Friday, November 25, 2011

BLACKOUT FRIDAY

When I worked at the theater, holidays were a nightmare. The days that everybody else had off were our busiest days of the year. Thanksgiving was particularly bad. People would try to escape their families for a couple of hours, or if they didn't have any other plans, we were the only thing open. The Friday after Thanksgiving was the worst. After people had been shopping for hours on their feet, they would come into the theater tired, irritable, and loaded down with bags of crap. They would buy tickets to whatever Hollywood piece of shit was released for the holidays, and shuffle with all the other sheeple into an overcrowded and overheated theater. On top of that, a ton of employees would call out sick for that day. We had them sign a contract when they were hired that they would be available and would work on the holidays, but firing them didn't help the day we were short staffed. After a grueling day of selling tickets, selling concessions, running around and putting out fires, and dealing with complaints, all the employees would go out drinking once their shift was over. That's why we started calling it "Blackout Friday."
Recently I heard Black Friday referred to as "the Special Olympics of capitalism" and I really can't think of a more appropriate description. At a time that we should be relaxing, enjoying food and family, corporate America has decided to turn it into a materialistic feeding frenzy. I'm not saying it's all their fault. If nobody showed up for their stupid sales, they wouldn't have them. Over the past few years the whole scenario has gotten absolutely ridiculous. The time that the sales start has moved back gradually, with every store trying to outdo the other one, until now some of the sales start on Thursday afternoon. What better way to spend your holiday than standing in line in front of a big box store in a parking lot with thousands of other mouth breathing greedy pathetic consumer feedbacks, waiting to buy whatever crap Madison Avenue says we desperately need. Well, enjoy it sheeple, but be careful out there because some people are getting violent about their consumerism as evidenced by this story. It's only a matter of time before we get our first Black Friday shooting.
On the other hand, tomorrow is "Small Business Saturday," so go out and support your local independent, mom-and-pop, neighborhood businesses. They are the ones that deserve your support. Now, a promotion like that is something I can get behind...

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