Black the Friday

November 29, 2013

picasso__le_repas_frugal-e1340367392424Clear with stars twinkling this early Friday on California’s north coast as we grind on through a four-day holiday of excess and salesmanship.

And it’s Black Friday for the gullible and greedy.
Cher has the right sense of this whole shit — when asked via Twitter if she celebrated Thanksgiving, the ageless singer responded: “I DON’T! 4 me & my family, it’s a day,When everyone1 is free 4Diner & a movie, Not 2 celebrate the beginning of a GREAT Crime”
And why? ““Stealing Land, from a ppl, Who believed, Owning Land Was LIke Owning SKY! We gave them Blankets laced w/ Smallpox.”
The real question is why ALL Americans don’t feel that way.

And instead celebrate the slaughter of the Pequot.

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Frugal Meal‘ found here).

Similar to American history, and a dump-truck-load of other bullshit, Black Friday is an illusion.
From the New Yorker:

Black Friday doesn’t even necessarily offer the best discounts, contrary to what retailers want their customers to believe.
Rather than selling most merchandise at full price and marking down what doesn’t sell, stores now engineer their prices, so that the “discounted” prices are actually at the level they had wanted all along.
Some “door-buster” items, in limited quantities, lure people into stores.
Many gifts, though, have lower price tags at other times.
The consumer-price research firm Decide Inc. analyzed data for the Wall Street Journal last year and found that Elmo dolls, Ugg boots, Samsung TVs, and KitchenAid stand mixers were less expensive on other days.
(Decide closed its services in September, after being purchased by eBay.)
Consumer Reports indicates that many home appliances and small consumer electronics are cheapest in December.

Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American founder of the British department-store chain Selfridges and the first to post in his stores the number of shopping days until Christmas, understood that retailers must seduce their customers; he titled his history of merchant cultures “The Romance of Commerce.”
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Selfridge and other retailers used the Christmas season to spin a fantasy of a happier life, invoking the Victorian era’s emphasis on children and the domestic sphere.
Puncturing the myths surrounding Christmas, even cynically manufactured ones, can make a person feel like the Grinch, but Bonnie Taylor-Blake, the amateur etymologist, hasn’t suffered.
“I’m fortunate that family, friends, and co-workers I’ve shared this story with are, like me, skeptical at heart,” she said.
She doesn’t care much for shopping; on Black Friday, she plans to stay home.

Good advice, though, the post-hunger games have already gotten ugly:

In the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, a driver believed to be involved in a shoplifting scheme was shot by authorities after dragging a police officer who was trying to stop him in the parking lot of a Kohl’s department store late Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The suspected shoplifter and two additional suspects were arrested, police told the newspaper.
Both the driver and the officer sustained injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening, according to the report.
At a Wal-Mart in the Southern California city of Rialto, a police officer was injured while trying to break up a fight after a store manager decided to open the doors early, which police said led to the melee, according to the San Bernardino County Sun.
In Las Vegas, a customer who had purchased a big-screen television at Target was shot in the leg while walking to a nearby apartment complex, KLAS-TV reported.
The victim was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Walmart in many, many ways is the worse — see how bad at HuffPost.

Despite all the crooked bullshit, Black Friday and the entire holiday shopping season is a big period in the yearly business history for stores — even for the liquor store I manage. We’ve had a good week, but for us it’s not just Thanksgiving, but how the holiday ended up so close to the first of December.
We live off people who get checks in the mail.
And through veil of commercial black-out, Americans do seem to understand the nation is truly fucked:

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday also indicates that less than a quarter of the public says that economic conditions are improving, while nearly four in ten say the nation’s economy is getting worse.
Forty-one percent of those questioned in the poll say things are going well in the country today, down nine percentage points from April, and the lowest that number has been in CNN polling since February 2012.
Fifty-nine percent say things are going badly, up nine points from April.

At least for me, it’s freakin’ Friday! The weekend is at hand — no black, just all rainbows and ribbons.

Yeah, right!

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