Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief Ω
Every year I look forward — in a cynical, perverse kind of way — to seeing how many Americans take consumerism so seriously that they gamble their own health in hopes of getting a deal on a luxury item (or ten) on what they affectionately refer to as “Black Friday.”
They spend the day celebrating family, togetherness and love around a table of turkey, stuffing and pie, make their way to the living room to watch a bit of football and then head off to camp overnight outside their local Best Buy or Walmart to storm the floor with no regard to the well-being of anyone else — mere hours after unbuttoning the button of their pants to relieve the pressure on their gut after Thanksgiving dinner.
This year they didn’t even have to camp, as many big-box stores were cracking their doors at midnight to take advantage of the unquenchable greed of their patrons.
They might not have had to stay overnight to be at the front of the line — and therefore have the best opportunity to get trampled from behind — but they did have to protect themselves from the even-more-than-usual zeal of some.
I awaited word on the damage and mayhem that comes every year at this time, and was yet somehow surprised when reports came out of a middle-aged woman wielding pepper spray against someone in her dash for an X-Box.
And when the smoke cleared, and “Black Friday” came to a close with people safe at home with their new electronics and appliances (those who didn’t have to spend the night in the hospital), I wondered the same thing I wonder every year.
How can they do that to each other?
I don’t mean the people that are violently reacting to the opportunity to save money on items that they don’t really need — I mean the people who intentionally put them in that situation.
How can Best Buy (or anyone else) afford to make these things so cheap to cause a mass reaction like this every year?
What’s the usual mark-up on these items every other day?
Wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest to lower the price on these things for the rest of the year so that people wouldn’t have to risk their personal welfare on this one day to save a few bucks? Or even a few times a year?
You can obviously afford it if you can lower them so much once that people lose their sense of humanity.
It’s almost like these places get more joy from witnessing the pandemonium in their store on “Black Friday” than the joy the people who successfully get a good deal on a video game console feel on Christmas day when their child (or spouse) opens their gift.
What else would be the point?
They must get some sick pleasure out of the scene.
I can just picture them overlooking the floor from some glassed-in room high-fiving each other as people destroy themselves below on their way to the electronics department.
Now I feel bad for waiting for the news expectantly so I could shake my head in dismay.
Maybe next year I won’t.
Ooooh! Maybe next year stores won’t put their customers in that situation in the first place — and will give them decent prices on things more frequently so they don’t feel it necessary to put themselves in harm’s (or pepper-spray-wielding-people’s) way to have a decent Christmas without draining their bank accounts!
Somehow I doubt it though.