Friday, October 16, 2020

What's The Deal?

 Did you miss Prime Days? Oh, those deals! You could have saved thirty-eight percent off of a robot vacuum cleaner. Or a whopping twelve percent off a wi-fi water shutoff valve. How could you pass up savings like that?

Well, first of all in the interest of full transparency I should point out the obvious: I had to go to their site to view those Prime Day exclusives. Additionally, I had to be a Prime member to get a peek at the savings that I could enjoy. Like that jet blue sixty-four ounce water jug for only seventeen dollars? Come on, don't think it didn't cross my mind to pull the trigger on that bad boy. 

Then the skepticism swelled up inside of me. Yes, I did appreciate that at least one of the days of Prime Days did turn out to be a prime number. Another point for clever marketing. However, the second day was not and it pains me to think that this whole promotion was just a whole lot of fuss just to get us jaded consumers off of our credit cards and back into the blur that is capitalism. Haven't we all done enough surviving over the past seven months? It's time for a sale-a-bration!

I confess it's difficult not to get swept up in the retail therapy of the moment. A family trip to Target filled us all with a surge of participatory capitalism that was hard to shake. Now that we are no longer living from one roll of toilet paper to the next, it was difficult to walk past those vast displays of masks and hand sanitizer, let alone the sea of Halloween costumes, candy and decorations. We've been sitting on this wad of cash that used to be disposable income and suddenly we were in a place where we could let it rain. 

But we didn't. We bought my son new pants, underwear and socks. We were discrete. 

But Prime Days allows us all to spend without the worry of anyone but the delivery driver knowing the depths of our wants. Our consumerism need not be conspicuous. It just needs to be delivered in a ridiculously timely fashion in a box with a smile on the side.

That smile is modeled on that of one Jeff Beezos. The guy sitting at home, riding this wave of other people's money is now worth more than two hundred billion dollars. The captain of the Amazon ship has only made money during this pandemic. How incredibly considerate of him to cut the prices on good and services offered by his company while hundreds of thousands have died. How enterprising of him to create this new "holiday" based entirely on the notion that there is still so much that we all need to have delivered in a timely fashion to our homes. The idea that there is a high definition big screen television out there that you can't afford not to own is ultimately a sad one. I deserve that 4K eighty-five inches of joy hanging on my wall. And Jeff Beezos, it would seem deserves to continue to increase his ridiculous wealth at our expense. 

I didn't miss Prime Days. They missed me. 

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