December 15, 2004

Christmas grates again

I consider myself to be a happy person, optimistic and generally above board. Now, when I heard that TV3 weather guy say 'the silly season' last night, I think thats just fitting.

This time of year really is silly. Frankspace encapsulates the common robotic movement that happens every year, and it pains me to witness the continual move away from the point of having christmas and the holidays - friends, family and fun!

More and more, every year, advertising agencies come up with new, but not better ways of targeting us and trying to extract hard earned (not saved) cash from our pockets. Yes, its an industry and thats what it needs to do to survive, but scraping against the fabric of our society in the process really grates. Some bigger businesses are beginning to complain about the non-trading rule that applies at Christmas and Easter coz its a day they can't trade! Do I need to take Jesus' name in vain here? Will that help?

I interviewed Stuart Sontier from the NZ Buy Nothing Day group mid-November and ended up airing the interview 8 times over the week leading up to the day (which was Nov 26th). Note that the interview was 22 minutes in length and it was aired on a music radio station (and not an indy). These noble people are trying to remind us what we all know and remember, but in the madness that most cannot escape at this time of year, we tend to push it far far down and forget it.

The idea of Buy Nothing Day is to escape the ongoing consumerism that we are bombarded with and for ONE day, buy nothing. If everyone did this, yes there would be a blip in our economy, but there would also be a blip in the reduction of waste, a blip in offshore bank balances, and a giant message that the world would hear - that is - if the media outlets would report it. They do not, as they have politically charged parent companies to answer to, yet people like Stuart (and now myself) soldier on, seemingly in vain.

If you manage/d to buy nothing, then I'm betting you pretty much have a stress free Christmas and will ACTUALLY enjoy this time of year. Merry Christmas.

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