“…and unto us a saviour is born, and he shall be named Black Friday… and at the sound of his name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Black Friday is lord…” -The Book Of Consumerism
Black Friday. Apparently (according to Wikipedia) first named in 1961 by police in Philadelphia for the irksome traffic jams caused by the two busy shopping days following American Thanksgiving. Later, after unsuccessfully trying to change the name, it was accepted that the term would refer to that critical time when businesses turned the most significant profit of the year, going from being ‘in the red’ to being, ‘in the black’. Malarky.
I think it is aptly named, bold in the unabashed self-admission of its dark nature.
Black Friday; a mass Pavlovian trigger that sends the population into a seething mass of gate-crashers, desperate for a lower price than last year.
Ok, I have a beef to air out. I understand marketing, and I can see the effectiveness of the campaign, seemingly driving spending appetites to new heights. It’s business. I’m also not judging; hey, if you’re standing in line for hours to secure your share of limited supply only gadgetry, I get it. If the deal is there, go for it.
What angers me is that the concept of ‘Black Friday’ seems to be the manifestation of the new religion that Christmas has become: Consumerism. I remember when the big stores first began to open on Sundays. It was a huge controversy, rife with debate: (Sunday should be a day of rest… family day… why do we need to shop on Sunday anyways? What about church?..) It was a big news story. I also remember when Boxing Day was Boxing Day, not Boxing Week. I think I even saw one advertisement touting Boxing Month last year. This year, the Christmas decorations were out before Remembrance Day was even here. One store had to stop playing Christmas carols because customers complained that it was disrespectful to our veterans. I think so too. How much is fucking enough, I ask?
The irony is that this new false idol is a monster which is ultimately consuming itself in its own greed: reports show Black Friday to be a race to the bottom, with businesses cutting prices so low for the sake of competition that nobody makes a profit anyways. (See article: Wall Street Journal- Retailers’ Black Friday Arms Race Backfires)
As such, in protest to this debauchery, I have decided to hereafter refer to said holiday as ‘Xmas’, since all resemblance to the traditional family celebration has been warped into a swirling abyss of consumer bloodlust, corporate greed and last-minute credit manipulation in a red suit.
Will the real Christmas please stand up?
Jingle Bells, baby.
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