The Black Friday We Deserve

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna lecture about depravity of Black Friday. I’m not gonna wag my finger at you and make some straw-man reference to starving children in Africa. I’m not gonna remind you that if you are thousands of dollars in debt, you don’t need a new tablet. I wont use Black Friday to paint America in a bad light, especially considering its also a tradition in England, Brazil, India, Sweden, and elsewhere, nor will I be decrying the “evils” of capitalism or even poking fun at the fact that people die while Christmas shopping in an attempt to be edgy.

Beside, with Black Friday officially over, the death toll from this year’s shopping madness is at a meager, solitary, one, and it wasn’t even shopping-riot related.

No, all I am going to do is set the record straight on a couple of things running through everyone’s heads this time of year. As the headlines tick across the screen, giving up to date reports on the broken arms, trampling, shootings, and police interventions at all of the major shopping centers in America, as we take to blogs and social media to lament and slacktivize over people forced to work on Thanksgiving Night, as you sit there and shake your head in disappointment over the mayhem that the “most wonderful time of the year” has devolved into, I will be in your head to remind you that this is exactly the kind of chaotic orgy that we deserve.

Lord knows it is exactly the kind of revel we ask for. The fact that it exists in its current state is proof enough of that. You really can’t blame the Walmarts of the world for putting us in this predicament, as they are only supplying a demand. One of the major concepts of economics is that supply will rise to meet demand, and rarely the other way around. If we didn’t give a shit about Black Friday midnight blowouts and Thanksgiving pre-deals, they wouldn’t exist. But they do exist. Target isn’t making its employees come into work at 6 PM on Thanksgiving night to sell clothing, you are.

You say how bad you feel for the employees who have to come in at midnight to work. Then you go to their store at midnight to shop. Do you see the hypocrisy in that? You come into their store, cause havoc, trash their aisles, and yell at them when you miss the flash deal by two minutes. You absolutely should feel bad for the people who work on Black Friday. But not because their employers “made” them work, you should feel bad because you made them put up with your insufferable, entitled ass.

Sure, you claim to not support that system. Of course you decry it. But you take advantage of it all the same. You were raised by your parents to be a mindless consumer, and you raised your kids to be mindless consumers. It’s not like society collectively decided to flip the asshole switch at the same time every year, after all. The woman who punched someone out over a $5 Barbie doll is setting that example for her kids to do the very same when they come of age to shop, never mind the fact that your spoiled little shit probably doesn’t deserve the toy anyway. That certainly doesn’t set any bad examples either.

Plenty of you will protest this notion. You’ll say that it wasn’t your fault. You’ll say that you had nothing to do with it. Maybe you’ll say that you do your Black Friday shopping online, where no one has ever been trampled to death. But ultimately, whether you shop in store or online, if you shop on Black Friday/Cyber Monday/whatever, you are still contributing to the cultural psychosis that drives this darkest of days.

You act like this is a new development. If you say it ruins the spirit of the holidays, stop celebrating them. The holidays don’t mean anything outside of pointless consumerism and haven’t for years, mostly because you wanted them to mean nothing outside of pointless consumerism. If you wanted to keep the Christ in Christmas, maybe you shouldn’t show up to Best Buy with pepper spray. If you do, you have no right to bitch about how the holidays have lost their meaning. Quit pretending. Get off you pedestal. Shows your true colors so all your friends can see how much of an asshole you are. Quit hiding behind a facade of morality. Embrace what you’ve spent your whole life asking for and line up for that free vacuum cleaner like everyone else.

We vote with our dollars. Quit bitching about Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping, it’s your own fault it exists. And unless you are one of the people who gets trampled to death over a $20 TV, its none of your fucking business what other people do on this day, because they are all just like you.