I didn't bother to join the Black Friday frenzy today. I find the very idea abhorrent, never mind the reality! I did a bit of ordinary household shopping, making sure to go early to an out-of-the-way supermarket that would attract less traffic. It wasn't busy at all, and I was in and out with my purchases in a matter of a few minutes.
I came home to read headlines of havoc and mayhem at larger shopping centers. This screenshot of Drudge Report headlines this morning speaks for itself:
I have no desire whatsoever to support Black Friday in any way, shape or form if it produces behavior like that! Also, as one who's lived in the Third World for many years, I can't help consider such behavior an obscenity in the light of the reality currently lived by so many others, illustrated very graphically by Allan Bevere:
Mr. Bevere makes several good points about Black Friday, including these:
Fifth, and related to my fourth point, we need to stop blaming the retailers for the fiasco that is about to happen. If Black Friday was not such a huge success, retailers would not be marketing it. If opening the doors on Thanksgiving were not a money-maker, no store would even consider it. It's we the shoppers who have made such things possible. We blame the retailers because we know we have the inability to be responsible and just stay home, so if they would only stay closed we would not have to exercise the discipline necessary to just say no to ourselves. Someone else must be to blame for our bad behavior.
Sixth, and finally, Black Friday and the entire Christmas shopping season is one more instance that reminds us of the deep problem in American culture in which we are unable to separate our wants from our needs. The reason for such inability results from the loss of life centered on the divine. When that center is lost we rush to meet our needs with every imaginable want, and we seek to make others happy by giving them what they want.
There's more at the link. Eminently sane, sensible and worthwhile reading.
I loathe Black Friday. I'm glad it's almost over.