This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
At the risk – nay, the certainty – of stating the obvious, Black Friday is giving American consumerism a Black Eye.
What can the rest of the world be thinking? Again, we provided the planet with its chief entertainment after Thanksgiving as shoppers camped in parking lots through the holiday and whole armies of them mustered at the big retailers in the wee hours of Friday morning.
No, make that midnight. No, make that 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at some stores – a sacred hour once dedicated to nailing the leftover pumpkin pie and ice cream.
And after the vigils, the stampedes. There’s little Americans won’t do for staggeringly discounted Play Station 3s, Sharp 42-inch, XBox 360s, Dyson dog-hair-capable vacuum cleaners and whatnot.
So far, it appears that no shoppers were actually killed on Friday, but the occasion ignited the usual lunacy, especially at some Walmarts. Some of the lowlights:
• In Arizona, a grandfather was knocked to the ground, bloodied and jailed by police after trying to prevent his grandson from being trampled by other shoppers. (A big misunderstanding, it seems.)
• There were multiple shootings, mostly by very bad shots. But one Walmart shopper in Northern California was wounded and hospitalized after robbers demanded that he and his family hand over their door-busters.
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