Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Blues.

People ready to crash through the door way at a Wall- Mart
what is wrong with our society? 
Forget the kids starving in this long line of over night
shoppers. Mom and Dad have to get that new
I pod.
We have a growing trend in our society . On Black Friday and every holiday sale . Here I am going to get you to think twice before you go to that shopping mall . An old woman is knocked to the ground and trampled as a crowd races past; one person turns to help her and is swept away in the mob, only to be injured himself. Two other men begin to beat and kick each other; soon the violence escalates into what has been described as a “small riot” as the pain and suffering of the injured seems fade away into a surreal sea of bodies. Are people fleeing an attack? Is this a natural disaster? Are people starving and fighting for survival for themselves and their families? What crisis could possibly make human beings behave this way towards each other? Sadly, the answer is greed. This disgusting display did not happen in a third world country or a disaster zone. It happened in the affluent community of South Hill Washington where all people could think of was their own need for material things at the expense of the health and safety of others and even their own dignity.Sadly, this scenario played out over and over again all across this “great’ country of ours, as people left their homes and families in the cold, dark wee hours of the morning in order to beat others to holiday sales and deals, resorting to violence when they deemed it necessary. The Tacoma News Tribune decided to print an editorial about how stores should do a better job of stocking their shelves in order to prevent this from occurring .Are the stores taking advantage of people’s most base instincts? Yes. Do they contribute to the problem because all they care about is sucking people in to spend money on other things? Yes.The market system has people hooked into spending on things that they may not need . The stores KNOW HOW TO BAIT and SWITCH YOU. They make the "price" look like a markdown bargain , yet it's the "regular price" . There may be a sign posted that says " 30 to 50 %" off , but you are paying for it's actual costs . The Market system knows how to drag you into the store thinking that you'll save big , but on the other hand your wallet or purse will be a lot lighter.Although Black Friday represents a glaring example of what is wrong with our country, every time I think about how awful we are when it comes to crass consumerism I have to stop and realize that people buying crap all the time is what makes this economy go. It represents job growth, and GDP growth, and in the end, a better life for the middle class. The entire economy depends on people spending money on stuff they really don't need, but without that spending the economy, and people's lives suffer. It is an ugly double edged sword for sure, but I don't see a way out of it.What stood out to me as I watched the footage was the people shown turning back into the crowd with merchandise in hand, eager to push others out of their way in their hurry to get to the checkout line (or perhaps to snag other items for sale).To me, the behavior captured in these videos symbolizes the selfish, uncaring attitude so many people seem to have these days. There’s so much screaming and yelling in this video that I can’t make out any coherent dialogue. But the body language is clear: I’ve got mine, now get out of my way!  Whatever happened to humility? Goodwill towards others? Has consumerism so consumed us that we’ve forgotten the message of timeless works about the true meaning of the holiday season – like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?


Black Friday is no longer simply an exercise in selfishness, greed, and bad taste. It has become a human-rights issue. The spectacle of human beings transformed into baying hounds by the false promise of things is almost on a par with the grotesque social engineering of Stalin and Mao. Rather than the brutality of the Khmer Rouge, it seems that all it takes to enslave American minds is the promise of 50 percent off two lipsticks from Moulin Rouge.

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