“Black Friday – When people trample others for cheap products mere hours after being thankful for what they already have.”
So goes the popular meme making the rounds on the Web this time of the year.
Black Friday is the proverbial train wreck. I’m mostly inclined against it, since holiday season isn’t about consumerism, but I don’t pretend to be outside it. I will walk the streets of Seattle with a cup of coffee in hand today, not shopping, just observing. I guess I’m more mystified by its proliferation and hype. Ugh. I don’t want to look, but somehow I can’t help but sneak-a-peek from behind my hand. The crowd-psychology of it, the mass-media manipulation, the down-right savage nature of hardcore consumerism is, in a word, weird. While I don’t completely understand it, there are some interesting photos floating around that give a snapshot of Black Friday in America. I’ll highlight them here without an abundance of adjacent analysis. They just “are”. Below: present and past.
If you’re planning to go out there into the madness, remember to bring a buddy, shop safely and take breaks for water. My take would be to leave the pepper spray at home – call me crazy but I value my fellow human more than the $99 flat screen. But in case you want to go in “strapped,” our friend Micah Abrams over at Digital Trends wrote a tongue-in-cheek (I think) piece on “How To Win Black Friday”
I’ve always thought this to be a truly odd day in America. I’m going back to my turkey leftovers and peace and quiet now. Enjoy your day off wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
[Additional Reporting by Ben Hardy]