The Blackest of Fridays

In just over a week, shoppers, like lemmings, will line up outside stores waiting for the doors to open. They clutch lists and cell phones, their breath forming clouds in air before their faces. They will push their way in to get $25 DVD players and the latest, greatest toy that will be forgotten about ten minutes after it is taken out of the box.

It's telling that Black Friday comes the day after we collectively spend the day stuffing ourselves sick and then watching endless football or holiday specials. One gorging for another. Consumerism of both styles on parade. It's enough to make you sick if you really start to think about it.

This year's Black Friday is going to be key. After a few months of people like Obama telling us the economy is getting better, this will show how much confidence consumers have in those statements. Words are cheap, though, and people have a good idea of what is happening out there. People know the jobs aren't there. Nobody is hiring. Wages are frozen. Layoffs are looming.

Spending on a new pair of shoes seems downright indulgent when a record number of people are now in need of food assistance. Yet I can imagine those self-same hungry souls lining up, lists in hand, eyes darting. So hungry ... for food and consumer goods.

MDC, a great punk band, once said the capitalism is cannibalism. It's a true statement because capitalism unchecked devours itself. The bubble that burst recently is not the first of its sort, and nor will it be the last ... unless we change how we do things. That seems unlikely, though. Especially when you look at those lines outside those stores.

Violence. Aggression. Crime. All for cheap electronics and China-produced toys.

Enjoy your turkey, shoppers. Come Saturday your buyer's remorse may just set in. Don't whine about it, though. You caused your misery. Now enjoy your $3 MP3 player.

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