I’m Grey on Black Friday

As another Thanksgiving weekend winds down and the stampedes at every Target, WalMart, and Best Buy are slowing to reveal their trampled victims, I’m a bit less in awe of all that is Black Friday than I have been in the past. People camped out for several days, they went without sleep, they devised strategic plans that actually involved them choosing to stand in the bitter cold or in endless lines, but something else happened: the people not participating bitched incessantly. As someone that enjoys doing that when it concerns an ideology or practice I don’t like, I think it’s a bit shallow this time. If you want to put yourself through that Black Friday insanity, that’s fine with  me. If you think taking a week off from work to pitch a tent in your local Best Buy parking lot in order to save 50% on a TV, Ok. But, saddling up your high horse to dispute the tenets of consumerism and preach the merits of a family holiday one day out of the year is truly disappointing. Everything you are saying is legitimate. People shouldn’t care so much about material objects, they should take more time to relax and enjoy the company and fellowship with family, and the advertising cycle that we are confronted with is unfathomable. I concede, I hear you.

However, where is your message when you aren’t a part of a unified front trying to stem the tide against the Thanksgiving night shoppers? My concern is that the message is lost because it’s only being broadcast in a reactionary fashion. Consumerism and our incredibly corrupt economic foundation is egregious but that is just as true the day after Thanksgiving as it is the day after and the one after that. Using the emotional appeal that family is the reason that people should use to supplant their urge to Black Friday shop is fairly weak considering it’s our “family” tradition that requires us to buy every new gadget and toy for one another just to survive the Christmas season which coincidentally begins on Black Friday. I don’t know, I think I’m as sick of the Black Friday bitchers as I am the Black Friday shoppers. Black Friday is just every other day in concentrated form so if we choose to get uncontrollably upset for these amplified reasons that are perceivable every single day then shame on us. We lose our right to complain if it’s just simply a convenient platform from which we pass judgment. I’m not making an argument here, I just noticed more bitterness this year and it made me realize that it is quite detrimental to the underlying point that should be made on Black Friday and every other day. We don’t need smart watches, 10 Christmas gifts, or to have a week of our lives carved out based on a percentage discount, but we also don’t need critics who perpetuate, 364 days a year, the issue that they are criticizing.

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