Plaid Friday is the first and only social movement I have ever joined, it is becoming my holiday, it occurs on November 29 of this year and it was created as an alternative Black Friday, Corporate America’s successful kidnapping of our national holiday of Thanksgiving, now a 24 shopping extravaganza that has obliterated both the idea and celebration of the very idea of giving thanks, as opposed to buying lots of stuff at discount.
I am no gringe, it is fun for friends and families to shop for bargains together, but a few years ago, small and local businesses in Oakland, California came up with the idea of people shopping locally as an alternative to feeding the corporate beast that is devouring our very existence, creating untold numbers of bad and dehumanizing jobs and obliterating, everywhere in it’s path, the individuality and sense of community that small businesses create.
The Plaid Friday idea has spread all over the country, it has come to a vengeance in my small town of Cambridge, N.Y., where local businesses are righting to remain viable and profitable as more and bigger Wal-Mart’s spread all over the land like giant warts.
It is tough to even remember what Thanksgiving was all about amidst all of the hype and marketing, but in my home, Plaid Friday is a big deal, Maria has been making potholders for months to sell on that day, and I this year I have a personal sake: I am offering my new book “Second Chance Dog: A Love Story” as part of Plaid Friday, if you buy it on that day, and from my local bookstore “Battenkill Books,” I will offer two free copies of the book for give-away and Maria is offering a “Frieda” potholder to be given to one of the people who order a copy of the book between now and November 29.
This celebrates the idea of buying local, supporting a bookstore, supporting my work (and Maria’s), fighting for individuality and community. Corporations have their place in American life, but so do the rest of us – me, you, Connie Brooks and Maria, to name just a few. And our place is getting smaller all the time. We can take our holiday back, take our country back. Plaid Friday is spreading rapidly across the country, it means doing some or hopefully all of your shopping with local businesses, keep the money in communities.
Writers are businesspeople now, on the new book tour I am out there selling books, just like Connie is selling books or my friend Scott Carrino is selling omelettes and sandwiches. We define local. I hope you support Plaid Friday wherever you are, I am doing most of my holiday shopping in town. If you want to support my view of Plaid Friday, don’t have a local bookstore any longer, or like the idea of life existing beyond the greed and reach of big corporations, you can purchase a copy of “Second Chance Dog” at Battenkill Books, through their website or by calling them at 518 677-2515. They take Paypal and ship anywhere. “Second Chance Dog” is a Plaid Friday idea, if there ever was one. My plan is to sell lots of books at Battenkill and drive Connie, Kate, Marilyn and Colleen to joyous exhaustion. Plaid Friday is my holiday in so many ways, it preserves the original spirit of Thanksgiving, drowned out in all the hype for cellphones and tablets and toaster ovens. Let’s meet on November 29.
I have come to see this new book of mine as a celebration of individuality and second chances in so many different ways. Plaid Friday is a big one.