Today is Black Friday: the biggest damn shopping day of the year. It's the horrific occasion where families line up at 4am in front of Walmart -- and other big-box stores -- with dreams of netting a $20 savings on a flat-screen TV. It's a sad mirror held up to our nation's current economic condition, in a a pale, twisted version of the American Dream gone bad.
Violence is always bound to erupt on Black Friday, with the worst of humanity shining through at the kick off to the holiday season. With this antithesis of "peace on earth and good will to men," you have to ask yourself: Is this what Jesus would have really wanted?
The corporations who own the big box stores have essentially turned the lower class into Pavlovian wild animals. Black Friday has become a low-income Running of the Bulls: budget-minded shoppers line up and race for bargains in the middle of the night while the 1% wealthy sleep comfortably in their Sealy Posturepedic beds. Despite a lagging economy and high unemployment rates, retailers are reporting this year as one of the best for sales, with roughly 152 million shoppers hitting stores on Black Friday.
Why is this? Chain stories have now opened their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving eve -- driving people from their homes like extras on the TV series The Walking Dead; minimum wage employees at such venues as Target are now forced to work as wage slaves during the new holiday hours. The 1% has become the profit puppeteers of this bad street theater scenario; surely they are laughing into their foie gras as they watch the footage of Black Friday violence erupting across the country. The heads of these corporations must wage money like this debacle were a human cockfighting arena. Certainly they must laugh and high-five when someone punches a grandmother in the face over a "Let's Rock Elmo" doll. It's must be like throwing dollar bills in the air and joyfully watching those rocked by the recession pummel each other to death. Is mankind being tested with Social Darwinism?
The videos of Black Friday mayhem looks like footage of the day after the Apocalypse -- where people are fighting for the last shreds of necessities, except in this case it's discount towels:
At a Walmart in Los Angeles, 20 people suffered minor injuries when a woman used pepper spray to get to the front of the line when the store opened Thursday evening. Police in Fayetteville, N.C. are hunting for two suspects after gunfire went off early Friday in the Cross Creek Mall. At a Walmart in upstate New York, a man was arrested after two women were injured in a fight that broke out. In Phoenix, a grandfather was roughed up by police after he put a game in his waistband to free up his hands to lift his grandson above the crowd. He was slammed to the ground by cops, who assumed that he was shoplifting.
The best solution is to buy nothing. Don't be corporate America's bitch. Let's say "bye-bye" to "buy-buy!"