• Joseph S. Pete

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

Fudge it, just stroll into the fluorescent wash of an anodyne Walgreens.

Head straight to the gift card rack.

Behold all the assembled totems and avatars of corporate America,

all the retail and restaurant patches

of the suburban quilt that blankets the goosefleshed countryside.

Grab a random handful, stuff ‘em into monochromatic cards.

It’s the thoughtlessness that counts

in a society that gives so little thought to others,

to zoning, habitats, homelessness, historic architecture, equal opportunity, upward mobility,

etcetera, etcetera.

Just do whatever’s easiest and most lucrative for you with no regard for others.

Shower everyone in your life with inert plastic cards.

Observe the rituals of frenzied commerce but embody society’s moldering values all the same.

To thine own self be true.

—Joseph S. Pete


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