The Watering Hole Friday November 25th, 2011

It’s Black Friday, and it seems that the theme of the day is a little blurred. Shopping till dropping, even if it means dropping others that get in the way, suggests the consumer culture has gotten out of hand.

This is our Daily Open Thread, if you have any thoughts, stories or remedies feel free to run with it…

60 thoughts on “The Watering Hole Friday November 25th, 2011

    • I’m so proud. This happened at the nearby Porter Ranch Walmart.

      Porter Ranch is a weird place for Walmart cuz it’s upscale for the area and the store draws in some real trash from outlying areas and the lowlifes who live nearby. I frequently go to The Sports Chalet next to it and just shake my head at what goes in to that place.

  1. Many years ago I enjoyed Christmas shopping. That was before it became some sort of blood sport. The first incidents I remember were in the early 80’s when moms started beating each other over Cabbage Patch dolls.

    • “Black Friday” took on a whole new meaning for me when a WalMart greeter got trampled to death in the stampeede when he opened the doors a few years back.

      • I remember that. Nothing screams “celebrate the birth of baby Jesus” like killing a fellow human in your rush to save a few bucks on some crap. Every year when I hear the religious folks start decrying the “War on Christmas”, I wonder why they don’t realize that war was lost to crass commercialization a long time ago.

  2. Hope all you critters had a safe and hearty Thanksgiving yesterday. We stayed at the bro-in-law’s house watching movies till near midnight. I got up two hours later than normal to go to work. Yes, I’m one of the lucky few who gets to work on Blech Friday. S’OK, keeps me out of harms way and the stampede of lunatics trying desperately to find happiness through a feather light wallet.

  3. I have never shopped on Black Friday, and I never will.

    I’ll probably go into our village tomorrow to do some “Small Business” shopping. We have a wonderful little gift shop where I’ve been shopping for over 20 years, and a book shop that also has a small antique shop in the back where I’ve found some lovely little Lenox birds in the past. The local florist and greenhouse also carry beautiful ornaments and other small gifts. All of these stores are owned and operated by locals.

      • Not that I’ve ever seen. But I’m sure that the local CVS probably has something just as awful. 😉

        What’s so nice is that, when I go into the gift shop, it’s likely that I’ll be greeted by some of the salespeople as a long-lost friend. I used to shop there all the time, in better days – and the giftees always loved the stuff I’ve gotten there.

      • Not yet. I’m still not sure how I’m going to start out. If there’s another Republican debate in the next week, I may work something out of that. I also have some fodder in one of those idiotic, easily-disputed chain email that my conservative friend sent me. So I may just make the point that you can’t believe any old crap that people make up. And who knows what else might come up in the next week or so – my first column will be Friday, December 9th, and I have to have it submitted the Monday or Tuesday prior. I’ll probably write up one this weekend and then see what crops up in the news after that. Can’t hurt to have two ready ahead of time.

  4. Just even the term “Black Friday” should make most rational humans want to avoid it. It sounds ominous and horrible. (And in practice, it is – bringing out the worst in human behavior.)

    • But, but, isn’t that the term Pricky uses for his weekend poker game party at the Ni**erHead ranch, where holstered revolvers are required to get a seat at the table?

  5. We don’t have it here, Black Friday. We have no Thanksgiving (well we have a kind of but that’s mainly catholic religious stuff) so I’m spared this. People camp out when the new iSomething’s coming out, but other than that, we’re mostly fine. Harry Potter Books were a craze, I decided to preorder mine and my neighbor, who is at the same time my mailperson, brought it to me by midnight, so I had it on time when I woke up in the morning.

    I would have waited for a couple of days for it otherwise.

    End of Winter and End of Summer Sales used to be big, but we have sales now all the year. So no special crowds. Last minute shopping on Xmas eve is something of an adventure though.

    We’ll be going easy this year, we had to buy a car, my lovely and beloved “Ugly Betty” has some transmission trouble and the repair is more than what the car is worth and so… 😦 You can spend only one SwissFranc for every one you earn.

    • EV, here in America, it is custom to max out one’s credit card in pursuit of the incredible savings on Black Friday. The irony is that people don’t usually pay off their credit cards at the end of the month so the banks earn incredible interest rates on the payments on the goods that one “saved money on” on Black Friday.

      It makes no real sense.

      • LL, I’ve heard about that in the early 90s from an American co worker. At first I couldn’t believe it. I am raising my kids to only spend what they have and to wait until they saved enough if they want something really bad that they can’t afford. The sparkle in my younger son’s eyes when he could finally buy himself an iMac. He saved all his pocket money, didn’t buy himself candy, saved all the money he got for his birthdays did chores, you name it. It took him three years. He was twelve when he finally bought it, paid cash. The happiest little boy on this planet at that moment.

          • Zooey, I learned the hard way. I was one of the very few at my time in Germany who had to take up a loan to be able to finish my degree after my father died. It was not really that high, but it took me ten years to pay it off. I left employment when I had my kids, having a 0 balance on my account. It is only now and I am 50 years old, that I earn money and some of it is really mine. I am a proud taxpayer, too. I can now contribute to the society I live in. My mom says I’m an idiot, my Father in Law thinks I’m too dumb for words. Me, I just believe we can only really thrive and be safe and secure as a community. So we have to contribute to it.

  6. Black Friday. Reminds me of my hyper-GOoPer cousin who likes to refer to the MLK holiday in January as Black Monday. And he says it with a sneer, of course. Frankly, Black Friday is much more deserving of a sneer in what should always be the case when crass commercialism is compared with acts of honor and of extremely elevated intent. I suppose this week cousin has been cheering the cops at UCDavis too; it’s sad that so many just can’t comprehend the diametric differences between selfless honor and selfish greed.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Speaking for myself, it’s hard to beat spending it with a lovely lady, plus a cherished daughter and her very fine husband. And Shadow the cat, of course. The turkey and wild rice were good, but the time together was worth far more.

  7. Hello and Happy post Thanksgiving Tryptophan Injection Day!

    Never did see that OWS float in the Macy’s parade. I suspect that the Precision Pepper-spraying Cop Brigade dispatched them because the Cop brigade was missing as well.

    I wanted to add my gratitude for all of you here. I learn so much from your intelligent post and laugh so much at your witty comments. I feel honored that you allow me to come and post here. Thank you for being a safe place to land.

  8. Twas the war before Christmas
    and all through the land,
    consumers shivered,
    in line they did stand.
    With Barbies and I Phones,
    the shelves were all stuffed,
    X-boxes are few,
    This could get rough.
    Merchants are nervous,
    to some degree…
    Make it or break it,
    soon they will see.
    Credit card companies
    are rather nonplussed,
    they get their fee,
    so what’s the fuss?
    Yet in small quiet corners,
    across this broad land,
    in garage and in kitchen,
    things are still made by hand.
    A jar of sweet pickles,
    a fine woolen hat,
    true expressions of love
    are carefully wrapped.
    From the garden and table,
    the sawdust and glue,
    this is the nicest,
    the best we can do.

  9. Plaid Friday – Shop Indie This Holiday Season

    Plaid Friday was conceptualized in Oakland, CA, a city known for strong shop local campaigns. Plaid Friday brings back the neighborly nostalgic times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable leisurely activity.

  10. Andy Borowitz on Black Friday:

    November 25, 2011
    In Positive Economic Sign, Walmart Customers Killing Each Other to Buy Shit
    Pepper Spraying, Homicide Bullish Indicators, Economists Say

    MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) � In what economists are hhailing as a clear sign of economic recovery, Walmart customers across the USA jammed into stores on Black Friday, sometimes killing each other to buy useless shit.

    “We have been looking for evidence that the economy is on the mend,” said Davis Logsdon, chairman of the economics department at the University of Minnesota. “When people resort to homicide to buy a Blu-ray player, that is very, very good news indeed.”

    Mr. Logsdon said he was “impressed” by the lengths to which some Walmart customers were going to grab coveted sale items: “They’re using tactics we usually associate with the UC-Davis police.”

    With many customers using pepper spray and other weapons to get a shopping advantage, however, Mr. Logsdon advised Americans not to enter a Walmart unarmed.

    “If you want to get your hands on a doorbuster, you’d better have a firearm,” he said. “Fortunately, Walmart is offering several great doorbusters on firearms.”

    Walmart and other retailers’ decision to commence their Black Friday sales a day early carries with it an added benefit for consumers, he noted: “Now, Americans will be able to declare bankruptcy one day earlier.”

    All in all, Dr. Logsdon said that the increased violence and mayhem at retail outlets across the country was “a testament to the greatness of the American consumer.”

    “Egyptians risk their lives for new government,” he said. “Americans bravely do the same for new flat screens.”

    • Last year I did a lot of my Christmas shopping at the local dollar store. Little useful things like gloves, scarves, socks actually do make a lot of people I know happy. And, while the dollar store gets crowded, you certainly don’t see anyone fighting for a $1 item!

    • Nobody here trying out for bonus points?

      It’s Mike Malloy’s Friday theme song. The other four weekdays he uses Pink Floyd’s Run Like Hell, but the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra version.

  11. David Brooks on PBS Newshour: “I think the number one issue in shaping this election is now sitting in Berlin, with Angela Merkel. I think Angela Merkel, at this moment, has a bigger influence on whether Barack Obama will be re-elected than Barack Obama does.The European financial crisis gets scarier by the day. We saw a slight attack on, or a very weak bond auction in Germany this week. We saw the Italian government getting hit again by the bond markets. We saw the Germans not really yielding, not showing any willingness to do some sort of solution there. Very scary possibility of a second recession there, caused by Europe, and so I think foreign policy is going to merge into the economy and be a big issue next year.”

    Interesting theory, considering the Republicans want to be able to blame Obama, and having the Europeans to blame deflects away from Obama.

    • I agree that’s an interesting theory, and I don’t claim to know more about economics than Brooks does, but I do know this: Brooks is often wrong, and the only reason he is afforded any “credibility” is that he’s been around a while, and the only reason he’s been around a while is that he is willing to spew the crap the RW Powers-That-Be want spewed.

    • Apparently the guy is a minister from out of town. Says others were trying to grab it out of his hands as he was trying to help his grandson. Police say he was resisting arrest and stand by the cop.

      Buckeye is a weird place.

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