Thank Grog It’s Firday!!
I am writing this early, as on the “real Friday” I will be in California, helping to celebrate the 30th Birthday of my daughter Ali, the 59th birthday of my amazing wife Deb, and hopefully, the day after a Thanksgiving that required us to drive through the night to Cali, through loads of remnants of wildfires, freezing rain, over a mountain pass, to a remote house in the woods, that was just 30 miles away from the devastation in Paradise. So…yes…many, many things for which to give thanks!
Of course, Thanksgiving is also a time for reflection…and looking back on how things have changed in our lives, and in TSTO.
This also comes on the heels of what has to be the most convoluted, and greedy Black Friday event ever. An event that is so egregiously transparent in it’s avarice, that it sets a new low bar, even for EA. However, by now…those of you who impulsively bought the silly donut factory for $50, have already done so…and those who listened to us are thankful. But, I digress.
The fact is, when I looked back on the first Black Friday I wrote about back in 2014, I was shocked at how angry I was about the whole thing…in compared to the apathetic, complacent, calm I feel today. What was different? Did the game change? Or did I?
I was a really different person a few years back.
Don’t believe me? Well…read some portions from the Thanksgiving post I wrote back in 2014…and maybe you’ll agree that I have changed…
Well, it’s official. Thanksgiving has finally surrendered in the battle against Black Friday, to remain at least a semblance of its former day of giving thanks.
The idiots who name giant marketing days have come up with a new term, “Gray Thursday,” and it’s intent is anything but gray. It should be labeled Green Thursday…as in bringing in the Holiday Cabbage…Greenbacks…Green with Envy shoppers. Get yer Greed on! And frankly…it blows.
And TSTO has joined in the “fun!”
What does this have to do with TSTO? Well…next to nothing…except that at least in TSTO, they have dialogue admitting that the whole thing has become one confusing commercial mess. Homer is hiding in the basement from “Black Friday” because he heard that on Black Friday, “Everything Goes!” and we are “everything.”
Lisa finally admitted openly that her Sacagawea costume is about 190 years too late to be original, in regards to the pilgrims and Plymouth Rock. But, Ned seems completely confused in regards to dates and times in history (which makes sense…because he most likely believes that the universe is only 6,000 years old).
TSTO has done a wonderful job of painting the same confused, convoluted mess out of what was once a family day to give thanks, and has now devolved into just one more Greed-Fest to keep the GDP popping.
The “Free stuff” they are offering is big, gaudy, and out of place in the rest of the town. And the table we got today can’t even be rotated. It sits ONE way…and one way only. Obtrusive…but with a funny animation of Ned and Lisa gorging themselves, it looks just right in my completely convoluted “Holiday Park” where Christmas, Easter and now Thanksgiving reside. All three of the key religious holidays represented…without a smattering of actual religion. Perfect.
When I owned an advertising agency, I remember being bewildered by the American Greed Forecasters who were resolute on finding ways to get at least a 3%-5% increase in sales…EVERY YEAR. You can do that the way movie theaters do…just raising the prices so that box office receipts climb, even when attendance dips, or you can make the “Shopping Season” almost unending…starting earlier and earlier every year.
Madison Avenue knows how to move sheeple. Forget loaves and fishes…or shepherds and wise men following a star to gather by a manger. The Greed Merchants know that nothing moves people like HUGE (perceived) DISCOUNTS ON SPECIAL (limited loss leader items) DEALS YOU WON’T SEE AGAIN (until next weekend, and the 2 weeks after Christmas).
I will NOT be shopping on Gray Thursday, or Black Friday. I can’t promise that I won’t look at “Cyber Monday Deals” (because I don’t have to put on pants, or camp out in front of a store…and there are no limited offer deals of “10 per store” to sucker me in). But…my Christmas budget will not change. It has been the same every year…for years…and increases only as the number of family members increase (which has remained static for the past 1.5 years).
None of this makes sense to anyone outside of the United States. Not much we do makes any sense outside of the United States…and rarely makes REAL sense inside the walls of the asylum. But, if this year has taught me anything, it is that we have too much in this country. Period.
We are one confusing place. We elect assclowns who don’t get anything done…except whine, complain, and argue with the other guys with the other colored ties. We burn down buildings in “peaceful protest” against perceived injustice, while ignoring the rights of the shop owners whose lives we destroy in protest who had nothing to do with the actions that proceeded the demonstrations. We pay sports stars more money to hit a ball, or throw a ball, or kick a ball, than the combined GDPs of several 3rd world countries combined, and then wonder why they hate us for wanting their resources. And we will set it ALL aside, to go into credit debt, in order to buy a bunch of crap we don’t really need, because we are told that it is a SPECIAL DAY TO SAVE!!!!
What. The. Hell.
Rant over. Go on about your merry way. TSTO has made it clear that anything worth having is NOT free…and that we, the sheeple, will continue to play, and spend money, and keep the franchise alive, as long as they keep us laughing. The question remains…are they laughing with us, or at us?
I think you know the answer to that.
Talk to you on the “Flip Side” of Thanksgiving. I’m going to go hide with Homer in the basement.
What on earth was wrong with me??? Crankyoldguy?
More like RantingAngryUnhappyOldGuy. I realize it was a schtick…an act I put on…kinda. But, dammit…why was I so torqued off???
Well…I think it had to do with not being over the loss of my Dad in 2012, having a daughter who had just returned from Chile, talking about doing an internship in Africa, and wondering if my youngest three daughters were ever going to “seal the deal” and get married, so we didn’t have to keep wondering if “This is going to stick with the Ryans.”
Dear God. What a difference a few years make. Especially the last two. Be careful what you wish for…right? Two weddings in one year…sheesh!
I’m not going to bore you with a rehash of two weddings, a new grandson, and countless blessings in the “Patric’s family” department. But, what I will tell you, is that I finally found the real answer to happiness…getting out of your own way to do something for others.
But, even more important, knowing what is, and isn’t important in life. And it sure as hell isn’t about fretting over whether EA is trying to rip us off for a mobile game for which we willingly participate! (They are...)
But…tot the point of Black Friday, had I been able to peridot how much MORE greedy EA would become for this event, I would gladly have suffered through a very simple, and direct, “discount for a few overpriced items,” back in 2014.
However, with so much going on in the world, taking the energy to be upset about things that don’t matter, is just a fruitless waste of time. Worrying about what we can’t change, when there is so much that we CAN change, if we put our minds to it, is just as fruitless and self-destructive.
Things change. There isn’t really any “Good Old Days” to return to…so, it’s best to make every minute count today!
Knowing that the past year has seen devastating natural disasters, as well as more than our share of man-made tragedy, happiness must come from a place within yourself…by your own actions…your own sense of contentment…and knowing when “enough” is really enough.
I am thankful for all of the blessings of my life. I am thankful for this community, and what it has enabled me to do for the work we do in Uganda. I am thankful that perspective has entered into my life, and that the little things have stopped mattering.
But, mostly (as it pertains to TSTO) I am thankful that I finally became a Donut Farmer…and don’t have to care about the price of the inflated, silly, digital baubles that EA offers up during “Black Friday.” Or…common sense can rEAlly prevail…and I can pretty much just skip the entire thing.
I won’t be shopping today. I will be celebrating the birthday of someone who is “part of the Christmas Black Friday illusion” that any Black Friday Deal is an amazing once a year deal! (Ali is a senior buying manager with GAP Inc online division). So…ironically, her work for this day was done months ago. She will be sipping wine with us in Sonoma…if we make it through the mountain passes at midnight...in the snow. Ah…nothing says being thankful like making Thanksgiving more complicated and dangerous than it needs to be. But, I digress…
- I’m thankful that I am alive (hopefully).
- I’m thankful that I no long spend real money on this game.
- And, I’m thankful that 4 of my 5 daughters are married, I have a new grandson…
- and that Alissa and I are friends again.
Yep. That about caps it. Life is easy when you simplify.
Happy Black Friday from a very less than cranky old guy!
And…if you are REALLY bored...here is a post from last year, that really hits the Black Friday Nail on the head!