Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Death of Santa

As the holiday shopping season nears its close, the final weekend of a shopping frenzy, we are consistently bombarded this season with advertisements from numerous corporations that are making great jokes (attempted satire, really) about the ineptitude or irrelevance of Santa Claus. Old St. Nick.

Now, these commercials seem to be plesant, light-hearted jokes on the surface. Children so ignorant and unphased by the excess of presents beneath the tree, so excited about a Best Buy box that he dives beneath the Santa-sown fare. In another, two children sit, hypnotized by a bright Best Buy box, as Santa attempts to catch their attention. After all, he's not used to children ignoring his mythical status.

In our postmodern society, which values the death of grand narratives (which merely secretly means that we no longer wish to pay any attention whatsoever to grand, systematic criticisms or condemnations of capitalism), the icon of giving is no longer needed. Giving is irrelevant in times of excess.

But, who really cares? As Best Buy shows us, the thriving consumerism of hypercapitalism negates any necessity for traditional, loving, giving. It's not the thought that counts, but the packaging; the march of capital makes even tradition obsolete.

Hopefully, we will awake from our daze. If not, at least we will be hypontized by our boxes.