Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture
It's that time of year again: Buy Nothing Day rolls around this [Black] Friday, which means that for you more rebellious spirits it's time to put those shopping bags in the closet and bask in the beauty of a quiet, simple, Wal-Mart-free post-Thanksgiving Day.
I've never been a fan of the institutionalized cultural binge that is the traditional American Thanksgiving feast. It always seemed absurd to me to fly across the country to gather with my family just to stuff our faces for a few hours before succumbing to the obligatory food coma and then passing out in front of the TV. (And that means we're consciously grateful, how?) It's always seemed more appropriate to really practice gratitude by observing a day of fasting, which can be a conscious reminder of how much we take our usual nourishment for granted (and not to mention a shout-out of solidarity to the damages done to Native Americans when their lands were co-opted by frontier-minded Puritans, but that's another story).
Adbusters and its ever-expanding Buy Nothing Day campaign have stepped in to provide that kind of cultural "fasting space" on the day after Thanksgiving, the time when the consuming hordes descend on the mega-malls to pillage the aisles for cheapie Christmas bargains. In the interest of subversion, not to mention aparigraha (non-grasping, living simply, etc.), I say: ditch the sales, skip the crowds and marinate in the long empty hours of a life made of your own wild volition, sans unnecessary consumption. Use your day off, in the words of Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn, to "live without dead time."
Now that's an idea to be thankful for.
Buy Nothing Day Headquarters (Adbusters)