The editorially independent student voice at The University of Akron since 1889.

The Buchtelite

Consumers drive annoying trends

By Tyler Coventry

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It’s October and that means it’s a very special time of year. It’s fall, the leaves are changing, and the first semester’s nearly done.

This is a truly magical time of year when people, adults and children, come together with a single, unified voice to start complaining about the Christmas decorations.

I’ve seen them. You’ve seen them. Anyone who’s been to Wal-Mart in the past three weeks has seen them. They’re here and it is glorious. This Christmas mania is the best. You can buy 2,000 multicolored, timed Christmas lights for like, $5.

Do you know what that means? For the price of a sandwich, you could transform your entire apartment into a premature winter wonderland.

It’s amazing and it doesn’t stop there. There are snowmen and there are animatronic reindeer. There are those annoying hairbands with the antlers sticking off of them.

They’re here and we’d better get used to it because before you know it, every radio station will be playing antiquated garbage and everything’s going to smell like baked goods and sweaters (which is not a bad thing).

“But why?! It isn’t even Halloween … why do they do this to us Tyler, why?”

That’s an excellent question and I’m glad you asked.

There’s a similar complaint heard year-round about television. People protest the puzzling procession of poor parenting and pandering perversion that is reality TV. It’s stupid. It’s pointless and it produces these annoying faux-celebrities that we can’t seem to escape from. Kanye and Kim had a baby. Why do I know that?

These aren’t the worst though. The worst are shows that masquerade as something decent. These shows pop up in places you would never expect and they destroy good channels. The History Channel is dead (Thank you, “Storage Wars”). The Learning Channel is dead (“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” child). The Discovery Channel is dead (“Hillbilly Handfishin’ ”). We don’t know how to stop this.

Now, I’m not an economics major, but I imagine that these decorations are in the stores for the same reason that these shows are on TV. It’s there because people will buy it. It’s on because people will
watch it.

Stop vilifying the big-box stores and stop criticizing the television. Their entire purpose is to figure out what we will buy and put that thing in the store. Coffee-shop philosophers will say that these companies “decide” what we want, but that doesn’t really work unless we fall for it.

And how can you say that when everyone is so ready and willing to bash the stores and networks for doing this?

Stop pointing fingers. No one is responsible for this. Everyone’s responsible for this. We buy the moronic foam snowmen. We watch mothers dress their little girls like escorts just so the mom can feel pretty again. We know it’s stupid, but we buy stupid, so why would they sell us anything else?

“That’s not me though! I never buy Christmas decorations! I don’t even own a TV! All of my pets are vegan!”

I know it feels nice to feel superior. I know it feels nice to put yourself above other people, but maybe complaining isn’t the right course of action. Maybe just talking about something doesn’t make it go away. Maybe you should just deal with it and understand that this world of Christmas-mania and reality TV is the reality we created for ourselves. Hey, maybe we can change it. Maybe we can’t.

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The editorially independent student voice at The University of Akron since 1889.
Consumers drive annoying trends