We have all these special days right after Thanksgiving — Black Friday, Small Store Saturday, Cyber Monday, Hot Dog Cart Sunday — to encourage the spending of the kind of money that allowed us to buy things for which we’d been grateful, such as turkeys who are born to be killed and eaten.
The mornings following these special days the newspapers (or TV news or websites) are filled with stories about the antics and misbehavior of typical American shoppers during the first days of the Season of Consumption.
From just one news article found via Google, on this year’s fun:
– New Jersey: a man is charged with disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on a police officer at a Walmart;
– Chicagoland: an alleged shoplifter is shot after dragging a police officer in the parking lot of a Kohl’s department store;
– Southern California: a police officer is injured in a fight at a Wal-Mart;
– Las Vegas: a shopper is shot in the leg after purchasing a big-screen TV at a Target; and,
– West Virginia: at Wal-Mart, a man is slashed with a knife after threatening another man with a gun over a parking space.
(There’s even a website called “blackfridaydeathcount”, if you’re interested in keeping tabs on depravity.)
Those learning about the incidents shake their heads in disgust at the way in which the people in the stories go berserk over objects that after a short time will either get tossed into a landfill, piped up stacks or sent to a third world country where children will dig past the toxic parts in order to find what can be recycled (note: nobody really thinks about this last thing at all).
These observers can afford to ignore the SUPER COLOSSAL SAVINGS!!! of the special days. The people they are reading about and watching on the evening news are the working poor and lower middle class, i.e., people who can’t afford to sit back and mock everybody else if they want to have stuff.
The squabbling shoppers have spent a year on their pleather couches being told by advertisers and alleged “news sources” about the latest and most amazing products that everybody must have so they can be thankful the last Thursday of the next November and to feel good about themselves because America is the best damned country on earth for the worthy ones who have earned it.
Those who have not are, well, lacking.
We have a system in which the less affluent are brainwashed into thinking they need all sorts of Tickle-Ass Elmos and Quadruple-D TV screens to be like the better-off folk – or they suck. After thanking the Creator of The Universe, they rush out, sometimes waiting all night in shopping center parking lots behind barriers. In the worst of circumstances they shoot and run over each other and trample poor bastards who are paid minimum wage to dress as Santa Claus. Those are the stories we read about. But in most cases they are let into the stores like horses out of a starting gate, rushing to the aisles they want, cutting each other off, elbowing, squeezing, doing anything necessary because the SUPER DISCOUNT!!! items are of limited quantity.
It is degrading.
There’s a scene in “Django Unchained” where the cruel master makes a couple of slaves fight to the death. Apparently things like that happened. But they didn’t force the fights only for entertainment — it was just as much to humiliate the fighters, to remind them that they exist only to serve, or to be a spectacle.
See a parallel?