I wanted to wait until “Black Friday” was over before writing this blog article, so that all the issues would show themselves. All the madness, the ill will, the greed and the total lack of respect and consideration for our fellow human being that is Black Friday.
I can’t personally fathom some of the stupidity that goes on on this, the day after Thanksgiving, a day when we’re supposed to be thankful for what we have been given in our short time on this earth. It seems like maybe too much turkey and stuffing makes people forget the thankfullness, and they get greedy. When they get greedy they become self-centered, destructive, inconsiderate and reckless. As a result of all of this, bad things happen. Things like grandfathers getting roughed up by off-duty police in Arizona. (1) Things like a Los Angeles woman pepper spraying other shoppers to keep them away from an xBox she wants, (2) and a host of other inhumanities. (3)
I stayed at home yesterday. I watched movies with my family, drank coffee and poked around on the web. As the wall posts started appearing on Facebook from people out amongst the insanity, I just sat back and shook my head. Two hours to check out of Wal Mart? Driving around the parking lot for an hour just for a parking space? For what? Something you can probably order on-line at the same price or better! One of my cousins messaged that she had gone out for a copy of Battlefield 3, only to find after dealing with the crush and crowd, that the stores were already sold out. Immediately, I popped open another two browser tabs, surfed to GameStop and Amazon, and easily found the game in plentiful quantities on both sites. I messaged her back and informed her of this, while again shaking my head.
In the midst of over two months of Occupy protests, another glaring discrepancy has come up. A lot of you have probably seen the pictures circulating through the internet of the tents erected outside of stores and malls on Thanksgiving evening. In contrast to the efforts of law enforcement to evict protesters from tent cities in parks, no efforts were made to prevent or prohibit these Black Friday encampments. The clear message this sends to the world? It’s perfectly fine to set up tents and occupy public and even private property, as long as you’re going to feed the greed machine and spend gobs of money on the economy the next day!
Now that Black Friday is over and done with, retailers are deeming it a success.(4) Personally, I don’t see what’s so “successful” about a day that saw violence, greed and avarice being done on several levels, in stark contrast to the day before, a day where compassion and gratitude are encouraged. I instead find myself disgusted at a system of government and commerce that encourages these types of behaviours, while at the same time seeking to supress peaceful assembly and protest. It’s shameful, and I partook of none of it. (However, I will thank all of the greedy people out there for the great blog fodder you have provided me! You just extended my Thanksgiving by two whole days!)
When Black Friday comes,
I’m gonna dig myself a hole,
Gonna lay down in it, ’til
I satisfy my soul.
Gonna let the world pass by me.
The Archbishop’s gonna sanctify me.
And if he don’t come across,
I’m gonna let it roll.
When Black Friday comes
I’m gonna stake my claim,
I’ll guess I’ll change my name. (Steely Dan, “Black Friday” c1975.)