Christma$ educates and enslaves us all

Bah Hum-Bug! Here I am studying for my COM515 Oral Exam at a neighborhood bakery (Bao Cafe along Sheridan) when a quartet of housewives entered for their afternoon tea after dropping off their kids at the nearby Tae Kwon-Do class. I was a little startled at how much housewives in their mid-30s were now quite familiar with gadgets I’ve been interested in, all thanks to the infamous American tradition called Chri$tma$. As they settled around cups of tea, they talked about how much a PlayStation 2 costs and how one of them finally managed to reserve one from MediaPlay in this most “trying” season.

“Doesn’t your son have one already?”, exclaimed a frustrated lady as she looked for the sipping hole of her paper cup cover. “No, it’s the new thin one, kind of like a laptop… it really looks nice but I don’t know if we should get another one. My husband would kill me for spending so much!”, said the other in reply. The lady who had one on-hold wanted to find someone who could benefit from her reservation, as she was thinking of relinquishing her order.

On the flip-side, I’m lucky I don’t have really celebrate Christmas… a good friend of mine told me that it’s incredible how much people spend on Christmas when they obviously cannot afford it. In fact, I hear that families go into debt in December so they can buy gifts for family members and friends and take up till July to pay back the loan, only to start the cycle all over again later on. Talk about Propaganda and Structuration baby… everything is so market driven. Even though we think we the people have powers to keep the media elites in check (i.e. blogs, podcasting, whistle blowers, etc), I still think a high power controls the bigger picture of things, something which we have cannot even make a dent on no matter how many blogs blog about it, or how many whistle-blowers blow as hard as they can, some kind of tradition still gives us the very reason to live, and at the same time, binds us to the very chains we call roots. What do you think this idea is called?