(November 23rd, 2018)
[or one of the 1,000+ reasons I’m an anarchist]
The midterm elections have passed (did you riot?), the meetups of friends and family - sharing food together are passing, and the snowny cold has blanketed much of the land here. Winter is here a month early and on the road outside, the cars warm with the toasty heater pumping hot air into the vehicle as many make that annual crusade to the temples of consumerism.
Walking through the maze of aisles and fellow spenders, you bring up your smartphone to help you check out a bit faster among the throngs, someone takes a selfie, and now you’re on the evening news as you walk out of the store with some crap that will be thrown out next year. Welcome to the spectacle. Or rewind to taking a walk through the city woods, if two words couldn’t be farther apart from each other, yet so refreshing.
Today is Black Friday, a new cultural holiday that celebrates deals on all things consumers find they need for happiness. As a relative non-participant in such things as bargain hunting, waiting in shopping mall lines for hours, clicking through the online inventory of such places, or watching the resulting depressingly sad YouTube videos of people fighting over the last 4k 60 inch television (why would you want to watch that?), I’m often left feeling like I’m not sure if I have anything to say; astounded. Although - nothing to say, kind of feels good sometimes – like the Jack Kerouac zen of nothingness or putting that dialogue on the back-burner, while more significant ideas percolate.
It has been years since I’ve read an Adbusters, but in many circles this is still Buy Nothing Day, or for that matter everyday is Buy Nothing Day for anarchists, unless of course you are of the Hot Topic variety. Outside of the anarchist space, marketers and researchers of “cool” has termed tomorrow “Small Business Saturday” and Monday as “Cyber Monday”. That’s like three days, of voting with your wallet. Did I mention the ANEWS Patreon? I’m kidding, there is no Patreon. The biggest joke, is again on the consumers – who probably won’t see Black Friday deals like this ever again with government trade tariffs ramping up.
Trump jokes about the cold weather in regards to global warming, and many other things on Twitter, and I don’t even follow them – this is just from friends f2f, their social media, and reported on in the media. California is still burning, with the “Camp Fire” 95% contained as of today (Friday), with the rain helping to dampen and smolder the remaining wildfires. 84 confirmed dead and over 800+ still missing, 13,000 homes destroyed, and countless other objects of civilization gone. Photos and videos shared on the news and social media depicted apocalyptic scenes, similar to ones you may see in the movies. Or possible anarchist communiques about burned out cars on ANEWS? Scoreboard check, shows the anarchists really getting trounced in the attack game vs. the wildfire. And, on the other end - anarchist mutual aid responses? As not one from or living in California, I haven’t heard much, but I’m sure it’s there. I’m reminded of Super Storm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and other events that have triggered an anarchist disaster response.
Further south in California, The Caravan has reached the border in Tijuana, with some smaller groups forking off as reported by the MSM. Thousands of miles away, I wish them luck and await the anarchist report-backs of the border struggle. There are so many things to be angry at in this world. These are only but a few, the news on a much larger scale, outside of the quiet neighborhood on a walk through the woods.