Chaos, Violence Spread — Just Another Black Friday


It’s well-known that there’s a chemical in turkey that is believed to make you sleepy after gorging yourself on Thanksgiving Day (as if the mere gorging itself weren’t enough).

In recent years, though, I’ve been wondering if there’s not a chemical in turkey — or perhaps in the cranberries, yams or stuffing — that makes people go a little crazy.

How else to explain the anti-social behavior of so many folks at the annual Black Friday Savings Orgy?

Where’s the sense in lining up around the block on Thanksgiving evening and waiting through the night for doors to open, even if it is to get 60 percent off a television.

Think about this for a moment. Fresh off an annual holiday that encourages us to count our blessings, hold our families close and to be thankful for whatever we have, we then rush out the door to escape our families in pursuit of stuff we don’t need, most often in the form of televisions, smart phones and other electronic devices that make it easier to ignore each other.

Every year, the Black Friday spectacle takes on more of the character of a raiding party of Huns.

Tears, recriminations, violence — it’s all there. This year’s highlights so far have included a fight over a Barbie doll that had to be broken up by police in Norwalk, California, and scenes in Michigan where shoppers were snatching items right out of other peoples’ carts.

It’s not even just Black Friday any more. Now, many stores are opening for sales right after dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s less offensive that stores are doing that than it is that shoppers are falling for it.

I can’t vouch for other towns, but all those Black Friday deals in my neck of the woods get set out on Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving. That’s when the smart shoppers go because the traffic is low and the bargains are all in stock.

Of course, having said that, next year it will be Black Wednesday.

Part of me thinks it’s all a symptom of this country’s blind death march toward an atheistic state. The whole point of Thanksgiving was to give thanks for the Lord’s bounty, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside, at least in popular culture. And if you’re looking for some semblance of piety from the White House, forget it because President Obama’s Thanksgiving Proclamations are as barren of references to God as a desert is of water.

Still, is it too much to ask that America have one day out of the year to just shut down and be people, at home with our families?

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