Yesterday morning my Indianapolis Star carrier tossed a plastic bag with five pounds (I weighed it) of “Black Friday” advertising flyers in my yard. The plastic bag itself was an advertisement for Kohls:
HAPPY THANKSAVING DAYS
Friday, November 26 3 AM-MIDNIGHT & SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27 6AM-MIDNIGHT
OVER 400 EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
FRIDAY ONLY 3 AM-1 PM
A minimal sampling of items available at fabulous deals included inside said five-pound bag included:
Diamond accent & gemstone bracelets: entire stock of Mattel, Ty, and Fisher Price toys; unlimited text, web and calling; plasma TVs, digital photo frames, kayaks, treadmills, Wii games, boxer shorts; Fender acoustic guitars, vacuum cleaners; Nora Ephron’s I Remember My Neck; Emu (fake UGG) boots; yarn, printers, mattresses, cozy socks, hoodies, Electric Reindeer White Zinfandel or Chardonnay wine; craftsman 255 piece mechanic’s tool set; iCraig Tower Stereo Systems; Zhu Zhu Hamsters and Armor; leather sofas and recliners; numerous items from the Martha Stewart Collection; ladders; washing machines; Flash Memory Camcorder & Digital Still Camera (minimum 30 per store); GrillBOSS 10,000 BTU Portable LP Gas Grill; Italian mufflers; licensed ball pits and tents; Bratz Keyboard and Bratz Speakers; DVD’s; luggage; waffle-makers; bubble jackets; Kitchen Aid Cookware 10 Piece Hard Anodized Cookware Set; Blackberries; candles; cosmetics; blenders; Ab Circle Pros; storage ottomans; gumball machines; telescopes; Simply Vera Vera Wang princess jeweled tote; Barnes & Noble Nooks; Chi Styling Irons; Viva la Juicy Eu de Parfum Spray; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth; Colts Team apparel…
Oh, and Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas ornaments, Christmas wrapping, Christmas cards, Christmas candy, Christmas wreathes, Christmas china—
Christmas, you know, that the religious holiday that for the marketplace has become an opportunity to exploit our worst human instincts: greed and desire. Not to mention create anxiety and dread for the people (most people, in this economy) who can’t afford to make the materialistic dreams of their loved ones come true.
“Black Friday brings out bad behavior,” yesterday’s Star headline said.
“Retailers set battle for disorderly shoppers fueled by impatience, limited quantities, long lines,” the story went on. “There will be pushing and shoving and—oh yes—shopping carts rammed into backsides. On Black Friday, shopping isn’t a leisure activity. It is a sport. Sometimes it’s a fight. Sometimes it turns deadly.”
So much for the season of light.