Anyone who doubts that the human race is collectively losing its mind has only to observe the juggernaut of absurdity known as black Friday. If any single event exemplifies the extent to which our national holidays have been corrupted by greed and a total abandonment of common sense it is this orgy of materialism. Even the media, which suckles at the teat of retail advertising, is becoming repulsed by the whole repugnant spectacle as this article on Marketwatch.com indicates. Retailers are ruining the holidays.
It was bad enough when stores opened at 6:00 AM and eager sheep began lining up the previous evening but now retailers driven by ravenous mammonism cannot wait even 24 hours to revel in the squander mania of the crowds with pockets so fairly flaming with cash that they begin lining up days in advance. Retail employees are now required to forsake their homes and families during Thanksgiving Day in order to participate in the plundering. Rather than observing a day in which to give thanks for what we have already received, retail merchants trample tradition in the mud of avarice while demanding more, more, MORE.
And for what? It seems all too easy to decry a materialism where demonstrations of parental love seem to require vast expenditures to acquire extravagant playthings that will be unused and forgotten before the first month of the new year is out; where only the newest and most flamboyant entertainment delivery systems are suitable to display in our living rooms and where every living human being must be equipped with an electronic pacifier whereby they can keep in contact with other humans without actually having to deal with them face to face.
The fact is that the fruit of the frenzy for which people are willing to die (witness tramplings and similar tragedies of past events) is largely crap. Chinese and Japanese manufacturers turn out stripped down versions of products already burdened with built in obsolescence produced especially for this event so that people will willingly stampede to purchase an item on which they will “save” the cost of a Big Mac.
The psychology of black Friday is subtle and insidious. Once inside a temple of trash, mob mentality takes over and all thought of what is actually needed gives way to the desire to load the cart with anything perceived as a bargain. Additional incentive is the element of competition. Seemingly normal housewives will revert to feral behavior struggling over a bin of trinketry.
I could go on – but to what end. Thanksgiving is morphing into a demonstration of what is the very worst about American capitalism. Black Friday. Indeed.