Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Breakdown 2011

I have survived yet another Black Friday!!

Probably because I stayed far away from all shopping centers... but still. In today's day and age, I'm probably at risk of consumer violence just sitting right at home. Who knows when I'll be approached at gun point for the item I had enough sense to buy 5 weeks ago...

In light of the recent Occupy Wallstreet protests that have been going on, the very socially accepted ritual of Black Friday shopping has been deconstructed in comparison to very culturally taboo civil rights demonstrations. For example...

When was the last time you saw Best Buy costumers pepper sprayed for blocking the sidewalk, as we saw with the students of UC Davis? Where's the meme of that?

Even though there were no incidents of violence outside the stores, there was plenty of pepper spraying and police brutality once the clock struck midnight and those glorious pearly automatic doors were opened.

First up in the breakdown is the grandfather in Arizona who was beaten by police for allegedly stealing a video game. In reality, he shoved the game in his waistband quickly so he could help up his grandson who had fallen in the shopping chaos. But security guards can't calmly pull the man aside and question him like normal, decent human beings, can they? Of course not. This is how they prefer to handle things...

The man was left beaten and bloodied, while his grandson is probably traumatized for life. All over what? A video game for probably 10 bucks cheaper than usual?

Next up is an example of our obsession and desperation to get our hands on material goods. A woman in California pepper sprayed a crowd of shoppers to try to gain the upper hand in getting the video game system she wanted. Over 20 people were injured from the spray.

The worst part mentioned was that shoppers who were not affected by the spray continued shopping. I'm pretty sure if I saw people keeling over from eye pain, I would quickly leave the store. But I guess most people were blinded by those shiny video game boxes, and didn't see what happened.

Another example of our desperation for material goods is embodied in the man who was shot in a Walmart parking lot in California when he and his family were robbed at gunpoint for the items they just purchased. Now of course, the robber is very much at fault for this incident, but I am also wagging my finger at the victims. Why was the man shot? Because he and his family refused to give up their items. They actually put the value of their material possessions over their safety and well being.

I'm not including a video for this one, because when you search "black friday shooting" or especially "Walmart shooting," the results are too endless to sort through.

These are just a few of the many examples of Black Friday violence. I'm sure most people remember the story of the New York Walmart employee in 2008 who was trampled to death as the store opened their doors. And that was at the height of our recession! The time when most people were at their poorest, and yet still acting completely inhuman when it came to spending their money.

Here are some stills from this year's chaos:

Macy's in New York, NY

Kohl's in Salina, KS
Sears, in.. oh my... Mentor, OH
I've been to that mall
Toys R Us in New York
Best Buy in Burbank, CA
Walmart in.. really? Mentor, OH again...
Photos via ABC news. Credit given there.

From the look of these pictures and all the violence listed above, it's a wonder why we haven't changed the name of the day after Thanksgiving to "Black and Blue Friday." What happened to using the Thanksgiving holiday to relax with family? Why don't more of us participate in Buy Nothing Day, and spend some quality time with the people we love, instead of the things we love. With all the chaos, and all the violence, and all the hate and inhuman behavior, it all certainly leads us to wonder... is the battle for bargains really worth the cost?

No comments:

Post a Comment