Season's greedings all so sad
Every year in Spain, residents take part in a tradition known as the running of the bulls, in which people have animals that weigh as much a ton running behind them as fast as they can.
Sometimes, a participant dies in the fray.
Here in America, we call it Black Friday.
We are living among some for whom a month of holiday shopping time after Thanksgiving apparently is not enough. These are the people who will mark today's holiday by displaying some of the most shocking acts of greed and violence you will ever see among human beings, including and not limited to trampling to death store employees and fellow shoppers.
There's a big-screen television on sale for $100 less.
The Discovery Channel is missing a real opportunity here to resurrect its program, “Wild America.” Instead of documentaries such as “Peculiar Plants,” why not “Savage Shoppers”?
Let's recap the lowlights of some Black Fridays past. Note that there seems to be a red cape waving at the bulls from one of America's biggest box chains:
• When a Wal-Mart worker was killed in 2008 at a New York-area store, the store did the respectable thing — it closed until 1 p.m.
• That same year at another Wal-Mart, a woman claimed to authorities she was trampled by fellow shoppers when the doors opened. But the woman continued shopping for Black Friday specials before reporting to police that she could have been killed.
• Last year, a woman pepper-sprayed some shoppers vying with her for a video game system at — you guessed it — Wal-Mart.
Hey, at least the bulls just do what comes naturally. What excuses do these people have, other than maybe trying to get on the website peopleofwalmart.com?
This year, Wal-Mart and some other stores announced plans to open as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. That's prompted some pushback from some Wal-Mart and other retail employees who believe they deserve a holiday's rest before dealing with Black Friday crowds.
And finally, after years of Thanksgiving being overtaken by Christmas shopping, the anti-Thanksgiving shopping idea is getting some traction.
A telephone survey of 1,001 people by market research company Ipsos shows that only 6 percent plan to shop on Thanksgiving. Through social media, some people are mobilizing petitions and opposition to Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving.
A Facebook page, The Reason for the Season, started this week and has 427 followers. (It's a growing movement.)
Others would argue that among the things these retail workers should be thankful for is having a job, even if it means working Thanksgiving. That's true, when it's necessary to work such days.
But this is a matter of feeding greed. If the store didn't open until 12:01 a.m. Friday, then that's when people would come. That worked for a lot of years, by the way.
If this expansion of Black Friday isn't contained, what's next for Thanksgivings Yet to Come?
It'd be nice to think we'll go back to the old days of family dinners and reflecting on the important things and Christmas carols in December, instead of at the crack of November.
But it's more likely that those people who have been waiting in front of Best Buy stores since early Monday are the harbinger of what's to come: Black Week.
Nafari Vanaski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-856-7400 ext. 8669.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches career points
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Pitt plays best game of the season; routs Kansas State
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Pregnant woman struck by van in North Side dies; doctors save baby
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Fatal crash closes Flight 93 chapel in Somerset County
- Pirates notebook: Autographs to come at a cost at PirateFest
- Penguins notebook: Bennett to miss about 2 weeks
- Man charged with impersonating doctor for free Nemacolin stay
- PIT wants non-passengers allowed past security to shop