The holiday shopping season (as distinct from the shopping-less “holiday season,” which is about stupid things like “family”) has two faces. One is the wacky, Schwarzenegger-punching-a-reindeer side:
And then there’s this:
Across the country last Friday, competitive shoppers of all stripes braved cold, sleep deprivation, and any sense of personal pride to bust down the doors of big box commerce. In this case “bust down” can be used literally, as Friday was BLACK Friday: the one day a year where doors are obstacles, shopping carts weapons, and your only allegiance to an Old Testament, dual-core processor God. It’s a fun party!
…That is until an older man dies of a heart attack and a crazy lady pepper-sprays 20 people in the face. At most parties you dread the moment the cops arrive, but on Black Friday you keep asking when they’ll show up. You’re down on Wall Street and on college campuses roughing up peaceful activists? We could REALLY USE YOU IN ALL THE WAL-MARTS.
There’s nothing funny about someone dying on a Target floor while an unyielding horde of shoppers fails to even notice. But it’s also less than sad — it’s f**ked up. You know what you’re supposed to die of? Old age. Bears. Here, someone died because of shopping. And sure he technically died of a heart attack, and you could argue he wasn’t technically “ignored” — people just didn’t notice — but REALLY, SETH?!? This isn’t the “worst it’s ever been” (that comes later!), but it’s a pretty damning indictment of our collective priorities when we choose cupcake makers and Tickle Me Elmo 2K11 or whatever over a fellow human being. And with less than 4 weeks ’til Christmas, the repenting window is closing FAST.
(The pepper-spraying lady story is somehow less upsetting because she was so clearly embodying the spirit and skills of the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series, but definitely send her to time-out/jail. She needs to think about what she did, and probably while getting pepper-sprayed in the face.)