Black Friday Stupidity

If there was ever one time of the year that I actually wish our civilization would crash and start over again it’s Christmas time.  A holiday that has such meaningful origins is now a gimmick to market toys and trinkets to the masses.  These days they even skip Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas after Halloween.

Are you kidding me?

The amount of greed I see this time of year is amazing.  Here’s a story about a guy shopping at a Target store in West Virginia who died.  Amazingly, other shoppers walked around and even over his body without stopping to render aid.

In this story a charming woman pepper sprayed a bunch of fellow shoppers – including children – for an Xbox 360.  Merry Christmas to you too, Lady.

There were other acts of violence as well around this great country of ours resulting in a couple of deaths and other assorted injuries.  I watched the news the other day and just shook my head.  Have we become so greedy and uncaring as a nation that we now step over the bodies of dead men in the aisle as we run after the cheap xbox or the $1.88 towels?  How pathetic is that?

Who can we blame for this blatant display of reckless consumerism?  The evil companies who keep opening their doors earlier and earlier to entice crowds of early shoppers?  Greedy bankers and Wall Street folk who only live for the bottom line?  An inept government trying to push a dying economy another mile down the road by encouraging you to buy buy buy?

Nah.  The blame for all this lies square in the mirror folks.  You and I and a million others make it possible for this to happen.  I think the other factors I mention above have a part to play, but ultimately you and I have to step up and take some responsibility here.  Not for going out and joining the Black Friday shopping frenzy, because I didn’t, but as Mrs Jarhead likes to say, “We vote with our dollar,” meaning that if we buy something we tell the person on the other end that we either want it or need it badly enough to spend our hard earned dough on it.

I know there’s a recession going on right now with lots of people out of work and you need the deals that only Black Friday brings.  But do you really?  This year I voted with my dollar by not going out and buying something on Black Friday.  I went to my parent’s house with my family and we had a good time visiting and letting them play with the kids.  I’m not trying to be holier than though, either.  Not only can’t I stand the naked consumerism out there I really hate the crowds of people.  The last thing I want is to get caught in a huge mob of people fighting over some trinkets.  That stuff isn’t worth dying for!

Here’s a quick video showing a typical reaction to a sale at a Walmart.  I watched about a dozen trying to pick out a good representation of the dumbness and they’re about all the same.

Am I way off track here?  Am I overreacting?  Hey Jarhead!  This is the new norm, so you’d better get used to it!

What do you think?
-Jarhead Survivor

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25 comments… add one
  • light November 28, 2011, 7:22 am

    I think this sums it up pretty well. The only problem I see is where you blame large retailers and banks. First, how are banks involved with idiots stampeding into a walmart at midnight. Second, its not the retailers fault for the stupid herd mentality of these groups. If they opened at midnight and everyone filed in one at time would you still have a problem with them? Believe me, I am no big fan of wallyworld or big banks but I believe in the individual taking personal responsibility for their actions. No one made them do this. They decided to do so freely.

    • Odd Questioner November 28, 2011, 9:58 am

      I think everyone has a part to play.

      The banks are the ones pushing easy loans (well, you probably call ’em credit cards) with impossible credit limits and low payments that literally help create debt slavery. The retailers are the ones dangling teaser loss-leader items which entice the stupid into forming up those herds. The individuals storming the gates are responsible for being stupid and greedy enough to fall for both.

      Personally, I spent that morning sleeping in, having room service bring up breakfast, then looked out over the distant woods from a jetted tub w/ the missus. You see, we spent a couple of days out goofing off, buying nothing beyond peace and quiet.

  • Prepared N.D. November 28, 2011, 7:58 am

    I agree that the responsibility ultimately lies with the individual, but they’re just doing what they’ve been told to do. Have you listened to the radio or watched TV lately? How could you not have the urge to buy after having it pounded into your skull 24/7 through mass media.

    I don’t necessarily agree with your consumer demand = Black Friday chaos hypothesis. Sure, these products exist and are marketed because we all buy them, but me buying a flat screen in July doesn’t have anything to do with Black Friday. Black Friday is a sales event designed to turn a profit. It doesn’t exist because the products exist, it exists because people are willing to show up to save money.

  • Presager Buddy November 28, 2011, 8:22 am

    A little over 15 years ago our family sat down after Thanksgiving dinner and discussed this very subject. It was unanimously decided that we wouldn’t participate in this madness and that we would no longer exchange gifts within the family (unless they were under 18). We felt that getting together as a family for the major holidays was what was most important. It was further suggested that if we felt a need to give at this time of year that we should select a charity of our choice.
    I don’t think anyone in my family would ever consider entering the maelstrom of Black Friday. We have freed ourselves from this insanity. I suggest that others bring this subject up with their families next Thanksgiving and consider making the decision our family did. Make the holidays a joy and not a job.

    • Michael November 29, 2011, 1:04 am

      We only do presents for the kids now. Somehow my mom always seems to get counted as a kid, though. ;-)

      • Presager Buddy November 29, 2011, 8:41 am

        Yes, indeed! Mother is always in the under 18 category.

    • No ME Preppy November 29, 2011, 10:27 am

      That’s similar to what our family does. A couple of years ago my wife and I were tired of the competitiveness and/or pettyness that a couple of my siblings were displaying at Christmas so we decided to give gifts to charities in peoples names instead. It got everyone thinking a bit and now we draw names. The next generation still gets gifts, as do my parents. As for the one sibling of mine who wasn’t being a shit about it (he actually made the least of us all) my wife and I choose him to be godfather to our first born (2 days old as of this writing). Those who expect the least will receive the most.

      • Presager Buddy November 29, 2011, 2:04 pm

        No ME Preppy – Congratulations on the birth of your first child. God Bless you and your family.
        Although I have no children of my own, I have delivered two. I suppose that makes me an honorary parent in a way.
        Actually, when we began our family’s gift exchange policy we also drew names of others in the family. The names were drawn after Thanksgiving dinner. We would then buy a gift for that person instead of running around for a gifts for everyone. That worked for a while until the average price per gift went up and up and up. After a few years of doing that we decided to stop doing that and go to the system of no gifts except those under 18 and, of course, mom. That has now worked well for us for well over a decade.

      • Jarhead Survivor November 29, 2011, 3:47 pm

        Congrats on your newborn No ME.

        Boy or girl?

        Mrs Jarhead and I had a little girl about 4 months ago. She’s the sweetest little thing ever.

  • Spook45 November 28, 2011, 8:47 am

    Heh, yea, im not going on Black Friday. PErfect day to sleep in and watch football, hunt, anything else but dealing with idiots on the road. Instead,I went early saturday morning while all the black friday idiots were still asleep from the day before. Had a nice productive day, had fun, got out of town around lunch just as the traffic started to pick up and headed back to the country. Merry Christmas:)

  • Morghan November 28, 2011, 9:11 am

    I’m always amazed that people actually go to these things.

    I’ve recently started to become annoyed with online retailers spamming the hell out of my inbox with Black Friday deals, especially since none of them ever seem to be on anything of value. This is with targeted advertizing turned on. I normally get ads for knives, camping gear, or video games, but in the run-up to Christmas I get ten times the ads and none of them are anything I’d spend money on.

    The only reason I haven’t unsubscribed is because I play video games and being on the list gives me an email for that brand new $60 came on clearance for half price that I can then sell at the local game store after I’ve played it leaving me paying 1/6 of the asking price and getting all of the enjoyment.

  • waif November 28, 2011, 9:23 am

    Imagine if that was the last case of beans in the store…Scary

    SHTF this will be nothing….

  • gat31 November 28, 2011, 9:48 am

    Well like with my preps, l shop all year long like my mother did. She raised me with the idea of picking things up all year long and then going through the “goodie closet” and getting the list of people, matching them with items and then only filling any gaps at the end of the year. This way mom never really blew the budget, had plenty of time to shop, and picked up really good deals (clearance, discontinued items, bonus programs) throughout the year. Always seemed to work out for her and me every year.

  • Had Enough November 28, 2011, 1:15 pm

    I had the same thoughts as you waif. Today it’s junk from China. When the SHTF it will be food. Frightening indeed.

  • Michael November 28, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I think you summed up things pretty well.

  • kevin November 28, 2011, 3:18 pm

    yeah that pretty much nails it

  • XLB November 28, 2011, 4:08 pm

    That reminds me of a quote I heard… “i wonder if the zombie apocalypse came on the first Saturday of the month, or on black Friday if anyone would notice?”

    on the other hand, if there was a 95% off on every on the shelf deal at Sams or Costco on black friday, how many of us preppers would be stocking up preps?

    • Odd Questioner November 28, 2011, 11:07 pm

      Not I. They did have some massive sales on Black Friday at many of the local outdoors shops, but you couldn’t pay me enough to jostle with those crowds (and out here in Oregon, those would be some big-assed crowds at the outdoors shops).

      • Michael November 29, 2011, 1:06 am

        Cabelas and Costco had some pretty good deals running. But honestly, I’d rather pay a few bucks more for something and not have to hassle with the crowds.

  • Jason November 28, 2011, 9:31 pm

    I’m still waiting for ACLU to initiate a lawsuit against the retailers for using the racist title “Black Friday”, obviously this pepper spray incident proves it promotes hate – ha, ha.

    I found this Christmas ad a bit ballsy & laughed at the stupidity of some people –

  • john November 29, 2011, 12:27 am

    What do I think?

    With unemployment from 9-38% across much of the USA, it was quite amusing to see people fighting at Walmart to buy goods made in China and waiting for hours in line to do it.

    imho, It will be far worse two weeks into a loss of food transportation or a collapse of the dollar where not only are stores down to the last can of dog food, but, drug users find drug dealers only will deal in food, gold, and silver.

    At that time I will do what I did on black Friday, not rely on my concealed weapons, but, stay home and eat a quiet meal. Then maybe start working off the more perishable items and build up my water supply.

    $15,000,000,000,000+ in debt with only $500 billion in gold reserves and less then 90 days on the oil reserve. Nothing to to worry about.

  • No ME Preppy November 29, 2011, 10:37 am

    You’re right on the money JP. I used to work in the hardware department at Sears. The loss leader was a battery drill that was “on sale” at half price. It was a lesser power that the regular drill in that line and only came with one battery. It was about $40. We had over 100 of them, and they were gone by 6 am. We opened at 4. People were still asking about them at noon. I requested the next Black Friday off. This years flyer didn’t have anything really worthwhile. Most of the sale prices in it were regular sale prices or were for junk I wouldn’t buy. Who the hell needs a 50″ t.v.?

  • Twelvetoe November 29, 2011, 8:58 pm

    I would say that the acting out and other Black Friday insanity is attributable to the overwhelming self- importance individuals in society now possess. People seem to ONLY think of themselves and are essentially incapable of looking at things from another person’s perspective. The lady that touched off the pepper spray was, in her mind, trying to get those other idiots away from what was obviously HER X-Box! Yes, these are the people we will be dealing with if the SHTF and trust me there there is no reasoning with this particular mind set.

  • Laura December 1, 2011, 10:33 pm

    I think you got the essence of it right. What amazes me is that the average person doesn’t realize that if people so easily turn into heartless thugs over useless gizmos, what would they do to you for the last case of water or can of chili, post-disaster. That alone would make me prepare!

    We give mostly personally made gifts- handmade soaps, mix-in-a-jar desserts, sweets the children baked, jams, quilts, etc., though we have also given things like crank-style NOAA weather radios. I can’t stand to waste my money on junk or to give someone junk that will end up at the thrift store in a month.

    As far as the crowds go, count me out. Sorry brick & mortar stores- I do most of my actual shopping online now. I try to patronize the small businesses in our area when I can, but I just won’t schlep a multitude of children in and out of many stores. The buckling and unbuckling of carseats alone would drive me batty.

  • izzy December 5, 2011, 5:10 am

    No ME Preppy has it right.
    I do blame the stores – they get people worked up thru big ads, and now employees can’t spend the holiday with their families, due to the impossible work schedule (only a few hours off on Thanksgiving, then prep for Black Friday.) Plus employees have DIED from being trampled – that is a sin.
    At any rate, I never found any good deals when I tried it


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