MARTHA THOMASES: Black Friday Is Not A Superhero
Today is Black Friday, the day when it is our patriotic duty as Americans to go into a spending frenzy. For all our talk about family values, we think it is more important to forgo the conviviality of the Thanksgiving table so that we can stand in line to buy things.
Originally I had thought to write a column full of gift suggestions for those of you who want to introduce your family and friends to the joys of graphic storytelling. There are terrific books for a variety or ages and tastes and interests. I have my favorites, but I don’t know the people on your list, so my recommendations may not apply. That’s what the comments section is for.
Instead, I want to talk about you, Constant Reader. You and your needs.
Some people like to shop. Some people like to shop in crowded chain stores, the kind you find in your local mall. I am not one of those people. I don’t like walking around with a list of names, trying to figure out what to get. I’d rather sit at home, and imagine people getting things for me.
Here are some things you, as a fan of comics, might not yet know you want. Feel free to print this up and leave it where your loved ones can find it.
For example, do you know that your love for the combination of words and images on paper makes you a connoisseur of fine art? This book showcases the career of Barbara Kruger, one of the most influential (and entertaining) of late twentieth century feminist artists. This book provokes me and makes me feel exalted, all at the same time. Would that all gifts were so accomplished.
Do you think you have the most embarrassing family in the world? Would you like to be shown otherwise? If so, I can’t recommend enough My Favorite Year, a fictional account of what it must have felt like to be Mel Brooks working as a writer for Sid Caesar. I love everything about this movie, including Bill Macy and, especially, Joseph Bologna.
You know how everyone says the best holiday gift is peace on earth? If you say this and you mean it, you should let everyone know you want this calendar from the War Resisters League. Bold graphics, good politics, and amusing history trivia make this a great deal for an even more great cause.
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman
Thanks, Martha, for mentioning the WRL calendar. For those of you who collect last editions–at least as valuable and wonderful as first editions–this calendar is a must because it is the last one that WRL will issue. It has a Afterword by me, so i'm not totally unbiased, but i had nothing to do with Noam Chomsky's Introduction so i can say with no reservations that it is a good piece of writing.
Black Friday. The day that poor man was trampled to death at the Wal-Mart on Long Island. (Don’t remember which town.) You’d think that would have put an end to it. Nope.
Never got Black Friday. Never did. Never will.
There’s another great “holiday” movie that I love, ONCE AROUND, with Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss, about the “embarassment” of families. And also HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.