Sunday, November 23, 2014

Be Green Challenge Week 2- Alicia

The second week of the Be Green Challenge has come to an end and, as expected, I didn't buy anything but food. However, with Black Friday inching closer and its commercials popping up everywhere, I'm starting to feel the pressure to shop.

It's weird to think that a meaningful holiday is used to "get the best deal of the year", especially for clothes. In class, we learn how the Hmong take months to make their own clothing and their clothing holds cultural meaning and is a way to pass down history (McCall). But our definition of holiday clothes are the new clothes we bought at a "holiday sale". It's like the sentiment of holidays have been lost and replaced with dollar values. Well, we already do that with people (i.e. a person's net worth).

Shouldn't holidays be spent with people that you care about? Isn't that what Thanksgiving is for?
But stores are open on holidays and family dinners are missing a table setting because someone has to work the "special 24-hour store opening" so that someone else can get a flat screen for 40% off the retail price. Why do we care more about getting a cheaper price than getting to spend that single day we get off with the people we love?


Have we forgotten the reasons for holidays? Or do we just not care? Just like how we don't care about sweatshop workers or migrant farmers? Adam Smith explains why someone would want to work on a holiday, such as circumstance or pay and Karl Marx talks about how consumers become obsessed with products but I still can't accept this as a full answer. They don't address how we've lost the meanings of these special days and how consumers disregard laborers. Maybe I'll read have to read some more books on economic theory or consumerism or at least wiki it, but, for sure, the commercialization of holidays does not sit well with me.


McCall, Ava. "Speaking through Cloth:Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts." The Social Studies, 90, 5. Sep/Oct 1999: pg 230.

Smith, Adam. The wealth of nations [1776]. na, 1937.

Marx, Karl. Capital; Volume: 1 A Critique of Political Economy. na, 1867.

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