This is a story about the changing times of the special days in the UnitedState that were very significant in the community. These days include the Great Thursday which in history has been the Great Thanksgiving day. This was a day that was characterized by gratitude and solidarity. However, due to the changing times, the day has been made a special day for the preparation for the Friday. The Friday has been named the Black Friday because it is majorly a day for the retailers who make lots of profits from the people. To them, it is a day for making money. But, to the families, it is a sad tale because it is no longer a day for the family reunions, and hence it is better to refer it to as the Grey Friday. The author is a strong supporter of family values and is against the concept of the profitable money making that is strongly working against the major interest of the special days for enforcing the family’s solidarity. The author is against the capitalistic concept that has as well triggered the aspect of the children be used as direct tools for products marketing in the process of breaking the family ties.
The writer’s main concept in this story concerns the special days in the calendar that are being transformed into different days making the special days lose their relevance. He is even illustrating the effects of such situation which involves the degradation of the family’s values. The blame is shifted to the capitalism that is practiced by the industries in every place in the United States. Essentially, because of their marketing skills, the holidays have been turned into shopping days including the special days in the calendar.
The main objective of the author is to enlighten the people about such things which they may not have taken so seriously but which will impact the families in some way. He also wants to enlighten the people on the mode of extend of spending time on doing shopping for the children and the effects it is likely to have on the children in future. It takes up all their minds and all they can think of is just going shopping. The author also wants to clear the air of the misunderstanding of the concept that has led to the shopaholic traits in the people. Some people believe that it is an aspect of the demand side phenomenon but it is a strongly supply side phenomenon when observed from the capitalist perspective. They are enticing the children and turn them into shopaholics so that they can be able to push their parents to take them for shopping. In other words, shopping is more of a lifestyle than a luxury. This is the reason why the children can be able to leap from the bed at midnight to ask to go shopping about a thing they spotted. All this happen on the Black Friday.
The supply phenomenon has neutralized the aspect of the demand site with the mindset that it is supplying the people what they want and hence enabling the people to buy all they need and making it a lifestyle. The author also intends to make clear some aspects of the lifestyle of the American people. To them, life is more vital when they go shopping, but they as well prefer to pray, read, play, talk, make love, make art, and spent quite some time munching turkey. This shopping character of the Americans is not purely their lifestyle; it is only that it is overdone on the special Black Friday.
The author seems to correct some issues that people do not know about the Americans. Their lifestyle is a whole lot of different things apart from shopping. But they cannot be termed as shopaholics for the reason that, in the capitalist world, it is the company’s duty to produce all the goods that their customers may be interested to buy. One such time when such purchases can be done is during the Black Friday just prior to the Thanksgiving Day; to the family’s role and the importance of the day, it is better to be referred to as the Grey Thursday. Shopholism is a trait that is being categorized as a negative one. The author demystifies that idea that Americans like shopping but they do not do it 24/7. They as well like eating, reading, talking, making love and as well praying and playing. This is the American way of life and it is a result of the supply chain phenomenon which is driven by the capitalist economy but not an attribute of their lifestyle. They must sell in order to survive being in business otherwise they risk being put out of business. Their marketing techniques have the right people on target that are children because they, when they love something, will do everything to have it; that is the business. It is not the common people to blame but the people in the industry who promote the capitalism economy. It is also the thing that is killing the Thanksgiving Day because most people will stay in business and the people go shopping.
Assessment of the presentation
This presentation is very valid; it does not only affect the people in the US but the people in the whole world. This concerns the countries that are being driven by the capitalist economy. The industries are mass producing the goods to the market, and they have to sell all the products to the people whether they like it or not. ‘In this way, they have advanced their marketing strategies to enable them sell at all times in all the year round’ (Barber, 2012). In addition, the world needs to appreciate the value of some of these holidays such as the Thanksgiving Day, which is a day that has been reserved for family reunion and solidarity to which much of it is wasted on shopping and other unnecessary things that are not of such significance of those special days.
The author’s interpretation is very right and this is not the people’s wish to do what they do but it is because they have been coerced to do what they do. The capitalist economy is, therefore, to blame for some of the happenings but not the Americans for their lifestyle. However, we can as well not strictly blame others because we have the power to make the choices and we have the will and the intellect to make the right decisions in life. This is, therefore, a very significant line of thought and, therefore, I must say, it has been logically presented.
Response to the presentation
I must say that the author is much defensive to the shopaholic attitude of the Americans. He does admit that they like to go shopping but it is not 24/7. He goes ahead to list some other activities that the Americans like, for example, eating, munching turkey, playing, and praying. He is also very elaborate on the consequences of such actions which include reducing the family solidarity and other inhabitable traits especially in the growing children. This is a good critique of the way of life of the Americans. It defends their actions and demystifies the people’s believes about the American way of life in a simple but consistent story line. It is a good story for people to understand the way of life of the Americans. The author as well gives logical reasons and analyzes the impacts of such situations in case they actually hold true in the capitalist economies of the world.
The ways of life of people have both positive and negative impacts. But, before one makes a decision of the impacts, one needs to understand the likely cause of the problems like the one the author is presenting in the scenario of the Black Friday. It has been metaphorically applied to indicate the profitability of the capitalism to the owners of the industries. Above all, the Americans are all rounded people and do all kinds of things but not just spend time shopping all day long.