Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

25 November 2016

My Annual Black Friday Rant

As if we don't have enough orgies of consumerism!

Now, I am not going to get all self-righteous on you for not participating in the one that took place today.  I am referring to this thing we have here in the US called Black Friday.  

This day is premised on this notion:  Consumito ergo sum.  Or Shopito ergo sum.  Which would Rene Descartes find more appalling:  This spectre of gluttony--or my Latin?

It seems that BF became an "event" or a de facto holiday just before "reality TV" and "selfies" came along.  Somehow I think that BF is the prototype of both:  It's one of those things people do to say they are:  they are part of this time, this place, this culture.  It's like leaving an "I was here" graffito, and is just as ephemeral:  The moment that credit card transaction is approved and the flat-screen TV or whatever is brought home, the moment, the fact of having been there, means nothing.  

A Black Friday "bargain....

I guess none of this should surprise me when I recall that all of those so-called journalists are really nothing more than cheerleaders for one grotesquerie or another:  an invasion, bad behavior by a celebrity or an "election" in which people vote--if indeed they vote--for one candidate only because they have fueled with enough hate, or simply disdain, for the other candidate.

Of course, I don't mean to blame what Black Friday has become on journalists, any more than I blame them for wars, natural disasters or even Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.  They--most of them, anyway--are products of the same culture that gives us Kanyashian and selfies and Black Friday.  Therefore, they have learned to do nothing more and nothing less than what others have learned:  You validate yourself (or at least feel that you're doing so) by promoting yourself, buying stuff or getting other people to buy stuff. 

...and another

And that stuff almost never includes quality bicycles.  Or, if it does, they are buying a brand because they heard somewhere that it's the "best" brand--or it simply happens to be en vogue.  Almost any bicycle purchased on Black Friday comes from a "big box" store, will be under a Christmas tree in four weeks and in a landfill in four years, if not four months.  The excitement of having gotten a "great deal" on it will have long passed.


  1. The blackness of friday has spread to the UK.There is no joy in buying junk, to do so just helps perpetuate the discredited capitalist society which only exists to enslave you in work or crush you if you fail to march in step to their creeping world dominance...

    Most are too blind to see that "democracy" is nothing but a delusion / illusion. Voting for any of the random candidates will never create any change away from the stranglehold of big business which owns politicians, all politicians, and can never lead us towards a just and fair world where we live in symbiotic harmony with each other and the earth.

    Think that was the gist of your post...

  2. My local bike shop had a "Black Friday" sale. We most recently purchased a "Gary Fisher City 8" there for my daughter when they were closing them out. Of course, we didn't buy it on Black Friday.

  3. Steve--I've noticed that some online bike shops have "Black Friday" sales. I haven't seen them at the local bike shops, though. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough. Or it may just be that my bike-related purchases never have anything to do with Black Friday.

    At least you got a good bike for your daughter. That's one way to teach her good valuses!

    Coline--Yes, that is the gist of it. I guess Black Friday seems somehow blacker because I'm still dispirited by the "election".