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I Don’t Get It

Saturday, 26 November 2011

[This was published on motzei Shabbat]

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It isn’t just Jewish holidays that seem to come early some years. We can add Black Friday to that group. Though it has become de rigueur for retailers to open at six, five, or gulp four in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving, some stores open at midnight…or, even, on Thanksgiving Day itself.

It seems that the desire to get the best deals overrides anything resembling rational behaviour.

Take, for example, the woman who was so driven to get an XBox that she felt it necessary to pepper spray nearby patrons. And as crazy as that incident sounds, it was not the only violent act that occurred in the chaos of this annual shopping frenzy. Several other incidents were reported in a number of other communities.

I cannot imagine what goes through a person’s head in these situations. Anyone have an answer??

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Saturday, 26 November 2011 5:29 pm

    I don’t even know what an XBox is…so I certainly cannot comment on why anyone would go into a store at 4 a.m. to purchase one. The whole scene seems so very far removed from what holidays are meant to be about that I can’t begin to fathom any of it. Personally, I’d like to fast forward to Tu B’Shvat. Anyone else?

  2. DrPG permalink
    Saturday, 26 November 2011 11:54 pm

    It is another unhealthful sign of the times. The original concept of this gift giving, as I understand it, is similar to tzedekah. It is a pleasurable duty, and often done anonymously. However, over time, the competition over literally buying the affection and loyalty of others through increasingly extravagant gifts has resulted in this monstrosity of materialism. If you look at other aspects of society, where individualism is valued over community; where Presidential candidates advocate letting the sick die, throwing people in foreclosure into the streets, jailing millions of undocumented aliens, and cutting off all aid to the unemployed; and finally, where people attack each other for the right to bankrupt themselves by charging expensive, unnecessary merchandise, you can see the unfortunate consequences of this moral bankruptcy.

  3. Friday, 2 December 2011 9:45 am

    I think you said it best when you said, “I don’t get it.”

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