An Open Letter to Retailers

Dear Retailers,

I understand that as corporations, you have but one purpose, and that is to make profit. You do this by selling goods to consumers, and you increase sales by manipulating consumers to demand more goods. That having been said, I feel that your profit-oriented blurring of the calendar has gone too far. And I rather imagine that most people in this country will agree with me.

We humphed when Santa started to pop up before Halloween, we harrumphed when fake trees went on sale in August. We winced as Black Friday inched ever closer to Thursday, and then squeezed our collective eyes shut when it jumped that boundary. You even had the chutzpah to air ads telling us that “Black Friday isn’t over yet,” before my Thanksgiving guests had even finished setting the table.

And now? Candy hearts are already in bloom. Christmas is barely three days in the past, some of us are still on vacation, and we’ve not even had a chance to ring in the new year. But you just had to go and bring up Valentine’s Day, yet another holiday dedicated to gifts and obligations.

I, for one, have consumer fatigue after having been constantly exhorted to buy since summer. You really ought to give us all a rest before trying to push our buttons for the “next big thing.”

Or— don’t. Push our buttons continuously, year-round! You know you want to. But what will happen then is that we’ll eventually quit playing along with the old, co-opted holidays, and make up some new ones.

Sincerely,

The Electronic Replicant

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