When is a deal a great deal? When you trample a Walmart employee to death to get it. Last year, I wrote a short piece called Black Friday: More Insane Than Ever. My chief complaints were that stores were going to be opening at 4am and that Lowe's had their Christmas displays up in early October. This year, my chief complaint is that someone died because you people act like animals when given the opportunity to buy cheap, foreign-made garbage at Walmart at 30% off. That's right – you people. I stayed home on Friday. And I don't want to hear “well, I wasn't at the store in Long Island, so I had nothing to do with it”. If you went shopping on Friday, especially if you were at your local store at three, four or five o'clock in the morning, you are to blame. It's because of people like you that Walmart and companies like them can get away with this madness. You feed the beast.
Walmart – and I know I'm picking on them, and it could have happened at any of the thousands of stores that had giant crowds on Friday – could have handled the situation better. They should have had crowd control measures in place. They know what the situation is like because it happens year after year. This year, someone ended up dead. Maybe next year, the multi-billion dollar multi-national corporate giant will shell out a few hundred bucks for some organizers to line up the crowd and keep things safe.
Between the savages breaking down the doors – literally – and the corporations who feed the hysteria every year, it's amazing that we haven't heard about more tragedies like this. Stories abound of people going home with broken bones or cuts & scrapes from being pushed around, but reports of deaths on Black Friday have been mercifully few. Of course, that doesn't excuse the inhuman behavior of both the shoppers and the companies they shop with. Will this year's death at Walmart be the wake-up call that starts us on the road of ending this Black Friday nonsense? I'd like to think so, but I'm not hopeful. Americans have been trained too well by the corporations, and I guarantee, whatever the PR department says, Walmart considers a single death an acceptable loss for the amount of business they generate on Black Friday.
You know, in Spain they've got the running of the bulls, and we Americans (by and large) look at that and think, “who the hell would run with the bulls like that, they're risking their lives with those beasts”. Draw your own parallels.
I followed up last year's Black Friday post with an update in which I wrote, “Can’t wait to see the news reports tonight of people getting trampled in stores trying to get 20% off on a toy. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a few broken bones.” Turns out, nothing says Happy Holidays like killing a fellow human being.