Saturday, November 26, 2011
The Friday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as "Black Friday". On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, some as early as Midnight on Thursday or as early as 4 a.m. Friday morning. These same stores supposedly offer "great" deals on Black Friday.
Personally, the concept of Black Friday is both telling and distressing. The United States economy is based on consumption...probably more accurately- over consumption. We don't produce a whole lot any more, we just consume the world's products, in massive quantities. It's what keeps money changing hands. Black Friday shows how much we need to have our stuff, and right now.
Do we really need a special dispensation of time to buy more stuff a few hours earlier than usual? Give me a break.
Yesterday's "Black Friday" was highlighted by some crazy dude who pepper sprayed people waiting in line with him to buy stuff. Stories like this emerge every year. The video clips of hundreds of people packing the entrance of Target, or some other store, to buy more junk is pathetic.
Bluntly, I am embarrassed for my country, which is hopelessly in debt and generally given over to materialism and over consumption, when the "Black Friday" images parallel third world country villagers lining up at a humanitarian aid truck...only they are at Best Buy and Walmart.