Black Friday

Today is Black Friday, an artificial event conceived to activate an odd emotional concoction in which an admixture of greed and generosity pulse through our collective brains, triggering impulse buying and irrational spending. According to various sources I’ve found, the term is relatively new, having found purchase in the collective consciousness only around 2000, though the tradition of Christmas season buying on the day after Thanksgiving began earlier. Some people claim Black Friday’s roots go back much further, to the days of slavery; then, it is falsely claimed, slaves were sold at auction on the day after Thanksgiving. Snopes.com, which I have come to trust, says there is no truth to it. But the darkness of the concept of Black Friday is firmly implanted in my brain. I equate the day, and the term, with naked greed and conspicuous consumption gone wild. It is a day for which brick and mortar merchants and online retailers selfishly and jointly conspire to unleash and validate raw avarice, purely to feed their own gluttony. Is my bias against this day of unbridled esurience showing?

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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