The Vent: Black Friday

November 18, 2009

Welcome to the start of the holiday season. As such I thought we dive into something a little more non traditional for The Vent. We’re stepping outside the box here, as I talk about something else besides gaming that pisses me off, Black Friday.  To bring you up to speed, depending on where you live, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, where stores open real early and give the best prices and deals on all or most of their items. People go crazy, wait out in droves, probably after they are done eating Thanksgiving dinner, and wait in line so they have a chance to receive these sensational deals. Does anyone see a problem with this?

What ever happened to Thanksgiving, having dinner, getting drunk and passing out with your friends and family, and not having to worry to get back up early in the morning to shop? It vanished for most of us, that vision in our heads which we loved and felt nostalgic to. Has to be three things and only three things which can make our society so cynical; the media, the holidays, and competitive store deals. These tyrants of pop culture has brainwashed most Americans into believing they need to go out shopping after gaining 5 pounds from your mother’s delicious turkey.

One of my favorite comedians, Lewis Black, once said “Thanksgiving was Thanksgiving, not Christmas, part one. We ate, drank, passed out, and no one woke us up and said ‘let’s go shopping'”. This was true. There was a time where Black Friday was still a baby, where the tradition of it has not embedded itself into every living organism. Since technology has grown, and media has gotten stronger, there is no where we can run to to avoid thousands of advertisements per day, except maybe solitary confinement in prison, which by the way seems enjoyable around this time of year. Since I graduated college with a marketing degree, I know for a fact that everyone sees more than 1000 advertisements per day, but only absorb less than 100 of them. Commercials, news ads, billboards, even store signs all are part of the media cycle which now has consumed us to buying their crap, or at least thinking about buying their crap. It’s simple, if any given advertisement has gotten you to think about that particular item, you already fell for their trap. Either you think about it until you buy that item or you come across some bigger form of advertisement which all your attention is thwarted to that. If you have no money, you’re in the clear.

In addition to being media’s bitch, the holiday season is a factor to this glorious so called ‘hullabaloo’. Christmas and Hanukkah are here, well a month and a few days away, but you get the idea. It seems we have the idea that when Thanksgiving is over, Christmas begins. I did not know Christmas lasted for more than one day. Where was I when they gave out that memo? It’s almost a whole month that people celebrate the holiday spirit, by buying, spending, and complaining how much money they used on their friends and relatives. What’s worse is that Santa is poking his ass into Halloween, my holiday, and someone has to kick that back into his month. He can’t keep on taking more of the calendar days for himself. If someone really wanted to, they could really get into the holiday spirit and make everyday a Christmas Day, bringing good will and fortune for everyone. I wish I could fine someone like that.

The media is getting our attention, the holidays are here, and now it is the time for the stores to make their mark on our back sides. I’m not quite sure who wins on Black Friday, the stores or the consumer. Let’s see, stores open real early, like 5 a.m. or so, which makes us have to wake up earlier to wait in line, or sleep on the line overnight just to get a good spot. The consumer gets great deals on everything in the store, like games, movies, and computers. I’m talking about electronic stores, if you did not notice. I’m going to have to say that the consumer wins. Sure we wake up early, but to get a game that was $60 but now is $25, holy crap I’ll be there. Here’s the funny part; stores are actually losing money on this day than making money. They lose money from the sensational deals, the vast amount of theft if any, and paying all the employees that are working 12 hour shifts that day. If this is the case,why bother, why even open early and give us the deals of a lifetime when the company is just stabbing itself with a kitchen knife? Is it competition, if one store was doing it, does it mean the other stores have to do it as well?

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I think we could safely say Black Friday hurts our pockets, but it sure hurts store’s pockets as well. So who wins on this “holiday”? Whoever is receiving the presents at the very end, that’s who. They thank you for going out of your way on this awful shopping day just to get them an Ipod, or a video game, even a laptop. If you bought stuff for yourself on that day, then you know who to thank. I will be working on Black Friday, as I watch my store burn to the ground by customers. I might just join them. Enjoy the holiday spending, and good night!

The Vent is closed for now. If anyone loved this segment, or shares the same feelings with me, feel free to share them, as I am not going anywhere until holidays hit for real.

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