Claude’s Column: Gratitude vs Greed, The Curse of Black Friday

Thanksgiving, what a wonderful time of grateful reflection. Since the earliest days of our country’s history, we’ve put aside differences, gathered with loved ones and dined upon turkey all in the spirit of thankfulness. In such a consumer-driven culture, it’s a rather important holiday to celebrate.

Black Friday on the other hand is the worst holiday ever invented by a human. Now that might seem rather harsh but no other holiday exposes our culture at its consumer driven, self-centered and ungrateful WORST like Black Friday. 

But how exactly did the day after Thanksgiving (and the actual kick-off of the Christmas season) become the corporate monstrosity it is today and how exactly does it harm the holiday spirit? Well to fully understand the dreadful anarchy of Black Friday, one must explore the history and origin of the phrase.

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The term “Black Friday” originally was used to describe something horribly wrong with the economy. Back in 1869 on Sep. 24, several financiers attempted to corner the gold market, which resulted in its crash, causing a depression. 

In terms of obsessive shopping, the term rose in popularity in Philadelphia in 1961 to describe the immense pedestrian and vehicle trafficking. By 1975, Black Friday became a nationally used term.

For retailers, Black Friday marks the time of the year when companies turn a profit for the year by going “in the black,” hence the phrase “Black Friday.” Since then, every year stores ramp up their advertisements and stock their shelves with goods in preparation for  Thanksgiving weekend. 

In many ways, the original definition of Black Friday still rings true with the modern-day Black Friday, however rather than a problem with the economy, it is a problem with society. 

We live in a society where consumption is a way of life. Whether it be camping out outside Best Buy waiting to be the first to purchase the hottest new game console, or trampling over your neighbors just to nab the biggest flat screen. We flock like sheep to the latest hot ticket items, going bankrupt and throwing all common sense and gratitude out the window to the point where we forget the reason for the season. 

It has reached the point where stores are actually opening up on Thanksgiving Day. Now I understand that these businesses need to make money to survive, but when is enough enough? 

Black Friday is already a betrayal of everything Thanksgiving stands for but to drag employees away from their families on the day of thankfulness for the sake of early sales is only a further slap in the face to an already underappreciated holiday. Is nothing sacred to these corporate shams?

Now watch those corporate shams put a Black Friday ad before this video, that is if you’re watching before Thanksgiving.
(Real Footage/YouTube)

Well despite the cash-grabbing endeavors of retailers, the spirit of Thanksgiving will live on. In the battle of greed vs gratitude, gratitude can still be preserved in the presence of family and friends. So this Thanksgiving rather than leave early to catch the best deals, cherish the time with your loved ones. Cause unlike the latest technology or trendiest clothes, there is no price that can be put on family. And if you are wise, just wait for Cyber Monday and avoid the needless hassle .

Samuel J. Claude
Managing Editor

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