Rats, it's not our day. We have to wait two more days.
Thursday in the U.S. of A. was THANKSGIVING, where you spend time with your family (I did, and, never mind the comedians, I really like my family), eat turkey (I did indeed, and dinner was delicious—thanks, Barbara and Charlie), watch football (are you kidding? I would have to wear black and weep the whole time), and reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.
I did that, and boy do I ever have a lot to be thankful for...starting with the fact that my son Xander is having a very successful first year at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Well, no, starting with the fact that I'm still on the right side of the grass at a few ticks shy of 57. But I did a complete inventory of the year. A lot of bad things have happened to me and mine this year. It's been a sort of Annus Horribilis, to quote Sir Edward Ford by way of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. But there are good things in every life on the right side of the grass, and of those, Xander's good experience in college this year (he started in January is finishing up his second semester now) is no. 1 in mine.
I have the TOP community to thank for that, indirectly...it is mirabilis that I'm able to afford to send him to college just when he needs to be sent. So, thank you so much.
But I digress. To continue my litany: next came BLACK FRIDAY, a day of happy shopping gluttony. Traditionally (the "tradition" started recently), the name comes from the fact that it's the first day that malls, big box stores, and giant retailers begin to turn a profit for the year. This is most likely a red herring, as most giant retailers and chains have a positive net income every day of the year. It is also alleged to be the number one shopping day of the year in the United States, which also turns out to usually be wrong—many of the ten days just before Christmas see more shoppers and more revenue for retailers. Most likely, Black Friday is a (successful) attempt to get as many shoppers as possible into the Christmas shopping habit and mindset early, to usefully extend the pre-Christmas shopping season.
Watching the news last night, I noticed that an extremely positive spin was put on the Black Friday stories. I suppose this could be voluntary propaganda, but it appears that many people—especially, according to our news, women—really enjoy black Friday, and many people shop in an extended marathon that lasts many hours. Of course I had dark, sardonic, and amusing thoughts about that, but I will spare you.
So, to continue, today is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY—and this, I thought, was surely TOP's day! You want small? TOP's gross revenues are measured in the tens of thousands, we have a mighty workforce of one plus the help of many friends and the kindness of strangers, a mascot who is always game but mainly just sleeps and barks at the mailman, and a sprawling world headquarters located in what used to be the semi-redundant "front parlor" of my badly-designed little house. (I really do wonder what was in the head of the person who determined the layout of my house, but that's a sardonic, amusing post for another day.)
But it turns out that Small Business Saturday, a tradition since way back in the hazy mists of 2011 and largely the result of altruistic efforts by American Express, "encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local" (per Wikipedia).
Whoops, I guess that's not us after all.
But more on this head on Monday.
Meanwhile, do you ever notice that when I take a day off I don't actually take the day off? Today I'm supposed to be off, but I've written this. Thanksgiving was supposed to be work-free, but I wrote that post about, well, Thanksgiving. I don't appear to do a very good job of not-working.
You'd think I enjoy this, or something.
Want something photographic to do today? Look into The Pigs, by Carlos Spottorno, which must be the most creative photobook of 2013. The photographer explains:
PIGS is a term coined by the business and financial press as a way to refer to Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain during their current financial plight.
I have attempted to illustrate the stereotypes brought up by the term PIGS. In other words, what we would see if we were to translate into images the articles we read in the financial press. This is how I imagine economists see us.
The book mimics in form an issue of The Economist magazine. It's not on sale in the U.S. yet, although you can pre-order it, which I have done. (It's priced like a magazine, too, more or less.) There are two nice videos including a flip-through.
Finally, in case you want to get started on Cyber Monday unconscionably early....
(Thanks to Martin Parr)
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
No featured comments yet—please check back soon!