Black Friday

It’s perhaps an indication of how corrupt our society has become that giant retail store chains are being allowed to effectively destroy a national holiday. Black Friday used to start at 9 AM on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Then they moved it up to 6 AM and then 5 AM. Last year it started at 10 PM on Thanksgiving evening. This year it’s going to start at 8PM on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is like the giant chicken heart in that famous radio play by Arch Oboler: it just keeps growing and growing until it starts crushing everything around it.

The only resistance that’s being offered to this hypertrophying monstrosity comes from the workers at Wal-Mart. They are rightly angry that their holiday has been taken away from them. Retail workers get paid low wages, and they usually get little or no benefits. Now they don’t even get Thanksgiving.

I suspect that one reason that this has been allowed to happen is that Thanksgiving isn’t as important to people as it once was. The purpose of Thanksgiving, we are told, is so we can give thanks for what we have. Since wages have been declining for decades, and millions of Americans are currently without jobs, it has become increasingly unclear to people what it is that they are supposed to be grateful for.

Nevertheless, we should support the Wal-Mart workers. And we should support all retail workers by sitting out this Black Friday madness.

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