26 November 2010

Black Friday (The Widow Rants)

Image from Eyehook.com
If you are looking for a sweetness-and-light post, today's isn't it.

Today - the Day After Thanksgiving - is known in the U. S. as Black Friday, so-called because the intense shopping puts the account balances of the merchants in the black (they hope).  Although horror stories from previous years of Mob Madness, of shoppers crushing people to death without a thought as they surge through the doors in search of something else they don't really need, would make a much better definition of Black Friday.

Let the frenzy begin!

Some people make this part of their holiday traditions, staking out a place in line in the wee hours of the morning to get the best bargains as soon as the doors open.  While I have no problem with people rushing out to commercialize the season as soon as possible, acting in unlovely ways as they grab items out of the hands and carts of others, yelling, screaming, fighting, pushing, shoving, giving the one-finger salute to all and sundry... I do have a problem with merchants who pull their employees away from their Thanksgiving dinners and families (if they allow them the time off at all) in order to get the store ready for the 3 am onslaught.

I take it back.  I have a big problem with people so crazed with shopping mania that they would trade a man's life for another trinket.  Pretty fair bargain, that!  Who cares that he might have wanted to live a little longer, as long as we are first in line for whatever is on sale?

Why am I not surprised?  This is, after all, a society for whom life is just another throw-away item.  It costs too much to maintain?  Toss it!  It has outlived its usefulness?  Toss it!  It is inconvenient?  Toss it!  It (and I wish I had never heard this) is a 'punishment'?  Toss it quick!  Destroy it!  Let us be rid of everything for which we have no use, because otherwise it might mean the we have to take that ugly and unknown word - RESPONSIBILITY.

I would like to think that there is some decency in the world.  Today always argues otherwise.