Friday, November 28, 2008

Ban Black Friday

Black Friday is my least favorite day of the year. When consumerism and excessive crowd sizes converge, you get things like this, where people are TRAMPLED TO DEATH because some idiot consumer thinks they need a fourth flat screen TV. That event is really such a metaphor for the way the general economy and politics of Black Friday operate through the drive to fulfill consumer impulses at any non-monetary expense. Never mind that it is the crowd's own fault for being outraged at standing in line all night when they start the line 12 hours before the store is supposed to open. Never mind that the stores thought it was okay to encourage this kind of behavior without having the proper amount of security to control the crowds.

I am outraged and saddened by the state of a consumer culture in which an employee gets trampled to death by throngs of customers who break through the doors of a store, yells out that he has been hurt, and people just tell him to shut up because they were waiting in line since 9 p.m. the night before. Everyone who was in that crowd that day is a murderer and a participant in a culture that promotes consumption above the lives of people upon whose backs the system itself functions.

I'm not saying that if you went shopping today you are a murderer, but you should seriously still think about why you got up at 6 a.m. to get in a line for stuff that you don't need, just because you wanted to beat everyone else out in getting it. Why is it that all stores have to do to get people running out of their houses to accumulate as much as possible is to put up a sign that says SALE? Why do people feel like their life depends on spending the least amount of money possible?

Screw that, man. I blame the winter holidays, the corporations that sustain them, and the consumers that participate in them.

This year, make your own presents. Write someone a nice letter. Bake something. Knit a hat. Buy hand-made. Or at the very least, don't act like an effing idiot by showing up at the mall hours before it opens just to get $80 off of that overpriced bag you don't need. And if you participate in Black Friday next year, you should be ashamed of yourself.

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