were less likely to find pleasure in beautiful pictures and music. The research also found those living in neighborhoods with a higher concentration of fast-food restaurants were less likely to savor pleasurable experiences.
House and his colleagues decided to examine fast food — and McDonald’s in particular — because it “has arguably become the ultimate symbol of time efficiency.”
In their first analysis, which included 280 participants from the United States, the researchers found greater fast-food concentration in one’s neighborhood was associated with reduced savoring of emotional responses to enjoyable experiences.
A great graphic from Australia’s Herald Sun demonstrates why you really should try not to buy processed foods, Big Pharma drugs and cosmetics … or pretty much anything else! The companies to avoid: Coca Cola; Pepsico; Johnson & Johnson; P&G; Nestlé; Kraft; General Mills; Unilever; Mars; and Wrigley.
Ahhh Football season. The crisp feel of fall winds and the sound of drunkenness in the afternoon. There is absolutely nothing more distinctly and disturbingly American than football culture. So, you get a bunch of dudes who may or may not drink very often incredibly drunk in the middle of the afternoon. If their team wins, they get increasingly wasted and elated. If they lose they get dangerously sauced and pissed off. Yeah, that’s gonna end well for the kids.
Don’t fool yourself. Football (or any sport for that matter) wouldn’t exist in its insanely bloated capacity if weed and hallucinogens weren’t outlawed back in the day. People would probably be more into fucking and playing the electro delay sitar. Maybe there’d be porno sitar players. I don’t know. What I do know is that alcohol is legal and because of that, football culture is fucking PERFECT. You work a dumbshit job all day but hell, it’s all worth it because on the weekend you get to throw back drink after drink and yell at people who could kick the living crap out of you.… Read the rest
Mental Floss on Anna Jarvis, founder of Mothers’ Day, who later tried have the holiday destroyed:
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Jarvis soon soured on the commercial interests associated with the day. She wanted Mother’s Day “to be a day of sentiment, not profit.” Beginning around 1920, she urged people to stop buying flowers and other gifts for their mothers, and she turned against her former commercial supporters. She referred to the florists, greeting card manufacturers and the confectionery industry as “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.”
She attempted to stop the floral industry by threatening to file lawsuits and by applying to trademark the carnation together with the words “Mother’s Day,” though she was denied the trademark.
Jarvis’s ideal observance of Mother’s Day would be a visit home or writing a long letter to your mother. She couldn’t stand those who sold and used greeting cards: “Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card.”
In one of her last appearances in public, Jarvis was seen going door-to-door in Philadelphia, asking for signatures on a petition to rescind Mother’s Day.
It is one of the most unsettling pieces of film that I've ever seen, reducing advertising to a set of blank and bland facts, to be recited out of the mouths of an apparently arbitrary collection of sports stars. What are the celebrities doing in other people's houses? The ordinary people, trying to go about their days in peace and privacy, exude a sad resignation that capitalism now drops (real? hallucinatory?) celebrities into their bathrooms and kitchens, to talk at them uninvited. Is this a warning of some kind?
Wear a mask, pay cash, and break out your old brick cell phone. Consumer Reports tells all:
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High-resolution video cameras monitor all areas in and outside the store. With facial-recognition software, your mug shot can be captured and digitally filed. Ditto for your car’s license plate. Stores don’t provide sufficient disclosure, so you can’t opt out to protect your privacy.
Gaze trackers are hidden in tiny holes in the shelving and detect which brands you’re looking at and how long for each. There are even mannequins whose eyes are cameras that detect age, sex, ethnicity, and facial expression.
Your mobile phone is an excellent device for tracking your shopping route. Retailer tracking systems can identify individual shoppers by monitoring your phone’s International Mobile Subscriber Identity number (constantly transmitted from all cell phones to their service providers) or Media Access Control address (transmitted when the device’s Wi-Fi is enabled, which is the default setting on most devices).
Craving the excitement that consumerism arouses, Darius Kazemi designed the Amazon Random Shopper, which buys random object each month, and documents the results. Could this randomized consumption prove more rewarding than shopping according to our supposed needs, desires, and tastes?
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Recently I’ve been making a bunch of weird stuff that randomly generates things. The first iteration of this was going to be a program that bought me stuff that I probably would like. But then I decided that was too boring.
How about I build something that buys me things completely at random? Something that just… fills my life with crap? How would these purchases make me feel? Would they actually be any less meaningful than the crap I buy myself on a regular basis anyway?
So I built Amazon Random Shopper. It grabs a random word from the Wordnik API, then runs an Amazon search based on that word and buys the first thing that’s under budget.