Right off the bat, I came across a couple products that made me rethink my anticonsumerist attitude. Not that I want to buy them, but some things are just so ridiculous I'm happy they exist so that people can make fun of them, like pens marketed to women or Sex and the City 2. A single Huffington Post roundup introduced me to both the Tiddy Bear seat belt protector and the Kush support. The image on the Kush home page is pretty self-explanatory (and somewhat NSFW, unless you work in my office), but to understand why the Tiddy Bear is funny it helps to watch the infomercial, featuring a little stuffed bear snuggling into the model's cleavage.
From: Eldritch Hassenpfeffer, Marketing Manager, U.S. Department of Consumer Enforcement
Subject: Holiday Branding
Just a reminder of the new holiday calendar, courtesy of our friends at Shop.org. Keep forwarding this to all your media contacts, making use of social networks wherever possible. Note that with the exception of November 24, Small Business Saturday, weekend days are reserved for corporate sponsors.
November 22 Gray Thursday
November 23 Black Friday
November 26 Cyber Monday
November 27 Giving Tuesday
November 28 Half-Off Hump Day
November 29 Thirsty Thursday
November 30 Son of Black Friday
Basically, little's changed. Black Friday in both contexts refers to a small group of people taking advantage of the populace: on one hand, financiers taking advantage of financial markets; on the other, businesses marketing an event to take advantage of consumers. Encourage people to buy things and fleece them unawares is, a century-and-a-half later, the Black Friday motto. In light of that, break out your copies of Das Kapital and tune in all this week on the Bleader for Consumerism Week, in which Reader staff drop words about other people dropping money on the counter. In case you missed it, check out Turkey Week, last week's Variations on a Theme, wherein we wrote about duds, flops, and zeros. And check out a YouTube clip of Steely Dan's "Black Sunday" below.