BLACK FRIDAY~ Just Say No
You will not remove this girl from her left-over turkey, brisk Autumn breezes, gorgeous high-desert scenes, and shove her through the glass and chrome doors of a human sausage grinder.
“Black Friday” has historically been the default appellation for any unpleasantness that has occurred on the second-to-the-last day of the week. From medieval times the term was a warning to stay close to home because Black Friday was a witches day, and Friday the 13th cautioned the utmost doom. Black Friday which fell on September 24, 1869 saw plummeting gold prices which caused a panic in the U.S. Stock Market; a shadow of things to come. October 16, 1987 was a Black Friday that also saw plunging U.S. Stock Market prices which didn’t fully tank until the following Monday. If you are freaked-out by portentous patterns in history take heart. The Stock Market crash of 1929 happened on Black Tuesday. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or some kind of doom-sayer, so I won’t be looking for a synchronicity of crappy days that fall on the calendar in such a way that you end up with some kind of dot matrix picture of Lizzie Borden. But the historical context of Black Friday is important. Black Friday has been a curse, a blot in the the day-planner of history. But in recent years it has come to refer to something even more menacing; the xenophobe’s nightmare, the worst calamity to befall the slow and the hobbled, the house of horrors for those with poor sensory regulation, my personal day of dangnation, THE BIGGEST SHOPPING DAY OF THE YEAR!
Black Friday refers to the theoretical retail concept that the day following the year’s biggest day of gastronomic gluttony should be followed by the biggest day of consumer gluttony. The “black” means “in-the-black” as opposed to “in-the-red.” The Friday after Thanksgiving Thursday is expected to make up for any shortfalls that beset retailers throughout the fiscal year. Black Friday is the great white hope for stores that sell stuff. But it has become a contrivance of marketers, and the idea that pressing through masses of turkey-stuffed bodies, stressed-out procrastinators, and savage shopping savers is somehow a desirable activity. It amazes me that, other-wise circumspect, Americans have hopped onto this merchandising bandwagon. I am a Capitalist and I love free-market innovation and competition. But I have to fault the American shopper for having fallen for this particular ruse. I can imagine few things more irksome than being driven into a noisy, cluttered, tinseled store with teeming hordes of rabid bargain hunters. Just the thought of it makes my butt-cheeks pucker. For this small-town girl a trip to the mountains or a walk down a country lane holds infinately more appeal. Black Friday is a hoax perpetrated, not by those who humbly seek to make a profit for their mom and pop outlets, but by sadistic advertising firms that enjoy seeing crazed clients stampeding mindlessly through the Malls of the Land of the Drastically Discounted.
Well friends, I’m not falling for it. You will not remove this girl from her left-over turkey, brisk Autumn breezes, gorgeous country scenes, and shove her through the glass and chrome doors of a human sausage grinder. The day after Thanksgiving is the denouement of a holy remembrance. I am thankful for the prosperity of the Land of the Free, and the accomplishments of The Home of the Brave. And I will use this day to reflect and consider the ways I can remember my Lord and Savior as I prepare to celebrate His birthday in the month to come. Give your days of the week any ornate hue you like; White Sunday, Purple Monday, Sage Wednesday or Pepto Bismol-pink Thursday. But as for me, this Friday will be Mellow Yellow, the best color for healthy digestion.