By a show of hands, how many of you went shopping yesterday for Black Friday? And how many of you didn’t come back alive?
At a Walmart in Long Island, New York, a store employee was killed and four others were injured.
At a Toys “R” Us in Palm Desert, California, two men shot and killed each other.
What happened at Walmart is bothersome because human life has no meaning:
Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were acting like “savages…When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling ‘I’ve been in line since yesterday morning.’ They kept shopping.”
What happened at Toys “R” Us is bothersome because it’s a fucking toy store filled with kids at 11:30AM and two idiots, both with guns, shoot each other. Only to have Toys “R” Us issue the following statement:
“Our understanding is that this act seems to have been the result of a personal dispute between the individuals involved. Therefore, it would be inaccurate to associate the events of today with Black Friday.”
God forbid that Black Friday is associated with something terrible like the gravity of the situation.
On December 23, 2007, I wrote here about not wanting to go shopping, put on clothes, etc., but I proposed two things:
1) “Why can’t X-max (Christmas) be more like Thanksgiving? You spend time with your family and eat good food; you share laughs and learn about all the life events that have transpired since the last family gathering. Period.”
2) “Why can’t we just call the holiday what it is: Gift Day. An opportunity to place value on the relationships in your life.”
Those are the options. You pick. Either the holiday is about friends and family OR about material goods. I’m idealistic enough that I believe people should pick one or the other.
Will they? Not everyone will, but as the economy continues to struggle, I imagine more families will reintroduce what the holidays are all about. Killing someone over a toy or not stopping to help someone who is being trampled are certainly not very high on the teach-these-things-to-my-children list.
But it’s not all bad news…Word in the markets is that Black Friday sales are up 3%!