A Black Friday
As far as I can recall we’ve celebrated Christmas for centuries without feeling the need to stave our neighbour’s head in with a coffee maker.
You know, just so we can buy a cheap coffee maker (perhaps with some minor cosmetic damage to the box).
Black Friday, the first shopping day after Thanksgiving where retailers offer aggressive bargains and chaos ensues, has been a feature in the US calendar for decades.
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK so we thought we were safe.
We were not safe.
Friday 28th November 2014 was the date that everything finally went full on Loony-Tunes-let’s-get-ready-to-rumble berserk but what I can’t get my head around is this… we knew this would happen. We saw it coming.
So why has the UK adopted such a clearly damaging new tradition? It seems a little stupid.
It’s the cultural equivalent of researching having a pet tiger, reading expert opinions on why keeping a wild animal in a domestic environment is a bad idea, seeing images and videos of the horrific injuries that will inevitably result and then saying to yourself 'You know what I really want? A pet tiger'.
Or… it’s like a whole country getting together and instituting a 'Punch Yourself in the Face and then Throw Your Wallet into the Ocean Day' and then everyone diligently observing that day and it’s rituals every year.
And then another country watching the festivities on YouTube and thinking 'That sounds fun, let’s totally do that too.'
I know our world is driven by consumerism and that this is just the latest manifestation but it’s rare that the machinations of these huge financial forces are still so new and yet so unimpeachably damaging.
And that the solution is equally clear cut. Stop participating. Don’t make Black Friday a thing anymore.
Now let’s all make ourselves a posh cup of coffee and consider how easy that would be…