In the history of the Western European and American religious cycles, Easter used to be the biggest event. But ever since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, Christmas took over that position and has grown to monstrous size. This is due to it being a major ‘gift-giving’ entity. Retailers have created a monster that is the major focus of nearly all economic activity overall. That is, a huge hunk of our economic sales situation revolves around Christmas sales. The economy reels from one Christmas to the next with a hysteria/depression annual cycle that has unhinged our economy from any sane activity and turned it into a lopsided lurching monster that is highly unproductive and stressful.
The invention of the modern concept of ‘Santa Claus’ is a creation of Industrial Revolution retailers. The handing out of charity in winter to the very poor has been transformed into a crazy consumer crush designed to give maximum goods to the richest people. The sales of useless, trivial junk to the lower classes also is attached very much to this hysterical spending spree. And on top of all this, the new view of Christmas being an event where people pile up huge mountains of boxes and then rip up the paper and scatter it and the things in the boxes all over the home, has morphed into a mental disease called ‘hoarding’ whereby the Christmas disorder is all year long with the entire house filling up with boxes and bags filled with goods and paper is scattered all over and this gives the poor victims a feeling of happiness since it mimics Christmas.
The West has been consumed with brining in many gigantic Asian containerships bearing literally mega-tons of stuff, much of it useless or worthless, so that this Christmas spending mania can be fed further. Our cities feature endless stores peddling an incredible amount of unnecessary stuff that has filled many homes to the point where the floor joists are breaking and the inhabitants can barely squeeze past mountains of debris.
The need to feed the Christmas spending spree has joined with free trade and easy, cheap credit to cause the industrial production machine process to make an incredible mountain of goods that go far beyond reason and have bankrupted much of the Western European/American economic systems. While laying around in great pain, looking at the news, I noticed this story of a middle class family in Britain looking at their overdecorated Xmas tree and they looked terribly glum and unhappy because there was no mountain of ‘gifts’ under the tree due to them having no more credit so they could go shopping for imported cheap goods. It was very sad because they were in no need for tons of junk in the first place!
But the machine of desire which are artfully made TV commercials and ads pasted all over the place, create the needs that often are bad for the health or the soul or sanity. People just want things because they are tempted into wanting things even if there isn’t physical room in their homes to bring in any more junk, they are trained to want this stuff no matter how bad it is overall. I know the lure of seeing things that are desirable. Yet, if we pass them up, we are no worse off than if we move to acquire them, indeed, often it is better if we don’t acquire these tempting objects of desire.
We see this in our love lives: often, the person we are most attracted to are actually very bad people for our own survival or sanity. And temptations to have more lovers leads not to a good life but disease, distress and poverty. The Seven deadly sins have taken over our annual winter holiday to turn it into this awful mess that stresses us out and destroys our society. Lust, greed, envy, gluttony, pride, sloth and anger: this toxic mix of emotions is characteristic of the Christmas rush for worldly goods.
Tempting ads make us lust for things. We are envious when we see neighbors pile up huge mountains of boxes under their trees. We feel anger as we push and shove each other as we rush to get our goodies. We are, as a society, growing quite fat due to sitting around, consuming food and entertainment. And the #1 big seller this last cycle has been gigantic TV screens! None of which are produced in the Western economies. Video games and other products that entertain us are big sellers. But what troubles me is how all of this is part of this big display of filling the living room up with piles and piles of stuff.
One thing becomes quite obvious when watching shows like Hoarders is how uniformly, the victims of this mental illness put their piles of Christmas cheer before the happiness or comfort of the family. When asked to choose between throwing away boxes and piles of loose paper or keeping custody of their children, hoarders will throw away the children and keep the Xmas goodies piled ever higher. When anyone dares to touch these presents piled to the ceilings, the hoarder feels uncontrollable rage even if the person trying to get rid of it is throwing away Xmas presents given to them by the hoarder!
Eventually, the ships bringing mountains of production goods from Asia will cease. This uneconomical and destructive system will end. One can’t run in the red forever nor is there infinite amounts of earthly matter to sate uncontrollable greed and a desire to be surrounded by mountains of Xmas presents. On the Hoarders show, one often sees thousands of Target bags filled with purchases that are never taken out of the bags but piled on top of furniture and each other. The Home Shopping Network boxes are a big feature, too.
And here is an amusing video where A young guy blocked target store entree way with all the carts and pissed off the security gaurds. – YouTube:
Looks like an Occupy Wall Street action.
P.O. BOX 483
BERLIN, NY 12022
Make checks out to ‘Elaine Supkis’
Click on the Pegasus icon on the right sidebar to donate via Paypal.
19 responses to “The Christmas Catastrophe”
I’m glad your doing good after your surgery.
That Target Lady scares the bejeepers out of me every year. They turned an otherwise attractive actress into some kind of asexual, insane freak. This is how Target, the company, thinks of its customers. That is what we are to Target and other companies, a legion of crazed ladies excited by cheap plastic junk.
And when the currency drops they will take their Target stores and move to someplace else. If someplace else will take them.
Smoke and mirrors…
my brother was a KMart manager. he felt some regret over selling people so much useless stuff, but justified it in two ways – 1. it was what they wanted 2. his store also sold useful stuff
now he’s retired
If folks ( not sheeple of course just regular ol’ folks ) did not buy this stuff, then other folks ( evil wal mart managers, who are not real human folks, and eviller chinese plant managers ) would not produce and ship the stuff.
Of course being smarter than jus plain folks, we all know what they should be wanting and spending their moneys on because we are the extra-ordinary merkins, not the sickos that buy stuff that makes them happy.
And you wander why we are in 7 losing wars at once and incarcerate so many just plain folks.
The old puritan streak is so close to the surface in some of the folks here that it stops being amusing. The hatred shown toward folks who are actually enjoying themselves to the best of their abilities is amazing. We must stop them from shopping, and eating bacon, and drinking, and smoking, and dancing, and fornicating for pleasure, and thinking, and amusing themselves with sitcoms and discovery channel. We know better what is good for folks because we are the internet scolds.
And that video — so amusing. He prevented folks from doing what they wished to do. Why did he do that? Is he empowered by law to determine what folks should be allowed to do? Is he some sort of prole dictator preventing anyone from enjoying their wealth as they wish? Is he an annointed moral paragon the third coming of the messiah? Oh well 5 minutes of fame on the internets is better than producing something useful.
Yeah, people think buying crap makes them happy, and it might for a very short while. And in a free country they should be allowed to do as they please, even if it’s not good for them. People are free to be deluded and indebted and enslaved by their desires if they are so inclined. I think it’s the complete opposite of the religious meaning of Christmas, a poor child of humble beginnings who came to show us how to love each other.
Here’s a nice article about “The Last Christmas in America”…
about people buying crap they don’t need and certainly can’t afford.
Did you give Robert Bridge of Russia Times permission to use one of your cartoons? There is no acknowledgment of your artwork there that I can see.
I too despise the madness of Xmass shopping and dumping mountains of gifts on children, as well as adults. It is rather childish, but those who do it cannot change. Their giddiness does not last very long either, yet they never seem to notice this. It is completely psychological now with no known cure other than death (i.e no more cargo ships arrive).
Thanks for the head’s up about the cartoon. Yes, a simple link is all I ask for yet people get mad when I ask for this. Zerohedge, for example, became incredibly obnoxious to me when I asked for this simple thing.
At least this amuses people. I hope to do cartoons again. My health problems made this rather difficult to do. But I am definitely healing! My pain medicine amounts has dropped by 50% which is fantastic, I was as doped up as an addict there for a few days.
I hate being doped up. It makes doing simple things like typing very difficult and concentration drops like a rock and all I really did was eat and watch really silly videos. 🙂
About buying too much stuff: the problem is, as always, the business of infinity: when buying things overwhelms all other feelings to the point of hating one’s children and spouses, when it eats up all psychological and physical space, when things become a hoard that rules the roost, then it is destructive.
Balance is key to living well! Too much of anything is bad. For example, I am taking very powerful pain killers in large amounts. If I continue doing this and increase this seeking to have no feelings, I will end up dead, that is, with no feelings for all eternity!
The desire to feel even pain is so important to me, it balances out the lurking desire to feel nothing so I am not afraid of becoming addicted to pain killers. In all previous times I had to use pain killers, I couldn’t wait to reduce the dosage!
But for many people, once they dip a toe in Lethe, they want to drown in it! This is why outside controls are applied. There would be no laws about taking pain killers if everyone felt the way I do about the drugs. But human nature tends towards ‘infinity’ way too much so artificial legal controls are clumsily applied.
i guess the new paradigm is supposed to be less for everybody and government control over all.
oh, and be happy with it! i guess you can ignore being in 7 losing wars at once once you accept that mandate.
i agree with CK about that idiot pushing the carts at target. annoying your fellow citizens isn’t the most productive thing you could be doing with your time.
what i will agree with is that the target commercial is rather bizarre– making fun of your own customers. they actually paid advertising people for that commercial?
There’s a disconnect between the political and advertising worlds and the real world, that allows pols and flacks to think of consumers without empathy, in de-humanized terms. The Target lady is certainly scary and offensive. Wal-Mart depicts an equally alarming and manic lady shopper, coked-up and shrieking “I rule!” and “ring dinga ding ring dinga ding, ring me up!”
I find the most obnoxious commercials by far are those of Capital One’s long-running campaign celebrating barbaric trolls violating other people’s dignity, property and space, gleefully wreaking havoc on everything around them.
The destructive trolls, obviously, personify CapOne’s puffed-up corporate self-image and internal culture of destructive greed. These self-glorifying gnomes think it’s cute to run around the planet, laying claim to geometrically increasing proportions of peoples’ future earnings, playing stupid speculative games with fictitious capital and then, after destroying the global economy with their idiotic antics, sneering at the people who bailed them out!
I’m sure CapOne’s Fat Cats who approved these messages would profess shock to learn that their thumb in the eye of the public that passes for ‘advertising’ is NOT beloved by the rest of us! In fact, CapOne’s advertising regularly comes up in industry polls as among the most hated. That they continue to run it despite widespread and well-documented public revulsion is evidence that their anti-social message is quite intentional.
This Christmas, let’s do ourselves a favor and send a message to trash-talking trolls: let’s put our money in a local non-profit credit union.
Also on the Christmas Wish List: an end to Fukushima’s on-going nightmare. Recent reports in ENE Energy News document a sharp rise in infant deaths in British Columbia and US west coast since the disaster, and high levels of radioactive fallout settling into the Cascade Mountains. http://enenews.com/md-infant-death-also-increased-in-bc-canada-corroborates-study-analyzing-post-fukushima-mortality-in-us-video
And God Bless Us, Every One!
Your cartoon seen 4 places (search results only good for 72 hours)…
Why not put a small “(c) emsnews.wordpress.com” on all pics posted? It’s quick and easy.
“(c) emsnews.wordpress.com” = legalistic approach. Costly to enforce.
Unmarked = moralistic approach oh woe is moi, ripped off by those immoral batärds.
EMS’s cartoons have been appropriated for many years by other websites. Elaine full well knows what copywrite and trademark are and how to use them if she wished. She doesn’t wish to go to the effort. Information, and cartoons just want to be free donjano.
if each cartoon had an attribution actually in it, that would be good, in my opinion
Merry xmas from JT.
The Sparrow’s Christmas Morning
“In the valley fell the snow,
over trees and flowers.
Frozen waters’ vernal flow,
summer gone for sowers.
Poor little sparrow mine
Ate up summer-grain so fine
Frozen waters’ vernal flow,
summer gone for sowers.
At the door, beneath a tree,
stood a girl so darling:
Sparrow little, come to me,
take a morsel, starveling!
Christmas for us begun,
sparrow little woebegone
Sparrow little, come to me,
take a morsel, starveling!
To the girl then sparrow flew,
joyful wings do flutter:
Gladly take I grain from you,
morsel from your platter.
God shall then once reward
the one who gives me a guard
Gladly take I grain from you,
morsel from your platter.
A stranger am I not to you,
though from far away.
I’m your little brother who
passed away a spring day.
The grain you brought to the poor
who had come at your door
you gave it to your brother who
passed away a spring day”
oh common – it’s X’mas!!
I don’t see any South East Asian countries complaining that much about Chinese New Year and all that shopping that goes with the celebration!!
Elaine, this post provoked some thoughts on my part.
On tonight’s (Saturday) NBC news, there was an item on “dumpster diving” after Christmas. Apparently, many people throw their gifts in the trash. I speculate that this is to avoid offending the gift giver who has the receipts and is therefore the only one who can return it to the store.
A previous item involved an increase in returns, even in the face of a more strict policy by the store. I speculate that the original purchases were the result of herd behavior and the returns are the result of the rational calculation that the purchases were not affordable.
Buying specific stuff is good if this is good things a person really wants to receive. For example, my wonderful children bought me a snow blower seeing that I can’t shovel snow for quite a while due to being injured.
Much appreciated, indeed! But much of Xmas stuff is what I think of as ‘garbage’. Way, way too many ‘toys’ for children, for example. They are drowning in toys at this point. It isn’t good for them to have too many toys and they can’t form attachments to favorite toys if the are too many. And these actually prevent them from building up rich psychological inner worlds which they control.
It is all done for them and they end up mentally weaker, not richer for it all. And the overall spoiling of children runs along, destructively.
A child that builds up an individually rich and controlled inner world is usually diagnosed with some sort of anti-social or attention defecit or anti-authority disorder by school administrators and is punished or drugged or both.
I don’t know how good or bad it is for kids to have stuff. When I was a mere ute for christmas I got Mr Stick and Miss Rock. You could skip the rock over the water after it thawed, and use the stick to knock the heads of dandelions during the spring. I might have enjoyed having a bit more stuff, especially after Miss Rock sank and Mr Stick broke.
I loved playing with rocks and sticks when a child! My favorite toys was stuff from construction sites. A bag of cement? Joy! A piece of wood? Great stuff! This is why I can build houses today. 🙂
You had access to cement and real lumber!!!! I knew you had an overpriviledged youth.