black friday crowd

Shit That Needs to Stop : Black Friday

Let me ask you a question.  The next time you’re out in public, maybe somewhere classy like an Applebee’s, would you be willing to accept $100 in exchange for standing tall and screaming:

“Excuse me! May I have your attention?  I want the world to know that I just farted.  It was satisfying in the moment, but I just now realized how eye-watering foul the resulting stench was, and the guilt is driving me mad.  I can no longer in good conscience sit here implying with my watering eyes that this was the doing of the chunky twelve-year-old boy at the table next to us.  It was I, and I am sorry.  Also, I consistently disappoint my sex partners.” ?

If you are, then please record such activity and submit it to me immediately for payment.

If you’re not, I will venture a guess the reason you declined has something to do with being unwilling to embarrass yourself for a cash payment, much less one of that size.  You have too much dignity to do something so ridiculous, you would tell me.

Now, let me ask you another question.   Do you shop on Black Friday?

Do you line up outside stores hours before the sun rises that day, or worse yet, leave your family celebration early on Thanksgiving Day to jump in front of those that do?  Because if you do, you’ve already traded your dignity for a small cash reward.

You might see footage like this…

…and convince yourself that you’re not one of those people.  You’re not that crazy.  By choosing to be part of the demand that entices retailers to make chaos like that worthwhile, though, you are, by proxy – one of those people.

Although I applaud companies like Costco; GameStop; and Bed, Bath and Beyond for electing to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day out of respect for their employees and their families (you could make a cynical argument that it didn’t make financial sense to open at these particular kinds of stores anyway, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt), at the same time I can’t blame the businesses that not only don’t close on Thanksgiving, but participate in an arms race of sorts to open earlier and earlier every year, fearful of missing out on dollars spent at competitors while their doors remain locked.

It’s literally the reason for their existence – to sell products to customers where and when they want to buy them; so it’s not fair to shuffle the blame for nauseating materialism to them.  No, the catalyst for our yearly step towards valuing consuming over living is the horde of idiots chomping at the bit to leave their family at home while they sacrifice six hours of their life to save $50 on an iPad they didn’t really need to begin with.  It is their disgusting lust for excess that forces the staff at these stores – already deprived of adequate personal time by virtue of low pay and nonexistent benefits – to trudge in to work on the one day they should be able to enjoy time with their own families.

If you survived to Black Friday without whatever home item or electronic device you spend the morning mindlessly chasing, you can survive another day without it.  When questioned why they partake in the annual gross display of greed, some folks say what they enjoy most is the camaraderie with fellow Black Friday shoppers.  May I humbly suggest, there’s a better place you can find enjoyable camaraderie that day – at home, with your family.

 

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