Now gluten-free!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

"Black Friday"

Yesterday morning I had to help cover the early shift at work. That means I have to be at work at 4:35am, rolling out of bed at...well 4:35 minus exactly how many minutes it takes me to roll out of bed, pull on a pair of jeans, cover my bed-head hair with a baseball cap, and drive 8 miles of empty streets to the studio. As I rolled past the shopping center a few blocks away from my house, though, I saw that several hundred people had already risen ahead of me. And for what? To stand in a line that extended a block away from the front door of Best Buy! IMHO, that's just stupid. Don't get me wrong, I love electronics, and I spend my share of time and money at that same store. But, just why are we so desperate to save a couple bucks off some stuff in a land where we have retail goods bulging out of every orifice?

Excerpts from a couple news articles:

A Black Friday promotion at a Southern California mall turned into a stampede.About 2,000 shoppers rushed for 500 balloons filled with gift certificates at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance. An elderly woman and nine other people were hurt in all the pushing and shoving.Police said some people forgot about safety in an effort to get a prize. The mall management said it was "completely overwhelmed" by the turnout for the promotion.
(The Associated Press)

Now in Aisle 8: Black Friday shopping stories -- Thousands of shoppers took advantage of Friday’s balmy weather to swarm Des Moines and suburban malls and big-box stores....“We were originally heading to Best Buy but our friends are already over there, and they told us don’t bother. It’s just packed so we headed over here,” said Adam Carney, one of about 70 shoppers waiting outside CompUSA at 4:50 a.m. “We typically don’t do this but we are in the spirit of greed and ready to go, and it’s warm out this morning,” said Carney, who was looking for a computer monitor....
...At the Merle Hay Mall Kohl’s...the line was half the length of the Des Moines store. Michelle Ortiz, who was holding her mother’s place while her mom shopped for a few more items, was so far back she couldn’t even see the cash registers. After previous stops at Toys “R “Us and Wal-Mart, the lines tiring Ortiz. “They’re really long, and they’re annoying,” she said. At least the crowd at Kohl’s was calm, she said. That hadn’t been the case at the Windsor Heights Wal-Mart. “They were practically killing each other to get some stuff, some Bratz dolls,” Ortiz said. “I think a little baby even got hit in the head with one of them. They were screaming and yelling and the cops came....”
(The Des Moines Register)


Christmas has already been over-commercialized for years, but shopping the day after Thanksgiving has now become an emblem of mindless, herd-mentality consumerism. I find it beneath my dignity as a self-willed human being participate. I know I'm supposed to think of others as being better than myself, but I'm about to start making an exception for people who are willing to stand in line and push and shove their way into any retail establishment in an effort to get their hands on some discounted piece of plastic crap.

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Lee Shelton said...

Bring back the good ol' days when kids were happy to get an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, Range Model air rifle with a compass on the stock and this thing which tells time.

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