Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Greetings Friends,
I hope everyone had a pleasant day yesterday. If you are in the US, you ingested mounds of turkey and watched 3 football games; if you happen to have the NFL Network on your cable or satellite system. Here in Canada, it was only Thursday.

Today is Black Friday, the day when Americans hoist their stuffed selves out of bed to brave the crowds at the local malls. Shopping for me has never been sport; I like it, but I have to have something specific in mind in order to engage in it. That also doesn't mean I never go; I do, just not on Black Friday. Ever.

There have been too many frenzies created by too-good-to-be-true prices on electronics, toys, and whatever the hot item is consumers are after in a given year. The past few years have become downright scary, with images of crowds rushing into stores trying to grab one of the five 60 inch hi-def colour TVs on sale for $50.00. I'm sorry, I wouldn't care if it was free; I'm not risking my life for a television.

Black Friday has always been the day economists gauge how well the retail sector will do for the holiday season. Battalions of reporters will descend on crowds asking inane questions like, "How much will you be spending this holiday season?" Merchants, bankers and brokers will hold their collective breath hanging on every word, making dire predictions based on whether or not people are going to spend like drunken sailors or frugally drop lumps of coal into the Christmas stockings of their loved ones. There is way too much emphasis on spending and giving, mere hours after we've waxed rhapsodic about all the things we're thankful for. America will always be a heady mix of misguided patriotism combined with self-entitlement. Whether or not we have the means, we will always spend money. Well, maybe not as much now, but Black Friday will forever be looked upon as the financial Groundhog Day, giving prognosticators the yea or nay on the state of the economy. In Canada, that would be Boxing Day, but it makes little sense to me, since it's the day after Christmas, instead of a month before. Either way, it matters not. I just hope I don't turn on the news to see a body bag containing an unfortunate human who finished last in the race for a $50.00 hi-def TV. That's definitely not the reason for the season.

As I sit here digesting my Chinese food (not a turkey to be had, but I'm not complaining), I have to keep reminding myself that in this case, black is good, and red is bad. We are in desperate need of as much good and as little bad as possible. 

Enjoy your weekend and happy shopping. 


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