Skip to main content

Tis Ths Season To Be Phony

While listening to the radio the other day (more specifically, the Dan Patrick Show -- gotta love that hair) I heard an advertisement for something called the American Express Gift Card. Beneath the whimsy, the ad claimed that during the “holiday season” (which I suppose now begins as Halloween), people should give gifts to their friends, family, and co-workers in the form of something they actually want. Therefore, claims the voiceover, one should give American Express Gift Cards, which can be used at any of the thousands of places that take American Express.

My first thought was typically cynical. A person who gives such a gift is blatantly admitting that they haven’t clue one as to what sorts of things their friends and family are interested in. A card with a gift certificate inside practically screams:

“I don’t want to appear inconsiderate, so here’s a bunch of money that you can use to buy any consumer product that you wish – products that I would have bought you myself if I wasn’t so lazy and oblivious as to your personal desires. Merry Holiday Season.”

Later, as I was mulling this idea over in my mind, a second thought struck me: Why not just give cash? If you are going to go through the trouble of NOT shopping for someone, why not just stuff a C-Note into an envelope and be done with it? Why all the pretense of a “Gift Card?”

I realize now that the truth lies directly with the synthesis of these two thoughts: People are lazy and stupid, but cash gifts are too transparent a reminder of how lazy and stupid they are. The Gift Card is the eidolon that fools the recipient into believing that the giver actually put time and energy into their gift, when in fact, they did not. It is as negotiable as cash, but with its metallic gold coloring and fancy script, sidesteps the tackiness of a folded up twenty dollar bill.

Phony gifts for phony people to give their phony friends.

And the wheel keeps turning…


Moni said…
I'll take a shiny metallic gold colored gift card, or a C-note. You give C-notes? Can I be on your Christmas gift list.

I know what you mean though, people have gotten a wee bit lazy when finding that heart-felt gift for their loved ones. Whatever happened to homemade gifts? Oh, I'm sorry i must be living in the 1800's ;p

"Eidolon." I had to look that up; now if you expect me to post on your blog, then you've got to stop using those five dollar words. hehe

Anonymous said…
If you're going to try to be intelligent at least do a little research first, I'll take a few hundred of those cnotes myself, I don't find them tacky & distasteful whatsoever

Popular posts from this blog

All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions (W. B. Yeats)

Something occurred to me as I was having a conversation with a friend today, (she’s definitely one of the Outcast by the way), when she mentioned that I wasn’t very “open-minded.” The phrase “open-minded” is perhaps the most aggravating and deceptive American axioms ever invented. Why? Because it’s a trap. The only reason people see others as not “open-minded” is because they are not in agreement about a particular subject. If someone says, “I don’t think the U.S. ever put a man on the moon,” I’d disagree, because there’s tons of evidence to the contrary. But then I’d be met with the dreaded “you need to be more open-minded!” Well, shouldn’t they have the same level of open-mindedness? Of course not. Because in their lexicon, “open-minded” means “believing any old bit of nonsense as long as it goes against tradition.” Cold, hard facts scare these people, so they hide behind the gilded shield of “opinions.”

To be honest, I don’t believe there are any such things as opinions. There are f…

Reason # 1147 To Enroll Your Kids In Private School

Here's a brief story I'd like to relate while it's still fresh in my mind; typically, my articles are 3-4 pages, and quite frankly, it's far too hot to create such a magnum opus tonight. So, I offer you an ultra-condensed version of a disturbing event which took place this past Friday.
Actually, to set the stage, we have to go back to the previous Friday, when the Superintendent of our District happened to be visiting our school. To explain why he was there, I'd have to go over the one-page cap I've set for myself for this article, so suffice it to say that he was trying to do in late May what he should have been doing all year long – namely, his job.
While he is visiting, a student decides it would be a real hoot to throw a glass bottle out of a third-floor classroom window. And since the universe is not without a sense of humor, the bottle travels along a trajectory which terminates at the windshield of a brand-new car parked on the street outside. A car t…