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    Every Black Friday since 2010, I’ve run the same clip about this hideous topic, with the subtitle: ‘Madness of a Lost Society.’ It depicted throngs of suburban Americans, crashing the gates at big box stores in the daybreak, trampling and (we know this happened) killing people underfoot, in their quest for (usually) televisions, at extremely reduced prices.
    Alas, the clip was taken down and I can’t run it this year. Every bad thing must come to an end. Now, we have an even more vile extrusion of cracked values to ponder, on this Black Friday riff.
    The reduced-price, 64″ plasma flat-screen, that unholy Lost Leader that is the Holy Grail of Black Friday has been the cause of 7 US deaths over the past 5 years, according to ConsumerAffairs.com – so, a little less deadly than shark attacks – but chummed waters to be avoided, all the same.

    To my non-US visitors, please bear with this incomprehensible jabber about another element of our national shame – although, I do have evidence that Black Fridays have begun to metastasize to other countries. I saw it happening in Rio de Janeiro, last year.
    Odd, since they don’t have Thanksgiving in Brazil, although they are trying to pump it up, for marketing purposes, the same way that Christmas Trees began springing up in Brazil all over, during the past 20 years, although they’re not part of its pre-Globalist culture and Christmas happens during this largest of all tropical country’s summer.
    Actually, Christmas Trees are relic of Victorian British culture, the Queen being German and instituting die tannenbaum and other yuletide mumbo-jumbo, as a way to unify the Realm, or some-such.
    So, too did I see a ubiquitous Black Friday promotion among Carioca retailers, drummed up, out of the blue, at around the same time as in the US, before the run-up to Christmas.
    The question I would always pose about the clip, ‘Madness of a lost Society’ was, “Is this clip as true this year as it was last year?” and the answer would invariably be “Yes.”
    I think this year is different. Even though the banksters have been cleaning up on Wall St., and “employment” figures appear to be up (if you call being over 70 and working double shifts, at places like 7-11, like the exhausted woman I saw behind the counter last night), then it might look like things are looking up, economically (if you’re a stockholder – maybe)…But we know that the full economic indicators just aren’t there. Plus, we’re slouching towards WW3, like never before.

     

    I’d like to think that this year, people might be putting at least a little more value in each other, than in the latest TV or SmartPhone and that perhaps, the spell of Black Friday has been broken because a lot of people are too busy doing double shifts or don’t even have the money, this year to buy a new TV, even at a drastically-reduced price.
    I’d like to think people watching this clip think that it’s as vile and vapid a horror show as I do.

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    Alexandra Bruce

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