I haven’t been into the consumer culture for a few years because of my economic circumstances. Black Friday has usually been “Buy Nothing” day for me simply because I usually don’t have any money this time of month. And I hate crowds. And I can’t think of anything on earth that would be worthwhile camping out overnight in November to obtain at what price. Probably not even if it was free.
So it saddened me to read that a temporary employee of Wal*Mart was trampled to death by early morning shoppers. And they continued to shop even as police tried to clear the store, trampled on emergency workers and were generally uncivilized. Sledpress, you are not the only one who is appalled. I had to ask myself, “What planet do these people live on?” But perhaps the question should be what planet do I live on? I don’t watch much TV, so I don’t see many ads. I usually watch what has been DVR’d, so I can blip through the commercials anyway. I don’t take a newspaper. I got tired of dead trees cluttering up my living room, most of which were ads. I don’t know whats hawt, or cool, or medium. And I don’t care. As long as I have a roof over my head and something to eat and feed the dog, I figure I’m OK.
I don’t think Christmas has ever been about “stuff” for me. I grew up in a big family, and there wasn’t money to buy all of us the kinds of stuff available today. One year, my dad made my sisters and I dolly beds. Usually we would get one toy, and a something new to wear, and candy in our stockings. Christmas was about church, and lights, and a big family dinner. So I don’t get trampling people for a Tickle Me Elmo, or a 42″ plasma TV, or anything else.
I was amused by Goldy’s account of a foray into Black Friday. I could have told him that 6 AM was too late to get to a 5 AM sale. One year The Boyo, and his best guy pal decided to go to one of those sales. They figured if they got there at 3 AM, that would be early enough. More like 3 PM the previous day was too late. Fortunately, the store they were going to gave out numbers, and only let a certain number of people at a time in.
I think Metro’s got it right, the day after Thanksgiving needs to be repurposed. Andrew Revkin, at DotEarth might have the right idea. It’s time that we make something, instead of buying stuff. Most of the stuff in stores these days is crap, anyway, no matter what you pay for it. Take for instance the video camera I bought a couple of years ago with my crazy money. And I didn’t get the high-priced service contract. Then I dropped it and broke the little screen that you use for a view finder. Well, they should just be able to replace that, right? Nope, no replacement parts. They are not made to be repairable. Stupid. And now I know why you need those stupid service contracts, because they will replace the camera if you break it. Why not just make it so it can be fixed? And I had to replace a flat screen monitor, too, because it cost as much to fix it as to replace it. Stupid.
So I’m going to go make some stuff. Cookies, perhaps knitted or crocheted goods, hand-made cards I have a kit for and been meaning to make for two years. Scrapbooks. Memories. And I’ll light a candle for the poor soul who got trampled by greedy idiots.