PARAMUS, N.J. – The Goodwill store in this middle-class New York suburb is buzzing on a recent weekend afternoon. A steady flow of shoppers comb through racks filled with second-hand clothes, shoes, blankets and dishes.
A few years ago, opening a Goodwill store here wouldn't have made sense. Paramus is one of the biggest ZIP codes in the country for retail sales. Shoppers have their pick of hundreds of respected names like Macy's and Lord &Taylor along this busy highway strip.
But in the wake of the Great Recession, the stigma attached to certain consumer behavior has fallen away. What some people once thought of as lowbrow, they now accept - even consider a frugal badge of honor.
Now, I won't even get into how Americans have become little more than logo branded cattle, whose self image & self esteem is intimately tied into the products they buy.
Nor will I get into how they've allowed themselves to be misled into believing the "freedom" they send their kids to murder & die for amounts to little more than choices between brand names.
I also will avoid pointing out that the "name brand" clothing they covet is made in the same sweatshops as the "lowbrow" clothing they shun.
What caught my eye was this little editor's note that stood out like a big zit on a teenager's forehead.
EDITOR'S NOTE - The Great Recession has been over for nearly a year and a half, and the economy is slowly growing again. But many of the drastic changes that Americans made in how they spend money have endured - and may be here to stay, some economists think.
Now, if I read this right, the illustrious editors at Associated Press are trying to say that the shock waves caused by the looting of the American piggy bank and the massive job hemorrhage that accompanied it was over by March of 2009.
Hmmm...that's almost funny. Except it isn't.
If anyone still clings to the illusion that the news media is in business to inform us, this bit of editorial myth making should put a bullet in the head of that zombified illusion.
It's quite apparent that our news media has only one function, and that function is cheerleading for a system that is as much of a walking dead man as its cheerleaders.
It appears that the editors at AP are insinuating that this new found American frugality is completely unnecessary & irrational. In other words, our truth disseminating current event wonks seem to be telling America that a more rational course to follow would be a return to spree spending & brand name worship because there really isn't anything to worry about.
I'm sure this lump of stinky poo masquerading as information is exactly what our greed infected corporate masters would love to see happen. It would give them a chance to squeeze the last tiny drops of blood from our already bled out stone.
It wouldn't have been any more blatant if they would have put this in the article instead:
EDITOR'S NOTE - Go back to sleep America. There's no cause for alarm. There's nothing to see here. Don't worry about a thing. Then, after a nice comfy nap, arouse yourself just enough to toddle off to the mall & go shopping. While your at it, make sure you spend way beyond your means because that's the American Dream, owning shit you can't afford. It's our lifestyle & our birthright god damn it.
You'll have to excuse me now, I feel a bout of extreme nausea coming on.
That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.
Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.
Observe them gesticulating,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the passionate
Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
Hunts in no pack.
You are not Catullus, you know,
To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar. You are far
From Dante's feet, but even farther from his dirty
Let boys want pleasure, and men
Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.