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Commercialised Consumerism at Christmas.

You would think with Christmas being over us that people could finally relax; presents bought, everyone fed, stress relieved.

Not so, by the looks of things.  For some, the stress only starts now, as they rush to retailers to spend all that money like a herd of angry stampeding cattle, as if everyone’s taking a trip to the moon and the shops are going to be closed for a month.  What is it about the sales that somehow magically makes customers want to spend a lot more money than they usually would?  Are we so naive that we’ll buy something the minute it looks like the nice people selling us the product must be doing us a favour?  And while we may not have enough money or good will to buy it when its full price, it somehow seems a more attractive proposition with a cheeky little £5 off.  Because that’s a real big difference, isn’t it?!

This reminds me of everything I don’t like about Game staff.  No sooner have you walked into any Game store across the country than you’ve heard one of the ambitious staff leaping onto vulnerable parents and grandparents like a leopard on a rather slow moving antelope in the background.  No doubt each member of staff is given a certain number of preowned they have to sell over new games each week, and told to hammer home to every customer the ‘advantages’ of choosing such a purchase.  I don’t buy any of it.  It’s funny how they’ll tell them that there’s nothing separating the two, apart from price.  That’s not strictly true, of course.  The big difference between the two is the profit that the employer will recieve.  A new game, bought for the first time, is predominantly a profit for the makers of that particular product.  Someone then trades in that game, allowing the retailer a loophole through which they can then sell the product on again, recieving the full profit this time.  So while the price may be lower on the surface, in actual fact Game themselves are quite well off from it.

And it’s the thought that counts with presents, I say.  Unfortunately not everyone seems to think like this because the fact is no-one wants to get to know each other any more, not even within the family.  As you get older, people will start handing out money to appease you rather than putting a lot of time and effort into it.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing but more disappointing is their reasoning that they didn’t want to get you anything you wouldn’t like.  Great; Christmas is now no more than a popularity contest.  So scared are they of disappointing you that they just say you can have anything you want with my money.  It’s a very postmodern sort of thing.  We’ve gone past the gift-giving stage, the very nature of what Christmas is all about, and have reached a point where we prefer the means to buy our own gifts for ourselves and can’t be bothered putting the effort in for other people.

But still, don’t let me make you feel bad if any of this reminds you of yourself.  What do I know?  I’m just some guy who’s upset that Christmas is over and is now left with nothing else to do but entertain all the devilish thoughts of actual work he has to complete to a top class standard over the coming weeks.  Wish me luck.  Or not, if you’re feeling that offended.

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