Ahh, it’s that wonderful time of the year again. Mistletoe, fat perverts in beards and if you’re lucky enough to know her, my friend Amy’s amazing Guinness cookies*. Oh yeah, and the ‘cultural’ launch ramp that will send many of us here in the bargain-crazed United States full-on into the tinsel-laden madness that is just around the corner. No I’m not talking about Thanksgiving, I’m talking about the day after the day we give thanks for Native slaughter. I’m talking about the final nail that puts the effigy to the cross – Black Friday!!!
Those who know me know that to say that I abhor even the concept of this frenzy-inducing shot of adrenaline the retailers oh so methodically inject into three-fourths of the population in order to stir up that primordial territorially-obsessed primate within us to make their numbers is an understatement. I understand wanting a good deal, I don’t understand letting a retailer control even a moment of your life if you’re giving them money.
But year in and year out people do it. It becomes an event. Something to plan and look forward to. I get wanting to have ‘Events’ in your life, I just don’t get wanting to have them in retail stores. Go wait outside for the pound or one of those awful pet stores with all the crying animals in cages to open and adopt a cat or dog instead of waiting to fight others over a three-dollar toaster oven. I guarantee the animal will bring you more happiness and if you still want the toaster oven, it’ll probably be on sale for ten dollars on December 15th, caphiche?
Last year my hatred of Black Friday was very unfortunately justified when Jdimytai Damour, a temporary worker at a walmart store was trampled to death by a mob of bargain-hungry consumers, most of whom did not even stop to notice or lend a hand to the man they killed on their way through the doors. I blogged about this last year**. I of course blame walmart, but I moreso blame the people. How is it we’ve come so far in so many ways but we still act like brainless animals when it comes to the whim of the company’s that create the world we live in? walmart is a major force in the world and if that’s not scary enough on the corporate level, it’s even scarier on the ground floor, where tragedies like this occur.
So of course the question one year later is ‘will walmart do anything differently this year for black friday sales’, like oh, I don’t know, maybe not open their doors – a retail ‘Moment of Silence’ for Jdimytai Damour’s memory?
Yeah right. Remember how quick they re-opened after the tragedy last year?
What they are doing is not closing any of their stores the night before. So in other words, a bunch of folks will get caught working through one of the only family-oriented holidays we have left***. That’s their answer. So according to the Los Angeles Times article I’m referencing here**** this will negate the line-up and trample (also known as the AC/DC effect) that has been common knowledge now as a ‘cultural event’ for decades – the kind of last minute amusing anecdote Ron Majors or any local night time news anchor rounds out their broadcast with three days beforehand, adding their own little quip or pun for charm’s sake. Yes, this ridiculously loutish behavior has been a pin of flair on the lapel of the U.S. for some time now and it took Jdimytai Damour to bring any amount of outrage to it at all on the media-coverage level. So what does walmart do?
Again, they stay open all night.
Never mind what happens the moment the sales begin? What will trigger the first sales minute? Will it be the 5 am hour on the nose? May I suggest 6:66 am instead? Will hordes of customers inside the store, tired and hopped-up on various canned energy drinks and bad strip mall coffee not all rush and swarm for $1 axe body spray gift sets and miley cyrus training bras?
In response to questions about handling the environment inside the store walmart company spokeswoman Daphne Moore was quoted by the aforementioned LA Times as saying:
“Customer and associate safety is a top priority for us, and this year is no different,“
This year is no different? Oh yeah, what about last year? Obviously it is different mam, otherwise one Jdimytai Damour would not be dead.
- ‘Roll back your sleeves and chop off your head, here comes the black friday to strengthen your dread.‘ – excerpt from a sam walton-penned nursery rhyme dick ‘taco’ cheney reportedly sings to his grandchildren.
* Link to it here and thanks to Mr. Brown for even reminding me I wrote that! http://chud.com/articles/blogs/1433/Roll-back-your-sleeves-.html
** Even if it is an observance of a lot of other senseless deaths. But hey! Historically significant senseless deaths, eh?
*** http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi walmart11-2009nov11,0,94226.story?track=rss