Operation Black Hole

Nov 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

Sure, relaxing and spending quality time with my family and friends on Thanksgiving was pretty good. I guess one day set aside for communal reflection and thankfulness with relatively low levels of the frenetic anxiety associated with compulsory consumerism is OK, but when it’s all said and done, can any amount of thankfulness save you 40-50 percent on durable goods and entertainment items?

Hell no.

That’s why the very moment I’d finished my pecan pie last Thursday, with a warm belly, a tender heart, and a slow burning in my pocketbook, I bid everyone an earnest but early farewell, went straight home to bed and got up before dawn for an absolutely merciless shopping campaign. Nothing’s actually free out there, friendos, and the thrifty savings of Black Friday require the sacrifice and fearlessness of a warrior.

Look, I know I’m always talking about the collective psychic cost of conspicuous consumption, but a bargain is a damn bargain. Nobody ever said that a totally reasonable, systematic and practical scrutiny of consumer capitalism has to get in the way of real honest to god American savings. On the contrary, any self-respecting revolutionary paradigm shift is going to need some s-t-u-f-f stuff, and we should make the most of the savings available to us on America’s most despicable-but-brutally-honest holiday in order to achieve maximum efficiency in undermining the oppression of consumer capitalism. You’ve got to spend money to break money, right?

If you missed out on the most successful Black Friday in history because you stayed up all night picking at leftovers and having “pleasant conversation” with your “family and friends,” it’s your own fault. But in the name of solidarity against corporate hegemony, I’ve compiled here the itinerary and minutes of my smackdown against the invisible hand of the free market. Take notes.

4 a.m.: Woke up. Slammed a 5 Hour Energy/wheatgrass/leftover turkey smoothie. Did push-ups with 50 pounds of basmati rice strapped to my back. Jumped in the Prius, cranked up the stereo for a heroic dose of Rage Against the Machine (I got the box set delivered to my door, no shipping, with Amazon Prime) on my way out to Shelbyville Road.

4:45 a.m.: Stuck in traffic with a bunch of maniacal petit-bourgeois crackers. Listening to a Das Kapital/Jay-Z mash-up to maintain focus.

5:25 a.m.: Totally punked some tweedy little dweeb in the philosophy aisle at Half Price Books. I was like, “What up, Poindexter? Looks like we’re shopping for the same agitprop. How about a little remedial lesson on psychosis in late capitalism?” Then I clocked him with a paperback copy of “Anti-Oedipus” and ran off with the complete works of Baudrillard he was holding. Gave the cashier the crazy eye until he agreed to trade the books for a loaf of day-old bread and a wheelbarrow full of old Greek drachmas. Stole a copy of “Blade Runner” on the way out the door! BAM!

6 a.m.: Busted into Dick’s Sporting Goods like the damn po-lice and got an entire camping get-up for pennies on the dollar! My hurricane proof Kevlar North Face Antarctic terror dome is gonna last me long enough to see the Occupy encampments turn into bona fide nouveau-Hoovervilles, and after the Big One hits the New Madras, this citadel of a “tent” will serve as the plenipotentiary center of the New Commonwealth and the benevolent seat of power for the Thousand Years Peace of the Manning Dynasty. The damn thing’s virtually indestructible, and I bought it for $10!

6:32 a.m.: Radio Shack has great deals on police scanners and short wave radio components right now. Tyco’s Little Lefty Home Hacker Kit is an absolute must for any burgeoning pre-teen anarchist and an investment in your fiscal future. Think of the money you could save manipulating your bank’s website!

6:45 a.m.: Costco. Are you kidding me? After I signed up for the no-hassle members-only credit card (modest annual interest rate of 25.5 percent, but really, who cares anymore?), the deals were so good that they gave me $20 in rebates and filled my truck with three palates of D batteries, some toilet paper, and a case of organic microwave burritos with a complimentary solar-powered Geiger counter thrown in for good measure.

7:25 a.m.: Back home. Very satisfied with Black Friday ops. No rest for the wicked doesn’t mean you have to pay too much. Viva la Revolucian! Viva la Savings!