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Berginski: Why I hate ‘Black Friday’

By Staff | Nov 7, 2014

It’s November, which means one thing: the holidays are coming. It also means “Black Friday” is along for the ride.

If I just told you straight up that I hate “Black Friday” – also known as the day after Thanksgiving – and ended this week’s column at that, they might as well change the subject head above this to “On Scrooge’s Mind.” I’d be depriving you of a rant (and that’s what this is) you could potentially agree or disagree with, and the holidays are nigh; even I’m not at that level of miser.

And “hate” is such a strong word. Let’s try “utterly dislike.” There, that’s better. I utterly dislike “Black Friday”, and for a number of reasons.

Number one, if Black Friday’s not the closest thing to a zombie apocalypse we’ll ever see, then I don’t know what is. Why would anyone want to put themselves into situations where martial law should be imposed? We’ve heard horror stories of people being trampled or injured – both shoppers and retail store employees alike. Odds are you’ve heard stories of someone being stabbed, shot or even killed. I’m not joking when I say there’s a website called “Black Friday Death Count”, which has tallied every top crazy Black Friday injury or death story from around the nation since 2008. I know Billy wants an XBox One, or Susie wants a telescope, but neither of those things are worth life and limb.

Number two (and even I’m guilty of this, so don’t get mad at me), as a consumerist society we’re put into situations where we think with our wallets instead of our heads. We see the deals but we don’t wonder why they’re deals. Is the new iPad marked down the way it is just to get you in the door? Is the new guitar Freddy wants priced the way it is because it’s cheaply made? Are the current stock of Barbie and Ken dolls priced the way they are because the store is trying to get rid of its current stock? How long is this something I’m buying supposed to last? Is it cheap because it’s not supposed to last long? It doesn’t hurt to wonder.

Number three, the time under which it falls. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, although some stores have started Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving day. Really? Are we so far into being a consumerist society that we can’t spend a whole day with our families, or even allow retail and customer service workers time to spend with theirs, without indulging in consumerist things? Can’t we just take a break for one day out of 365.25? No? Oh, look, flat-screen TVs are $200! Sir? Ma’am? Take my money, please!

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