Black Friday

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

Yesterday saw the United States come to a halt as people got together with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Today will see a fair few of those same people heading to malls and department stores to do their Christmas shopping. However, this isn’t any normal day of shopping, today will be the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday:

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I had thought that Black Friday was just an American thing, but judging from the adverts on TV and the subject headings of the emails in my inbox, the hysteria has made its way over here. I saw it in person too – at a shopping centre earlier this week when, even at 9 pm, there were still thousands of people shopping for presents.

I don’t care what people spend their money on – it’s theirs, they earned it, they can spend it however they like. I’m not that interested in snooty arguments about consumerism, either. What struck me was that, in all probability, the people who are shopping on Black Friday or mid-week at shopping centres are not doing it for themselves, they’re surely buying Christmas presents for others.

That got me thinking about why we all go out and spend so much of our hard-earned cash on other people. I don’t think it’s because we’re all slaves to consumerism. I don’t necessarily think it’s because we expect to get something back in return, either. I think we all just like to see the look on the faces of our friends and family when they open a present, which we’ve given to them, and it’s immediately clear that the present was what they wanted. With that in mind, maybe we don’t all need to be shopping at 9pm on a Wednesday, maybe we just need to spend a bit more time thinking about what we should get and whether it’s actually going to be appreciated.
Speaking of appreciation, with this being the day after Thanksgiving, I feel it’s appropriate for TF to give thanks too. Surprisingly enough, TF gives thanks that Tom Selleck decided that this look didn’t suit him:
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But that this one did:
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Have a great weekend folks!

Ask not what you should be thankful for…

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

Some are under the impression that TF is based in the US (N.B. not everything that is  syntactically incorrect and littered with spelling mistakes emanates from the United States) and others lambast TF’s American leanings. This week, we embrace the US-bias, and one of the great American traditions – Thanksgiving. 

If Thanksgiving is one of the most famous American traditions, John F Kennedy is one of the most famous American Presidents. In his inauguration speech (pictured below), he asked that his fellow Americans “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” 

Maybe we should not ask ourselves what we should be thankful for (there would surely be too many things to think about), but what we have done to make others thankful. I daresay that’s a shorter list. 
Earlier this week, I heard an exceptionally cantankerous chap – who will not be happy with his views being compared to those of JFK – arguing that people these days spend too much time trying to insulate themselves from society.  He said that we should invest more of our time and effort in trying to improve the world around us rather than blocking out all interaction with it. The ways he suggested doing this were fairly radical but the core of what he was saying was pretty indisputable: that only by working together will things improve. That seems to fit pretty well into what JFK said.  It also fits the idea that we should ask ourselves what we have done to make others thankful.
Of course, there is one thing for which we will all be thankful – The Tash. For that, we must thank the ‘Tashfather’ (apologies, that’s awful):
Have a cracking weekend y’all!