Thanksgiving Is Becoming Black Friday: When Gratitude Gives Way To Greed
My favorite holiday of the year is quickly approaching. The air is crisp, the leaves are crumbling, and I’m getting warm fuzzies just thinking about it. So today I wanted to take some time out of my busy schedule to discuss this most American of family holidays.
No, not Thanksgiving. I’m not really into pretending to care about relatives I choose not to talk to for the other 364 days a year. I’m talking about Black Friday.
On Thanksgiving everyone sits around, holds hands, and give thanks for all the basic necessities and small pleasures that make life worthwhile. Not one day later (and sometimes not even a full five or six hours) they rush out, dishes still in the sink, to give thanks to the great, greedy gods of Capitalism.
Every year I see the news articles about people hurting each other during a Black Friday shopping spree.
I pour a glass of wine and I watch. It’s not that I enjoy watching people suffer, but I know that everyone out there chose to be there. In the old days people would fight for what they believe in or fight to protect what they hold dear.
Why do people fight on Black Friday? I’ll tell you. It’s good old fashion human greed. Studies have shown that about half of the people out there at midnight aren’t shopping for gifts for others; no, they’re looking for deals for themselves. I get a certain joy out of watching people express their true natures instead of pretending to be something that they’re not.
It should go without saying that the one thing bigger than human greed is corporate greed. It’s bad enough that I have to shop at the local mall on October 15th and see Christmas decorations going up before I’ve even bought a Halloween costume, but now Black Friday is encroaching into Thanksgiving. The holy day of greed is literally eating the holy day of gratitude. Can you think of a better metaphor for society as a whole?
Last year I am sorry to say that I agreed to take part in this celebration of human greed because the woman I was dating went with her family. Since I wasn’t reaching for anything or clawing at anyone like an animal, I was mostly left alone. But I witnessed first hand what humans are capable of when mass hystaria sets in. The festivities began at 10pm since Target doesn’t give a damn about their employees, so the Black Friday began before the workers even had a chance for their dinner’s to digest. Wasn’t that nice?
The thing I remember most clearly was the Belk at Cary Town Center creating a bottle neck at the entrance to their store to display a new line of boots ironically called Rampage. That was where people got the most violent. I remember escaping and looking from the outside. It was almost like Belk wanted to create a mob scene.
Let’s be honest here: The store with the worst crowd makes the news. If I were to give one piece of advice to the good citizens of Raleigh taking part in this barbaric ritual, it would be that cider vinegar counteracts pepperspray. Good luck, you’ll need it.
As for Raleigh’s superheroic volunteer, the Blue Beacon–I know it’s been a while, but just wanted to let you know that Mr. Saturday Night hasn’t forgotten you, and I certainly hope you haven’t forgotten me.
I’d like to extend an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll do it the old fashion way. You bring food, I’ll stab you in the back and take your land. Wow, maybe Thanksgiving is more like Black Friday than we imagine, after all.
Happy Holidays everyone.