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They’re Back! The Marshall Field Holiday Windows Highlight Disparity

Resist the Marshall Field windows, the harbingers of harrowing holiday hell.
I'll admit it. I'm a grinch. For a long time now, I have hated Christmas, very much like the furry, green terrorist of Dr. Seuss' Who-Ville. The lies Christmas represents, the promises of “You will Have” in persistent times of want, the stress it creates in shoppers, the inadequacy it magnifies in the hearts of hard-working parents…and more…is all bogus to me.

Former Citizens in a capitalist community have been relegated to members of the Shopping Class. Their fantasies and desires have been successfully documented and dissected by marketing moguls. Those desires are then recreated and mirrored back to them from behind the windows of stores like Marshall Fields…

We, the Shopping Class, have the right to vicarious fulfillment of our deepest desires---all we have to do is LOOK and then live in longing… If we really want and deserve what we desire, we will WORK…and thus prove ourselves worthy. Bogus.

Needless to say, I do not look upon the new holiday windows at Marshall Field with awe and longing.

I passed the MF windows today, and while I kept my eyes averted from the ghastly glare of paned consumerism, I could not so easily avoid the music being pumped onto the heads of passers-by: “Look on the bright side of life!” A weathered homeless man kept time to the song with his shaking cup of change. Shake-shake. Shake-shake. Look on the bright side of life…!

Soon MF passers-by will have the opportunity to smugly avoid the spirited street drummers performing for spare change or warm clothing. They will have the opportunity to crowd the MF windows in clumps, collectively side-stepping those less fortunate who stand on the sidewalk, between the windows, in the empty grey solid concrete spaces. Look on the bright side of life!

But November 29th, 2002 is Buy Nothing Day. A day I CAN dig!

On that day, we, as members of the Shopping Class can IGNORE our central purpose in capitalist society. We can choose to not shop. The day is utterly useless, however, if we shop heavily the day before in order to stock up for the next day....

If you ask me, we have a major chance to send an economic statement on Buy Nothing Day. A statement of collective inactivity on the department store floors. A statement equivalent to forcing a single middle finger high into the air and smiling widely….

Grinches unite!

Buy nothing on November 29th. And be nice to the cup shakers along State.



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