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Archive for December, 2008

This music is supposed to make me shop?

Posted by chakrabarti on December 24, 2008

It’s some sort of conspiracy, I tell you… Come Thanksgiving week (Thanksgiving! Last Thursday of November!)… and all merchandise stores hit upon a brilliant idea to lure customers in for the shopping season… Let’s play a bunch of Christmas-themed songs on constant loop for the next six weeks! That’ll surely work wonders for our bottom line!

Go into any Men’s Wearhouse, and you’ll hear “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in the background. Ninety seconds in, and it’ll be stuck in your head for the rest of the afternoon! Not to be left behind, Best Buy brings out it’s own collection of “Frosty the Snowman”. There’s the obligatory “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, and of course, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas”, immortalized, of course, through Tony Curtis’ “Love Actually”.

One wonders how many have been alienated by this constant drumbeat of good feelings propagated through boom boxes over the years. How many have stopped buying at shops, even avoided malls altogether, relying on Amazon and eBay for the season’s needs. Thankfully, those two sites don’t have carols playing when the page loads, or Flash animation of reindeer pulling a sleigh (something I hope their product managers never even think about).

All I want for Christmas… is some peace and quiet, so I can get on with my checklist!

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Credit is Addiction…

Posted by chakrabarti on December 4, 2008

This may not be news to others, but I now have a better understanding of how people get hooked on credit. Especially with those year-long (sometimes longer) 0% interest-free schemes. That’s what was offered to me when I went to get a flat-screen last Friday at Best Buy. A quick credit check, and voila! I was signed up for a $ 2000+ credit line in no time. It seemed almost a miracle. That feeling of emptiness when the money is debited from my bank account, was absent this time. It felt like I had just had a free meal, only a very expensive one at a top-notch restaurant (given the price tag on the LCD, was probably a whole day’s worth of food in a posh Manhattan restaurant).

Of course, nothing in this world (or very little, at the most) is for free. The credit card statement will be mailed to my home soon enough. So will begin the slow drip, drip, drip of monthly payments. A kind of Chinese water-torture, if you will, directed at my humble bank balance. Weird. That big emptiness whenever I make a big purchase is absent this time. But a kind of guilt has surfaced instead, on the sly. A guilt about having joined the materialist side of life, of hankering after disposable goods, of having borrowed for short-term pleasures (HDTV!). Don’t know if everyone has that same feeling, or if it’s the natural order of things now to not feel guilty about borrowing and spending.

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