Quotable Quickie: On Black Friday (and Ridiculousness in General)

“Now, you’re not offended when I tell you to your face that you’re ridiculous? And if so, aren’t you material? You know, in my opinion it’s sometimes even good to be ridiculous, if not better: we can the sooner forgive each other, the sooner humble ourselves; we can’t understand everything at once, we cant start right out with perfection! To achieve perfection, one must first begin by not understanding many things! And if we understand too quickly, we may not understand well.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

It’s popular to bash Black Friday, to shame people for lining up for hours in the cold, warming up their boxing gloves to fight to the death for the chance of getting a packet of underwear at 75% of its normal price. Do I disagree with these judgments? No. It’s definitely ridiculous. But there’s no need for me to keep kicking that odious horse. The hypocrisy has been touched on so many times.

What I want to do today is to sit back and just get on with my day. Black Friday. Regular Friday. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s ridiculous, but what is humanity if not ridiculous? That might be our primary evolutionary advantage – the ability to be outrageously ridiculous. This might also become the root of our undoing, but hey, Circle of Life and all that good stuff. So I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving or at the very least, a very decent November Thursday. Remember to enjoy the ridiculousness once in a while.

[I bet Dostoevsky, even in all his genius, couldn’t have imagined his work would be used in relation to something as silly as Black Friday.]

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