[lit-ideas] Re: Black Friday

  • From: Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 15:09:31 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Yost <NYCEric@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Nov 27, 2004 1:05 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Black Friday

What in the world would possess *anyone*, much less *thousands* to stand
in line in the middle of the night to rush into a store with the other
thousands of  frenzied shoppers at one in the morning?!  . . .  I would 
love to  gain an understanding of why....

Besides the financial reasons Robert gave, there's the simple fact that 

I mean, what is there? Judging from small-town Pennsylvania, people have 
to use cars to get everywhere, are isolated by technology and local 
ordinances, and there is no community beyond gatherings at malls.

For example, police in small towns stop and question people who are 
walking or bicycling late at night because it is "suspicious" or they 
are bored. For a society loudly proclaiming its freedom, America, at 
least in small towns, certainly curbs all group activities unrelated to 

So here is one day of the year where groups of people can do something 
irregular, at an irregular time of day, and not be thought weird or 
hassled by police.  It is a socially approved violation of the enforced 
regime of small-town life.

So why should its popularity be surprising?

A.A. Since people choose to live in urban and suburban areas, if they're bored, 
can one conclude that their boredom is of their own making?  

It isn't only those in rural and suburan areas who believe that Happiness lies 
in filling the attic and basement with stuff, and Extreme Happiness is doing it 
at 65% off.  Whether Wal-Mart or Bloomingdale's, rural Pennsylvania or Fifth 
Avenue, all stores await the the day after Thanksgiving with equal 
anticipation.  And the 65% off is equally a sham, a herd tweaker, used by all 
stores.  It's called a "price point" and exists to camoflage the raised prices 
in the rest of the store.  

What would retailers do if people had no herding instinct?  Existence itself 
would have to be rethought.  Maybe the Creator is actually a retailing giant.

Regarding a scientific basis for Creationism, isn't that a contradiction in 
terms?  The intelligent design idea is apparently also known as the anthropic 
principle, that the universe was created in a manner friendly to humans.  
Certainly no hubris in that.  The latest issue of Time has a story on it:


Andy Amago


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