Friday, November 23, 2012

"When Black Friday comes..."

"When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor"

Amidst the cacophony of news stories and advertisements for Black Friday I couldn't help but think about this song, "Black Friday," which Steely Dan released in 1975.  While the song has nothing to do with today's version of Black Friday, I'm sure the group had no idea that those two words would become woven into today's popular culture.

What is wrong with us!?  What used to be known as "the day after Thanksgiving" now has a name--and an ominous one at that--and reports of fights and disruptive behavior at retail locations around the country as consumers queued up, in the hours before this "event," hopeful for the best deals offered by all of the big box retailers.

In the hours following a day reserved for the gathering of family and friends comes not the gluttony of turkey and dressing but of consumer behavior gone bad.

Who's at greater fault here--the retailers who inch up their store hours to invade on Thanksgiving fellowship or the consumers who gladly satisfy that decision by lining up in search of the best deal on a 55" television or the season's hot toy?  It's sad, sick, and certainly not what Abraham Lincoln had in mind when he signed a proclamation in 1863 making the final Thursday in November a "day of thanksgiving."  Somehow I doubt ol' Abe thought that the final Friday of the month would become something special too.

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