Sunday, November 23, 2014

Black Friday: A Showcase of Insanity

   So.…I’m wondering how many people actually enjoy Thanksgiving when they plan on being out in the cold waiting in (or perhaps starting a) line to be the first into a store to shop? I mean, I get the hook…deep savings on items you want, but it seems not many understand the bait. I always say that human nature never ceases to amaze me, and the insanity of Black Friday is just another example of humans still in need of a little more evolution.
   The masses have been trained like obedient sheep to placate the corporate industry with their time and money. Too much? Ok, how about the pegs have been shaped perfectly to fit the wheels of corporate greed as they roll over the last vestiges of higher intellect? No? Well…no matter, like all things, there is more to Black Friday than meets the eye. Ok, maybe not…insane is as insane does.

   Firstly let’s take a gander at the “savings” (yes, I used “gander” in a sentence). Suppose you budget yourself for $500 and think that you can come home with everything you wanted, but with some of that money in your pocket. The good news will be that you got everything on your list for less than normally available. The bad news is your pockets are still empty because with all the savings, you didn’t stop at what you intended to get and came home with more than planned for.
   It’s not necessarily a bad thing, after all you’ve come back with more…stuff. However if, like a good gambler (and by good I mean bad), you went to the well for more funds because if not, this or that item you spotted won’t be there later for the same price…so you had to get it immediately. Insert hook…reel in human fish. Looking at your account on Reality Saturday reveals just how "black" Friday really was and how great the “savings” were.
   Secondly, let’s look at the cordial and respectful behavior Black Friday induces on the patrons. I mean, nothing says “Tis the season” like knocking over any and everyone in your path to get to what you want to buy. They really need to start making Hallmark cards with all the colorful and metaphoric language being thrown about. Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas like a card that says “Get the f@#k outta my way!”
   Ok, sarcasm aside, Black Friday has become a huge event…bigger even than Thanksgiving. I remember as a child seeing all sorts of Thanksgiving decorations in the stores and about the city. Now I hardly see any. Instead we have Black Friday advertising everywhere you look (and in many places you don’t). I get that Black Friday is “sold” as some sort of great day for the customer…but even a little common sense will tell you that it’s an even greater day for the corporations. If it wasn’t profitable, it wouldn’t be so heinously advertised to the point of actually eclipsing Thanksgiving.
   Is it too much to imagine that Black Friday will become an official holiday in the future? Maybe…but there seems to be no hurdle corporate America can’t overcome as long as it’s a profitable jump. People are already finagling their way out of work to join the insanity. It’s the biggest subject for Thanksgiving, not being thankful for all you’ve been given. Heck…I bet if you asked people what they’re most thankful for they’ll say Black Friday.

   While I’m thinking about it…why is it called “Black” Friday anyway? Is it because it puts the companies in the black, instead of the red of low sales? Is it a subliminal remnant of white being good while black is bad? I think that now, it is a combination of both since the history of the name has now evolved into the reality of the day it is for both consumer and corporation.

   Regardless of what you think about Black Friday, I will remain sane on that day and observe the human herd…with both disdain and amusement. Enjoy!

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