Posted by: silverstar98121 | November 29, 2008

Black Friday

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.

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Responses

  1. Not only did they trample the poor man, they stepped right over him as the cops were giving him CPR.

    Black Friday indeed.

  2. it’s pretty sick… when shopping became combat sport and entertainment i pretty much gave it up. i sit at home and shop on the internet in my underwear when i need to buy a gift…

    not shopping this year. something for mom, something for my kids. making biscotti and some other yummies to share with friends and the rest of the family. it’s just goofy out there…

  3. I can’t remember if it was Betty Friedan or the Transactional Analysis people — maybe both — who observed that women, particularly, often got their most generous “strokes” of approval and recognition for being astute shoppers, from the salespeople themselves, of course, that being how they sell stuff. Meaning that shopping became the most rewarding activity that people could engage in. Of course they were reflecting on the 50s and 60s. But sometimes it does seem that Americans believe they are what they buy and a good bargain or impressive possession is a substitute for an accomplishment.

  4. I like the idea of making something. I’ll have to think about what I can do.

  5. Kym- I believe it has been suggested that you make calendars of your pictures. You can go to that on-line place I think your aunt suggested, or they have kits at office supply stores. Me, I’ll be editing all my Dad’s old VHS tapes onto DVD’s.

  6. I can’t find any that do vertical calendars and all my photos are oriented that way.

    • Hmmm, in that case I would probably design my own. I have some ideas, let me
      get back to you.

  7. I continue to be disgusted by the acquisition mentality of western civilization. People are really just sheep falling all over themselves to acquire the next gadget or trinket dangled in front of them by the marketers.

    One of the most sickening concepts (IMHO) is the one of inventing some useless piece of shit and then “creating a market” for it.

    WTF?

    Why don’t these idiots focus their time and energy addressing real existing need?

    I despise all of the “Hallmark” holidays. They’re just made up excuses in order to create a reason to sell junk to people not smart enough to know better.

    When will people realize that stuff is not what they need to fill up their empty lives?

    That a point has been reached where people involved or present in the trampling death of a store employee are too de-sensitized to the horror of what they’ve done speaks tremendous volumes, don’t you think?

  8. @rob – sadly? they’ll blame the store. the process. the guy who wasn’t smart enough to get out of the way. the “crowd” at the back pushing them forward… no accountability…


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