Sunday, November 23, 2014

Words ...

For too long I have been in too much of a hurry to look up words I could not define when reading. After using words for a lifetime, I am beginning to enjoy picking up a dictionary and being sure I understand the true meanings of words. 

As we enter into Thanksgiving Week, we follow that with Advent and the celebration of Christmas. Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we now commonly refer to as BLACK FRIDAY. What is “Black Friday”?

Black Friday begins the Christmas buying frenzy fomented by the marketers and frequented by multitudes of secular participants. Stores depend on this season for a disproportionately huge chunk of their annual sales. On this day customers vie with each other to be first in line, camp out on the streets, and do whatever else is necessary to insure getting into the store and grab the bargain they want, obtain the cheapest price they can get, or acquire whatever else may be their objective.

When my wife and I moved to Portland, OR a few decades back, we discovered “Friday Surprise” at Meier & Franks Department Store. She dragged me kicking and screaming to our first and my last last “Friday Surprise.” The doors opened to a huge stampede of humanity crushing its way through the doors and into the shopping areas. “Customers” screamed and yelled. People fought. Customers literally yanked garments out of the hands of other customers!

This was a shopper’s mayhem that continued weekly as we acquainted ourselves with life in that otherwise rather civil society over the next few years. Later, I worked nearby at Olds & King Department Store, but I never became part of another Meier & Frank “Friday Surprise.”

Black Friday, like Friday Surprise, is another marketing strategy utilized by an industry intent on capturing an entire population. Madison Avenue currently controls the television industry with an iron fist that makes the average citizen an enslaved audience that is increasingly controlled and dominated by the subtle impulses of greed, acquisition, affluence and self-serving rights.
You are prompted to spend, spend, and over-spend. Obtain what you want, what you deserve! Nothing down, enjoy now, pay next year! Or five years from now. As far as the television is concerned, good journalism, wholesome programming, and World News have long ago ben dumped into the Hell of poor ratings, denigrated to the inconsequential.

As you enter this festive holiday season, consider the definition of the word “sacrilege” … “1. The act of appropriating to oneself or to secular use, or of violating, what is consecrated to God, or religion 2. The intentional desecration or disrespectful treatment of a person, place, thing, or idea held sacred. SYN.—sacrilege implies a violation of something sacred, as by appropriating to oneself or to a secular  use something that has been dedicated to a religious purpose; profanation suggests a lack of reverence or a positive contempt for things regarded as sacred; desecration implies a removal of the sacredness of some object or place, a by defiling or polluting it.”

Interesting enough, my Second College Edition WEBSTER’S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY says what most preachers I know, pastors and priests, dare not say today for fear of offending church parishioners, or Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, or even the Chamber of Commerce!

FWIW, it seems we live in a profoundly profane and sacrilegious culture that profanes the sacred by replacing it with Santa Causes and Easter Bunnies and desecrates the faith for the sake of The Almighty Dollar that is now its Deity.

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