Friday, November 25, 2011

"Black Friday" Whoring

OK, so there are three things wrong with this so-called "Black Friday" madness. I mean, even besides the fact that "Black Friday" is a stupid phrase that people/the media/shoppers use, in order to feel like they are a part of something cool that is bigger than them, when in reality retail workers meant it as an insult to call a day "Black" - as in, hello, this day is so awful and terrible and full of needy, chaotic, and nowadays violent shoppers that we are going to equate it with depression and economic freefall. But even getting past the nonsense of the name and the cult and the wicked behavior (violence is not acceptable, ever! violence in shopping is unacceptable plus crazy!) and the pushing of the start time earlier and earlier until it is now "Black Fri-Thurs-Ruin-My-Holi-Day," even getting past all that, I think you Friday crazy-shoppers need to take a good, hard look at yourselves.

1. Selfishness: I actually like Christmas shopping, a lot. I hate shopping the rest of the year, but I like picking out Christmas presents for people. And when I worked at Borders for many holiday seasons, I liked the holiday shoppers, too. Humanity just generally acts better when people are thinking about others instead of themselves, and customers buying holiday presents acted better than stupid customers the rest of the year who were in constant sense-of-entitlement mode. The problem with what the day after Thanksgiving (or day OF Thanksgiving, awful!) has become is that these people are no longer thinking about others, for whom they are buying gifts, but thinking only about themselves and the dollars they can "save" on this or that deal.

2. Amateur Hour: Much like Valentine's Day in restaurants or New Year's Eve in bars, the Friday has become the amateur hour -- the day when everybody goes out to do something they clearly are not very good at. Their lack of sophistication (or even intelligence) shows.

3.Prostitution: But I think I've realized that what bugs me about this "Black Friday" nonsense is how the  selfish, amateur behavior admits desperation on the part of the shoppers. I'm baffled that people are willing to so freely admit their desperation, and it reminds me of why I don't understand men who go to prostitutes. I mean, my whole take on that situation is: don't you feel bad about yourself, guys? Here you are, wanting to, shall we say, "hook up," and you have to PAY someone to do it? Your looks/charm/wit/intelligence/kindness/graciousness/compassion/any other wonderful qualities are lacking, so you'll just go buy affection/intimacy/pleasure? I find that so pathetic that it is amusing (if it weren't also tragic for the ones who are unfortunately forced into prostitution in many cases). Wow, you're such a manly stud, "banging a hooker." And you had to PAY her to like you for the evening/hour. How do you not feel like a total loser after that? Anyway, that is what the Black Fridayers have come to remind me of. They are so terrible at what they are trying to do (shop), and so clearly incapable of selecting gifts from the heart for their friends and family, and apparently so awful at finding a good deal with their own intelligence and other personal attributes, that they bring about the dismissal of soul/quality/finesse and instead are sold a commodity masquerading as something true.

Let me be clear: I am not talking about people who happen to want to start their holiday shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. That shouldn't have to be a problem. (And hey, it's good exercise for U.S. people to actually have to walk from a farther away parking space for once.)  I am talking only about the crazed Black Fridayers. The distinction is abundantly clear to all of us sane people, but I am afraid that some of the crazies might be in denial about themselves, like someone who believes that a prostitute really loves him.


Anonymous said...

Hey LInda, nice post! I just wanted to say that I dont think men ARE proud and boastful after a frolick with a working girl. I think they DO feel ashamed for their weakness (unless they were drunk, u can forget things when you're drunk). It's only the Barneys (how I met your mother) who are pleased with themselves and they aren't particulary real. Its sad that men feel so starved for intimacy that they feel they need to pay for it. But I dont believe that makes them pathetic. Anyway, I enjoyed your article. We dont have black friday in Aus for obvious reasons :) - Jonathan

Gaikokujin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gaikokujin said...

As you said, Black Friday for some people isn't about buying gifts for other people and the 'thinking of others' mindset that goes along with it. In a lot of ways, it's a one-upmanship to see who gets bragging rights for camping out the longest or showing up the earliest, etc. It just seems to be all about "ME, ME, ME--look at me! Look what I did!" I am completely disgusted by the fact that too many people are so easily led and brainwashed. There is no way these people would normally be out shopping at midnight: it's just a "if you build it, they will come" situation. It always reminds me of working Memorial Day at Borders--remember how there was always some smart-ass who'd say something like "Wow, I'm surprised you guys are's a holiday!", to which we wanted to say, "We're open because people like you show up." And remember the Borders shoppers who would demanding ask why something was only 20% off? "It's Black Friday!" they'd say with scorn and then toss the item aside as if WE owed THEM something! Too many Black Friday shoppers are just friggin' self-centered & uncivilized brainwashed sheep.

Anonymous said...

Yes! So eloquently put. It's absolutely sickening to watch the cows moo around the stores for piddly trinkets and pure crap at corporate bastardass retailers that should be boycotted to begin with. I refuse to buy anything, yes anything, on the day after Thanksgiving now.