For the first time in my young life, I have participated in Black Friday, the day-after-thanksgiving consumer orgy during which many retail businesses go from losing to making money for the year (from red to black, natch). Or, to put it another way, I broke with my traditional observance of Buy Nothing Day.
I don't really feel any moral qualms. I need a new laptop for my job, and I have a one-day chance to get the one I want (one of Apple's new MacBooks) for $100 less than normal. I'm high-rollin' enough to buy a new laptop, yeah, but not enough that I can sneer at a hundo discount, let alone pay Apple's "black tax" for the darker cased model.
It's a matter of public record that I detest the consumption-oriented nature of our culture and economy. I believe it trivializes and perverts the human spirit while simultaneously bringing ruination to the natural world and a sentence of servitude to millions (perhaps billions) of would-be Galileos. We must find a better way.
That being said, I don't think not buying something on a given day -- even if it were done by a statistically significant portion of the population -- is all that great a tactic. Economically, it's as impactful as the Don't Buy Gas For One Day urban legend. If you want to break out of the consumer cycle and trap, it's got to be a buy less life, not just a day that averages out over the year.
Now, I recognize that part of the value of Buy Nothing Day is as sort of personal act of observance, a keeping of the faith, but I don't need that. I don't need to go to Church to feel spiritually and morally whole either.