Black Friday Is Basically Irrelevant

Black Friday is Basically Irrelevant

Rampant consumerism is going out of style.

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Freshman year of high school, I begged my mom to wake up at five o'clock in the morning, start the minivan in the bitter Minnesota cold, and drive my sister and me through winding bluffs of snow and ice. Doesn't that sound like an adventure? It was. In fact, it was a mission. The objective? Armed with meticulously-planned shopping lists and piping hot chocolate, obtain five-dollar sweaters and ten-dollar winter boots. Survive the physical fight through the Target doors. Go home with long receipts and relatively full wallets. Black Friday circa 2014 was intense.

Today, frankly, no one really cares about Black Friday. Around this time last year, CNN Business published an article posing a daring question: "Is this the last Black Friday?" And, when taking the "retail apocalypse" into consideration, the slow death of Black Friday makes sense. More and more brick-and-mortar stores are beginning to close (rest in peace, Toys 'R' Us) as a result of consumers shifting their focus to online shopping.

Essentially, people seem to prefer online shopping--from the comfort of their heated homes and cozy couches--over the chaos and lines of traditional Black Friday shopping. By my senior year of high school, the idea of waking up early and waiting in line outside of retailers didn't even cross my mind. I saw a sale on a DSLR camera, and I stayed up until two a.m. to buy it online. This year, I won't go Black Friday shopping at all. Beyond losing interest in it, I've grown to hate the rampant consumerism of Black Friday.

An article from The Guardian, written by Stuart Jeffries, analyzes the psychology behind Black Friday's "consumerist circle of hell." Most significantly, Jeffries refutes the idea that material possessions cause a rise in happiness. We're all guilty of fixating on a new pair of shoes or a new phone, convinced that they and only they will make us happy. This is an illusion created by retailers in order to manipulate the human brain with the motive of selling products. Surrendering to materialism won't make us feel better, it will actually make us feel worse.

Jeffries quotes The High Price of Materialism, stating, "Strong materialist values are associated with a pervasive undermining of people's wellbeing." Materialism can result in depression, anxiety, personality disorders, narcissism, and more, according to the book. Especially on Black Friday, retailers attempt to capitalize on materialism, and as the public has become more aware of this exploitation, sales have declined.

Why is Black Friday dying? Consumers will no longer fall for it. They will not respond as strongly to materialistic advertisements as they would have in the past. They will not wake up early and wait in freezing lines when, if they really want to shop, they can do so from the comfort of their couch. They will not waste their time.

This Black Friday, consider taking a break from tradition. Enjoy a Thanksgiving meal without the stress of impending chaos. Take time to rest and do things you enjoy during your break from school. Black Friday is optional, and, this year, it's all but irrelevant.

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15 Fourth Of July Fun Facts And Trivia

The United States of America: Land of the free, home of the brave.
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Fourth of July is a holiday I look forward to every year! Full of outside, summer fun, barbecued foods, and firework displays. Behind all of that, however, is history! In celebration of our nation's Independence Day, here are 15 fun facts and pieces of trivia:

1. John Hancock was the only member of the Continental Congress to formally sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

2. The Fourth of July was not declared a federal holiday until 1938.

3. The first White House Fourth of July party was held in 1804.

4. Around 150 million hot dogs are consumed on Fourth of July (wonder if this statistic includes the hot dogs consumed during the annual Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest?)

5. Back in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, 2.5 million new people lived in the U.S. Now 240 years later, 311 million people live.

6. The now American-celebrated song, Yankee Doodle, was originally written by officers of the British army to make fun of backwoods Americans.

7. Three United States presidents died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.

8. July 4th is also celebrated in the Philippines, because in 1946, the country was recognized as an independent nation.

9. In one year, $600 million is spent on fireworks alone in the U.S.

10. Most of the signers of the Declaration did not formally sign until August 2, 1776.

11. Though it is no treasure map as predicted by Nicholas Cage in "Treasure Hunt 2", the message "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776" is written upside down on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

12. More than 14,000 firework displays are put on across the country on Fourth of July!

13. Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the world's oldest Independence Day celebration. It dates back to 1785!

14. In 1781, the great state of Massachusetts became the first one to declare Independence Day a holiday

15. Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Display is the largest in the United States

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia.org

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45 Songs To Add To Your Memorial Day Playlist

Songs to truly remember what the holiday is for.

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I come from a family that would always go to the lake for Memorial Day and grill with friends and family. However, we always flew our flag and remembered why we celebrate Memorial Day. Both my granddads fought back when you didn't have a choice, back when young men died to protect this great country. To this day there are brave men and women dying to protect this great country and for you to be able to grill with your family. Here are 45 songs to add to your playlist.

1. ‘Letters from Home’ by John Michael Montgomery 

2. ‘Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)’ by Alan Jackson

3. ‘God Bless The USA’ by Lee Greenwood

4. ‘In Color’ by Jamey Johnson

5. ‘Something to Be Proud Of’ by Montgomery Gentry

6. ‘Old Army Hat’ by Billy Ray Cyrus

7. ‘One Hell Of An Amen’ by Brantley Gilbert

8. ‘Ragged Old Flag’ by Johnny Cash

9. ‘American Soldier’ by Toby Keith 

10. ‘God Bless America’ by Martina McBride 

11. ‘Some Gave All’ by Billy Ray Cyrus

12. ‘8th of November’ by Big & Rich

13. ‘Call A Marine’ by Toby Keith 

14. ‘Courtesy Of The Red, White, And Blue’ by Toby Keith 

15. ‘Song of the Patriot’ by Johnny Cash

16. ‘I Just Cane Back (From A War)’ by Darryl Worley

17. ‘I Stand For The Flag’ by Wes Cook Band

18. ‘Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly’ by Aaron Tippin

19. ‘For You’ by Keith Urban

20. ‘Blood Brothers’ by Luke Bryan

21. ‘It’s America’ by Rodney Atkins

22. ‘Fallen Soldier’ by Nathan Fair

23. ‘Brothers’ by Dean Brody

24. ‘If I Don’t Make It Back’ by Tracy Lawrence

25. ‘Semper Fi’ by Trace Adkins

26. ‘Only in America’ by Brooks & Dunn

27. ‘Ships That Don’t Come In’ by Joe Diffie

28. ‘Have You Forgotten?’ By Darryl Worley

29. ‘Heroes Come from Small Towns’ by Rockie Lynne

30. ‘Arlington’ by Trace Adkins

31. ‘Riding With Private Malone’ by David Ball

32. ‘POW 369’ by Darryl Worley

33. ‘Red White & Blue’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd 

34. ‘We Fought Hard’ by Billy Ray Cyrus 

35. ‘A Soldier’s Memoir (PTSD Song)’ by Joe Bachman

36. ‘Boy in a Uniform’ by Rockie Lynne

37. ‘Nineteen’ by Billy Ray Cyrus

38. ‘This Ain’t No Rag, It’s A Flag’ by Charlie Daniels Band

39. ‘America Will Survive’ by Hank Williams, Jr.

40. ‘Til The Last Shot’s Fired’ by Trace Adkins

41. ‘If You’re Reading This’ by Tim McGraw 

42. ‘Survivor Guilt’ by Rise Against

43. ‘Hero Of War’ by Rise Against 

44. ‘Ballad of Balad’ by Toby Keith

45. ‘I Want You to Live’ by George Canyon


This year as you are gathering around the table about to chow down on a burger or hotdog remember the ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice to allow you the freedom to have a great time. Happy Memorial Day!

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