Black Friday


Ah, the bliss of the holiday season in the U.S.: joy, celebration, community, trampling over bystanders at Walmart in order to snatch the last discounted knife kit, cozying up to a fire, and looking at decorative lights all constitute this wonderful time of year…

Obviously, there is something to be said about the counter-intuitive nature of what the holiday season has now become in the 21st century. On Thanksgiving day, millions of families and communities come together to share graces and express a general appreciation for one another and everything they have — and then shortly thereafter, gorge their shopping baskets with cheap, mass-produced objects, nearly killing anyone who gets in their way of finding the best sale. Yes, complete chaos ensues with the strike of every consumer’s diamond-encrusted watch at midnight (and in some cases, right after mealtime) following a day which represents the ideals of contentment and compassion. This deliberate perversion of the ethical values people supposedly promote as the “giving” spirit of the holidays not only causes confusion within society, but also takes away the meaning and magic of the season.

This lethal day, appropriately named “Black Friday” since it is literally the one day of the year when most retail companies crawl out of the “red” (negative profit) and into the “black” (earning profit), established a tradition in America which encourages hedonistic excess and, of course, a true capitalist mindset. Thousands of human bodies stampede their way through the doors of major retail stores at one time, completely oblivious of their surroundings as they push and shove through everyone around them. There have been 10 recorded deaths and 105 severe injuries as a result of this animalistic behavior since 2006 — and it is all done in the name of generosity.

The barbaric happenings that occur because of this annual event are largely excused since Black Friday marks the first “official” day of Christmas shopping, and everyone just wants a good deal because buying presents can get pretty pricey. However, American citizens must wake up to the stark reality of this situation; people are trampled, punched, screamed at, and even stabbed every year due to the rampant consumerism that continues to progress within the country, and this should not be associated with themes of thoughtfulness whatsoever. If there is no respect shown for the fellow common man, there is no hope that the same respect could be shown to one’s family or those closest to him, no matter what the material prize is.

The blame should partially be placed on big businesses for only offering this massive sale on their cheaply made merchandise on one day of the year, all the while knowing that they are jeopardizing their customers’ safety by continuing this trend. Still, a large number of people in the U.S. remain happily brainwashed, mindlessly following the notion that it’s “normal” to recess from our current evolution and turn into savages if it means they get to that half-priced item before another person does. This insatiable hunger for the best product for the best price will continue forever if people keep playing these companies’ games; we will keep running in circles with every new edition, as with every holiday season.

Instead of disregarding the consequences that accompany this madness, Americans need to wake up to the adverse effects this type of primitive thought process has on humanity. It seems as if many are unaware of how huge retail companies equivocate people into submission of their will, only to broaden their own monetary horizons. They will go to great lengths to ensure sweet profit is made, which is exactly why consumers should look elsewhere to shop for Christmas if  there is hope to discourage this disgusting trend. There are plenty of local businesses in every area of the country that are in dire need of support during the holidays, and although they probably cannot offer the same deals dished out by major retailers, chances are these places will not resemble a battlefield on Black Friday. Also, with the surge of people acquiring internet access and digital money, online shopping is a great alternative that is safe and still offers the same products found at any Best Buy or Target with similar discounts.