“Black Friday” – Obsession or Insanity?


by Richard H. Frank

The readers of Libertyssong Blog have probably noticed that Jayne and I have attempted to be highly selective in choosing the subject for our writings.  As a result, we do not, as with some blogs, write daily just for the sake of regurgitating the news of the day.

Occasionally, however, current events bring pause for us to reflect upon how American society has evolved to the point where material possessions have taken precedent over the morals and values that have made our country the greatest nation on earth.  There was a time when Thanksgiving marked a celebration dedicated to giving thanks to our Creator for the bountiful country and freedoms endowed upon us all as Americans as well as for our family.

The day following Thanksgiving marked the beginning of the celebration of the Christmas Season ending with anticipation of a New year filled with hope for the future.  Somewhere throughout the years, the American psyche has been altered from the spiritual aspects of the holiday season to the materialistic.  Technology has certainly had its influence on this transformation but so has the decay in the morals of our society as a whole.

The pressure to make a “profit” sufficient to carry most retail enterprises for the coming year has in fact created the term “Black Friday.”  So intense has this pressure to make a profit become that we now see the holiday season being promoted as early as October and the hype for product values to come thrust in our face on television every ten to 15 minutes.

With the age of the internet, those of us obsessed with finding bargains are able to surf the web in pursuit of the best deals available.  The merchants have taken our obsession to “buy” to a new level through advertising early shopper promotional items that at one time were available at 4:00 a.m.. on Black Friday, now moved up to 12:00 on Thanksgiving, creating a feeding frenzy that gains momentum resulting in a “mob mentality.”

The image of shoppers camped out in store parking lots overnight to be the first in line for some limited quantity of precious bargains becomes the lead story on the nightly news.  That image is followed by orderly lines transformed into a mob storming the doors of the retail outlets and trampling each other in order to be first to acquire some item that they place a higher value upon than for their personal safety or that of their neighbor.  So frenzied are those mobs that they turn on one another ready and willing to inflict injury and even death upon anyone that stands in their way from acquiring their product–most often just for a hunk of metal or plastic.

We now are witness to shoppers storming an establishment when the opening was delayed resorting to pillaging and looting to satisfy their obsession turned to insanity.

How far we have fallen as a nation from a time when we celebrated the values and traditions of our heritage to a “mob” obsessed with acquiring some material possession having a limited lifetime and questionable value in the first place.  Sadly most of these “bargains” are obsolete before they reach the merchant’s floor for sale and the cycle to satisfy the need to possess the latest technology or fad item will repeat itself in the next “Black Friday.”

Obsession or Insanity?  I think it is neither but the steady erosion of values no longer taught in our schools, homes or championed within our Government or businesses themselves.

The falsely-promoted separation of “church and state” is absent from or Constitution and presents a slap in the face to our Founding Fathers.  The result is the steady deterioration of the morals of this Nation which will surely contribute to our eventual demise.  May God help this nation should we refuse to recognize the path we are on which is a path to our own destruction.

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