Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday: Dawn of the Dead as Non-Fiction

Another violent Black Friday has left consumers injured and embarassed.

The Oregonian, our daily newspaper, was 4.5 pounds on Thursday. It was filled with that many ads for Friday's sales. It seemed ridiculous and laughable the night before; sad and tragic the night after when reports were written about the going-ons of the holiday:
"Everybody was cutting in line. But there was one girl who was threatening me, so I told her that I'd shoot her," Lattimore told CNN. "I'm not a violent person, but police charged me with disorderly conduct."

Several eager shoppers were trampled Friday morning as they surged through Target store doors in North Buffalo, New York.

CNN affiliate WIVB had a camera inside the Target and captured the drama. People at the front of the line were pushed to the floor when doors opened. The commotion and screams drew additional store staff to sort the crowd out.

"It went from controlled to a mob in less than five minutes," shopper Rich Mathewson told WIVB. "And then it just got nasty."

That last line is almost an exact quote from a Walking Dead comic. Not to mention the fact that this whole concept of mobs of people killing each other to fulfill those consumer desires was foretold as early as 1978 in Dawn of the Dead.

I know most zombie literature is drenched in social commentary, but typically social commentary is meant to draw our attention to our shortcomings in various areas of humanity, not to set the model for how to further those shortcomings.

Watch the video. It isn't so different from some of the scenes from those famous mall-set zombie films, books, and video games.

The term "Black Friday" was created in 1966. It used to refer to the profit made by retailers, like "in the black" as opposed to "in the red". I'm not so sure that old definition still speaks true in the face of the numerous injuries and deaths that occur on this day every year.

1 comment:

  1. I just like when people are excited. Being ravenous is the highest form of enthusiasm, Target should be proud of their mob-inducing deals.