Gangrenous Friday

After reading this masturbatory tribute to the markets and this example of no good very bad terrible snobbery/douchery, I thought to myself “There has to be some middle ground here.”

I don’t have a problem with the idea of Black Friday: that is, the hoi polloi availing themselves of some admittedly pretty good price breaks so they can get their own Farting Elmo for their fat, spoiled kids.  I’m totally cool with that. The pushing and shoving “Lord of the Flies” atmosphere I’m less cool with. And when stores start opening up on Thanksgiving itself, forcing employees to work on holidays, you’ve lost me.

And knowing crowds passed by striking workers at Wal-Mart so they could stomp on someone’s face in order to be the first to grab Limited Edition “Twilight” 360 with Kinect makes me pretty sad.

So, yeah, there’s lots to find frowny-making about Black Friday, but I’m not sure impugning the motives (which, by the way, you’re not privy to) of serious shoppers  is a great thing. Hell, I used to half-heartedly shop on Black Fridays myself, until I reached my late 20’s and discovered I hate people. I call that epiphany my Festivus Miracle.

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14 thoughts on “Gangrenous Friday

  1. I think I know where your second link should go, but it’s not going there.

    I’m about as lefty as they come short of tithing to the Socialist Workers Party, but I don’t get worked up about Black Friday, or about power shopping in general. I have friends who indulge, roughly the way I used to indulge in pub trivia games (i.e., way more seriously than they deserved). There are people in my wife’s family who for years have mapped out Black Friday shopping plans, looking at the sales fliers and deciding where to go in what order and roughly how long to stay at each store; it’s probably as close as they’ll come to managing a World Series game, or being Meade at Gettysburg, and I’m not going to bedrudge them the opportunity to exercise their administrative talent on something that gives them pleasure.

  2. Y’know, I have a problem w/ people who “shop,” period. Consuming, like voting, just encourages them. Matter of fact, I haven’t bought a damn thing since, since, just a sec. [checks receipts] wow , last Sunday, the 18th.

  3. I hate WP.

    And what I originally typed was that I don’t like people who “shop,” period. Consuming, like voting, only encourages “them.”

    (Checking my receipts, I see that I haven’t bought a damn thing since last Sunday, the 18th.)

  4. I think making minimum-wage employees work on Thanksgiving is horrible. I’ve worked on Thanksgiving and Christmas, being a member of an “essential staff” department, but I would never work for a place which decided to drag everybody in just to extend the orgy of overconsumption for a few more hours.

  5. I dunno if I’d take Loomis’s statement too seriously in the first place; it’s just a trivia question. Do you wanna know more people who shop on Black Friday? As a yes or no question I’d say no, as with UFO nuts, fishing-hat wearers, and, uh, people who like Slayer.

      • The “unless” undermines the position; we all make those judgments. In this case I think it’s about a throwaway line in a blog post by a guy who curses vodka martini drinkers and people who don’t like X country music artist.

      • Substance McGravitas: It is exactly that familiarity with the writings of Erik Loomis that enables me to read this as something less than a throwaway line. The man is a snob of the first order – I find him patronizing, narcissistic and obnoxious. And that is based on years of following him first on his own blog and now on LG&M.
        I read him because he links to a lot of good information on labor history. But I find it hard to understand how someone so attuned to workers rights can be so tone deaf with regards to working class lifestyles and values.

      • There’s good snobbery and there’s bad snobbery. IMO, that was kinda the worst kind. Plus, I think it’s really instructive that some people reacted negatively to his post and be had a chance to walk his comment back. He did not.

    • Who cares if someone shops on Black Friday? I find it inconceivable to judge people based on something so devoid of importance. A preference for shopping on Black Friday says nothing about a person; not one damn thing.

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