Consumer Nation

The Definitive Last Word on Black Friday

Via Chez, here's Salon's Andrew Leonard:

"There is a point in our culture beyond which camp and kitsch no longer make the least ironic sense, where consumerism loses its last mooring to civilization, where even seemingly legitimate protest devolves into farce. That point is Black Friday... There’s a point where healthy consumerism becomes out-of-control marketing-driven commodity fetishism, and when we find ourselves checking our smartphones for last minute online deals while standing in line for a chain store opening at midnight on Thanksgiving, we are clearly too far gone. That’s insanity."

Exactly. There's a zero barrier between being a smart, bargain-hunting consumer and being a deep-discount-obsessed maniac who's self-worth is guided by finding the absolute lowest price for a PS3, and then engaging in a midnight cattle call of similarly-minded T1000 consumobots. Civility be damned.

The Black Friday line-up and subsequent crush of herded bodies through Sam Walton's pearly gates is like the consumer equivalent of Howard Hughes frantically washing his hands with a pumice stone until they cracked and bled. Sure, he had impeccably clean hands, but at what expense? Likewise, the people who trampled and pepper-sprayed their way to a kickass flatscreen accomplished their goal -- but they traded in their dignity for the prize.

And finally, your moment of Zen:

Yep. That's a Walmart mosh pit over a $2 waffle iron.


  • Chachizel

    What’s really crazy is a lot of these people are brainwashed Fox viewers / tea baggers who stomp and whistle when GOP potus candidates practically want us to go to war with China. Through their Fox eye glasses they don’t even want to realize that they would not have that $2 waffle iron to fight over if we were to do that. I guess ignorance really is bliss to some people.this must be the’free market’ that will eventually save or socialist economy. Idiots.

  • Username1016

    That woman’s PANTS are falling off. Too busy snatching at waffle irons to pull up her damn PANTS. The mind boggles.

    • Plugger

      Oh c’mon. She can pull up her pants tomorrow, but the waffle iron is NOW!

  • cousinavi

    What the hell is wrong with you people?
    Proof that what made America great still exists and can be had for TWO FUCKIN’ DOLLARS! If you’re not willing to curb stomp some pushy grandma to get your mitts on a two dollar waffle iron, you don’t deserve to call yourself an American.

    • Treading_Water

      Exactly right, if I gotta pepper spray a bitch to get me a cheap waffle iron. I’m gonna pepper spray a bitch…

  • jmby

    In the words of David Letterman, “This is why the rest of the world hates us”.

    • D_C_Wilson

      But if you believe Fox “News”, the rest of the world can’t wait to escape the socialist hellhole they’re in and become real ‘Mericans.

  • Bubble Genius

    You’re not going to catch me in a fistfight over a $2 ANYTHING. Sheesh.

    • nicole

      For real. Utterly ridiculous, and more like animals every year.

    • Scopedog

      That’s good to know, Bob….8-)

      However, let’s not pretend that this is anything new. It is shocking, but I remember seeing the fights in stores over Cabbage Patch Kids years ago (when I was a wee lad myself).

      Still, great piece–and I’m glad I didn’t go out shopping on Black Friday.

  • BadSaratoga


    And to think it’s all just low-end junk cheaply-made in China that these vicious animals are pepper spraying each other for.

    What a pathetic bunch of animals.

  • mrbrink

    Dignity is overrated.