Friday, November 26, 2010

No thanks- the ginormous TV's not going to watch itself.

I remember my late sister-in-law used to make a sport out of going out on the Friday after Thanksgiving to go shopping. And, she'd get pretty much all of her Christmas gift-buying done.
Personally, I thought she was absolutely insane- and this was years before anyone came up with the "Black Friday" moniker.
It's amazing how fast the dipshits in the media will tag an event with some cataclysmic nickname in an effort to get the maximum panic out of people. Any idea of some of the other events to wear the "Black Friday" moniker?
The first recorded incident I could find to receive the label occurred on September 24, 1869- when two speculators’ efforts to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange set off a financial panic in the United States. The events leading to that particular “Black Friday” are also known as the Fisk/Gould scandal.
Twelve years later, there was the Black Friday Eyemouth disaster- a severe windstorm that struck the southern coast of Scotland on 14 October 1881 and ended up killing 189 fishermen.
The name went unused for a while after that. Perhaps the media decided that, maybe, using the name after the 1881 incident would have been in bad taste. What am I saying? It’s the media. Of course they didn’t- they probably just weren’t “lucky” enough for something salacious to happen on a Friday.
That string was broken on January 13, 1939, in Victoria, Australia, when the Black Friday fires flared up.
The blazes, widely considered one of the worst natural bushfires in the world, scorched almost five million square miles of land, destroying a number of towns (including five that were razed and never rebuilt), more than 3,700 buildings and killing 71 people. Three quarters of the State of Victoria was reported to be directly or indirectly affected by the disaster.
In the spring of 1950, there was the Red River Flood in the Dakotas and Manitoba. On May 5, Winnipeg had to be partially evacuated when the Red River reached its highest level since 1861 and flooded most of the Red River Valley. Eight dikes gave way and flooded much of the city, turning 600 square miles into a lake.
Four of the eleven bridges to the city were destroyed and nearly 100,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes and businesses. Fortunately, only on Canadian lost there life to the flood, but the monetary damages were between $600 million to over a billion dollars.
Reports of damages in the Dakotas vary, as does the death toll- which is listed from five to over 400.
Thirteen years later, on a November afternoon in Dallas, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed.
In September of 1978, the Shah of Iran’s security forces fired on a group of protesters in Tehran. Though accounts of which group fired first vary, as do reports of the death toll (said to be between 64 and 84), the event was seen as the end of any chance between reconciliation between the ruling Shah and the Revolutionary forces that ended up overthrowing the government.
On May 31, 1985, a tornado outbreak in the United States and Canada saw 43 twisters touch down between Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario. Eighty-eight people were killed in what was the third costliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history- causing $450 million in damages here, while the Canadian damaged totaled an estimated $100 million.
Notice any common themes between those incidents? Let me point out the one that jumps out at me: for the most part, all of those events were beyond the control of the victims. Our current “Black Friday,” though? Well, not so much..
People going out today, I just don't get it. Do they have some deep need to be faceless in the midst of a throng of inconsiderate tools (or is it just me who always seems to encounter those people)? Some pathological need to save 20% on some crap they didn't need to start with?
To paraphrase Han Solo, "no bargain is worth that."
Yes, it’s too bad if Bubba’s wife gets stepped on down at the W-Mart because she got between Bertha and the muumuu that was on sale in aisle six, but did Mrs. Bubba really have any kind of expectation of common courtesy on a day specifically engineered by retailers to turn us all into bargain-crazed retards (and, even more so- common courtesy at that store on any day)?
Give me a break, already. Yeah, it’s too bad, but I don’t care- all the unpleasantness and media sanctioned “tragedies” could be avoided simply with some common sense. Or just plain old laziness.
Hello, couch…