November 17, 2012

Having dethroned Christmas, Black Friday seeks to spoil Thanksgiving too

From a blog item at the WSJ:

Wal-Mart, along with Target, and Sears, are opening their doors for Black Friday on Thursday. Yes, Thanksgiving night, 8 p.m. at Wal-Mart and 9 p.m. at Target, which means people will be dropping their turkey legs mid-bite, if they have dinner at all, to get in line for those “doorbuster” deals.
Pretty soon Thanksgiving will only amount to heaping an extra spatula full of slop onto your XXL nachos at Taco Bell, then eating them clumsily in your car, all alone, as you speed over to Target to spend a bunch of money on yourself. We shouldn't desecrate the word Thanksgiving by using it for such an egocentric holiday; might as well re-name it Black Friday Eve.

Last year I detailed the shift from celebrating Christmas to celebrating Black Friday, but I didn't predict that it would swallow up Thanksgiving too.

Would it be worth it to show up in person and try to shame the Black Friday and Black Friday Eve shoppers? Nothing hostile, just some display of family togetherness, and signs with messages that were frank but not snarky, reminding them where they should be, and how they ought to be behaving. Could be worth a shot -- all it takes is a few people pointing out how crazy some mass phenomenon is, to rally the remaining normal people.

And if you think community cohesion is already so depleted in your neck of the woods for shaming to work, then maybe something more confrontational to still remind them how fucked up they are. Drive-by pie-throwing -- pumpkin with loads of whipped cream. I just can't stand seeing this kind of nakedly anti-social behavior out in the open anymore.

11 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:29 AM

    Maybe you could go and take pictures of the people waiting in line or swarming around the store. Do it in a way that says, "Can you believe these freaks? No one at home will believe this so I have to take picture to prove that this takes place, so we can all laugh at you together."

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  2. Inkraven8:55 AM

    Only in America do we trample other people for sale priced items [less than] a day after we're supposed to reflect on being thankful for what we already have.

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  3. Anonymous12:52 PM

    family togetherness

    no offense, but have you started a family...? I kind of assumed you were an anonymous cosmopolitan urbanite single.

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  4. Nah, no kids of my own yet, although I do occasionally get to visit and give things to my 4 year-old nephew, but he lives a ways away.

    You don't need to live near actual family members to respectfully celebrate Thanksgiving, though. Someone with kids who nevertheless desecrates Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas is worse than a traditional single.

    I spend holidays with family whenever possible; we're pretty spread out across the country. Usually Thanksgiving, but failing that the whole clan always meets up for Christmas and New Year's, typically across two or three different households over vacation.

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  5. "Maybe you could go and take pictures of the people waiting in line or swarming around the store."

    If I were in a bad mood, maybe... but I was thinking something like making a large blow-up poster or banner of scenes from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Like at the end when Del and Neal are carrying that huge trunk through the neighborhood street on their way home.

    I know it'd seen hokey and sentimental, but we need to remind and even shame others into remembering not to take their relationships for granted. That's the whole point of Thanksgiving, not to ditch all thoughts of your friends and family while you elbow some lardass scooter woman out of the way of that LCD TV you've had your eye on all year.

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  6. Anonymous7:53 PM

    "You don't need to live near actual family members to respectfully celebrate Thanksgiving."

    How so? If you have to work on the Friday after Thanksgiving and can't travel to be with family or are old enough that parents are deceased, what is the appropriate way to celebrate Thanksgiving? Some people don't have enough close friends in town that they can expect a Thanksgiving invitation or host their own Thanksgiving dinner.

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  7. "what is the appropriate way to celebrate Thanksgiving?"

    In the context of the discussion, anything that doesn't involve Black Friday. Having others on your mind, reflecting on how much you value them, calling and talking to your folks, etc.

    Making a mad dash to score a deal on something for yourself couldn't go harder against the spirit of gratitude you're supposed to have.

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  8. Anonymous5:20 AM

    "And if you think community cohesion is already so depleted in your neck of the woods for shaming to work, then maybe something more confrontational to still remind them how fucked up they are. Drive-by pie-throwing -- pumpkin with loads of whipped cream. I just can't stand seeing this kind of nakedly anti-social behavior out in the open anymore."

    Well, if you're right about crime being cyclical, than it probably won't make any difference. The system changes when its ready to change, i.e. when the people themselves are ready to change.

    BTW, I saw Lincoln the other day, and I was surprised how many of the previews were either historical period pieces, or set in fantastical worlds. Nobody makes movies set in the modern world anymore.

    -Curtis

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  9. Anonymous2:42 PM

    "Lincoln the other day, and I was surprised how many of the previews were either historical period pieces, or set in fantastical worlds. Nobody makes movies set in the modern world anymore."

    Well, they do target the previews based on the audience (you're not going to get an Eat, Pray, Love trailer in Lincoln). On the other hand, yes, geek fantasy worlds are the more dominant action form these days (if that's what you're saying)...

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  10. Anonymous12:06 AM

    " On the other hand, yes, geek fantasy worlds are the more dominant action form these days (if that's what you're saying)..."

    Yeah, that's part of it, though half the previews were period piece. But it was noticeable for the people I was with to comment on it, so I figured it was worth mentioning here.

    There's nothing wrong with fantasy movies. I like a lot of fantasy movies. It was just odd.

    -Curtis

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  11. Anonymous1:08 AM

    Off-topic, but another sign of how life got shitty in the 90s:

    "..In his new book, "Unlearning Liberty," Mr. Lukianoff notes that baby-boom Americans who remember the student protests of the 1960s tend to assume that U.S. colleges are still some of the freest places on earth. But that idealized university no longer exists. It was wiped out in the 1990s by administrators, diversity hustlers and liability-management professionals, who were often abetted by professors committed to political agendas."

    http://amyalkon.mensnewsdaily.com/2012/11/17/college-campuses-the-most-authoritarian-institutions-in-america/

    -Curtis

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