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Black Friday. Fuck that Shit.

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By Mariam Afshar

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving was once the day when retailers could turn a profit for the year, putting them in ‘the black’. Fast forward 50-ish years and retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving night, some as early as 6pm, so basically in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner.

These choice retailers usually release their Black Friday ads the week prior, tempting consumers with their reduced prices instead of allowing them to enjoy the time with their family. Savings crazed shoppers head out on Thanksgiving and Black Friday causing traffic jams inside and out of retail stores. With all these crazed people waiting for the the chance to buy some item that is no doubt limited in supply, common sense and common courtesy go right out the window. In recent years, there have been deaths and injuries due to trampling, shootings and violence between consumers. In 2012, 2 people were shot over a parking spot at a Walmart in Florida (oh, Florida…) 2 others were killed and 64 injured. There is even a Black Friday Death Count.

Is it, really, the best way to spend the day after (of) a holiday, during which you’ve already gorged yourself on more delicious foods than most people see in a year, surrounded by your family and closest friends, by leaving in the middle of dinner to go buy stuff? Most likely stuff that no one really needs. Stuff that will end up broken or neglected in a fews months, unless of course it’s a television.

I understand that all of our holidays are centered around consumption and consumerism. Thanksgiving, we stuff ourselves to the brim. The same on Christmas but we add material possessions to that. Gifts on Valentines day. Candy on Halloween. Food and gifts for Easter. I could go on. People are literally DYING to get a great deal on a new 200 inch television, that I am sure they do not need. People are willing to fight for discounted material possessions, why not put that fight into better wages or health care or unsullied food sources or affordable housing or taking care of the homeless or finding cures for diseases? Why are we wasting all the fight we have in us on each other, over crap?

Instead of attending all those Black Friday crap shoot sales where an older lady in a unitard is fighting you for the last pair of neon pink UGGS, do something more productive with your time. Go to a museum, Houston has plenty to offer in that department and most are free, take your pick. The weather is supposed to stabilize by Friday, so taking a trip to the MFAH or the Menil won’t hurt you. Check out all the exhibits you are too busy, otherwise, to make time to see. See what exhibits are still up and check them out. Make a stop at your favorite neighborhood bar for a hot adult beverage and relaxed laughs with your friends.

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