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Author Topic: Black Friday  (Read 4669 times)

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Online OniyaTopic starter

Black Friday
« on: November 24, 2011, 10:17:22 PM »
I've been seeing a lot about Black Friday this year - from Walmart and other retailers cheating their employees out of Thanksgiving time by starting sales at obscene hours, to people talking about protesting the annual feeding frenzy.  I'm protesting it too.  Not out of a sense of 'entitlement' or wanting things 'handed to me', but out of sheer economic logic.

Here's something to think about:  Shopping at Walmart and quite honestly, most of the big name stores - isn't as good for the economy as some would like you to believe.  The workers are mostly seasonal, and are going to be let go as soon as Christmas is over.  The goods aren't produced in the US for the most part, so there aren't any factory workers that are being helped by shopping there - okay, there are, but they're in China.

If you want to help the economy this Christmas, shop small.  Shop at local stores selling local products.  Check out thrift stores, Etsy, and all those teeny little shops that you normally dash by on your way to the mall.  Not only will you be more likely to find something that Aunt Ethel hasn't already bought for someone, but more of your money will stay in the community.

Small Business Drives U.S. Economy

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 10:48:47 PM »
Saturday the 26th has been designated as Small Business Saturday.  People are being asked to shop small businesses that day and support the people who make our economy work every day.  They need us but we need them more.  There is a link on facebook with more information about this and you can Google "Small Business Saturday" as well.

The story I heard on television said that making one purchase at a small business on that day will be a tremendous benefit to our economy.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 10:50:40 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Online RubySlippers

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 10:55:32 PM »
Its BUY NOTHING DAY so I'm not buying anything at all on Friday, I even stocked up on groceries so I don't buy those items either. I decided to spend the day at a charity I volunteer with helping homeless people that are not in or want to be part of the shelter system right now tomorrow and will be feeding them as usual, the county hates this but who cares. Each will get a sandwich, piece of fruit, a breakfast bar, milk and coffee. For ones with dogs they get a pouch of dog food and a vet is there to check them over. I plan to give them part of the money I was going to buy presents with deciding they need it more for these people but everybody will get one $10 present on my list.

I will be spending my money at small local businesses however and am being careful about my gift selection so each matters. Starting Saturday.

In short frakk Black Friday!

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 10:59:03 PM »
It's good to see the spirit of the season is in your heart, Ruby.

Offline Torch

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 01:51:12 AM »
I don't participate in Black Friday spending for the simple reason that time spent with my family is priceless.

*shrug*

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 03:32:35 AM »
I don't shop Black Friday just because I don't feel like getting trampled for a 10% off television.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 05:37:13 AM »
My understanding is that most stores aren't even helped that much by Black Friday (and the ones that are are those that treat it like just another sale). It's just this obscene yearly ritual that the media routinely over-hypes with outlandish stories.

Now, that's no reason not to shop at all, and many small & local businesses are going to be open today too. I would just make sure to shop responsibly and avoid the 'doorbusters' and inane gimmicks. Those should not be encouraged.

(Not that I have the day off to just run around shopping <_<)

Offline Caela

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 08:06:11 AM »
I don't shop on Black Friday if I can avoid it. Now and then I have to run into the grocery store but that's pretty much it. It's always far too crowded and people tend to just get stupid about things. I've not seen a sale yet worth it to me to go deal with the madness.

I've got most of my shopping done already and did it either at a local chain of stores or online from online stores like shutterfly for the photobooks I ordered for my folks.

Offline Envious

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 04:28:39 PM »
I do all my shopping after Christmas for the awesome 'get this shit outta my store' deals, so I was finished shopping for this Christmas earlier this year. Why anyone would want to shop while the stores are overflowing with noisy and rude folks is beyond me.

Offline Aiden

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 11:51:45 PM »
Went out and got a wicked leather jacket, maybe I was lucky since I got my size at a hell of a discount.


Offline Serephino

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 12:43:38 AM »
I don't shop on Black Friday either.  I make it a point not to go anywhere until early afternoon, when most of the shoppers have gone home.  I too fail to see how a discount is worth being trampled or pepper sprayed. 

Yeah, I saw on the news that a woman was spraying people with pepper spray to make sure she got what she wanted before they ran out.  And naturally, because of the huge crowds they didn't catch her.  My boyfriend tells me theft is a big problem too.  The mall got hit hard with shop lifters last year, I don't know about this year. 

There really aren't a lot of small local shops around here, but I have been buying my tea at small shop.  It's better than the packaged stuff at the grocery store anyway.   

Offline Jude

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2011, 02:57:25 AM »
Ahh, I love video games discounts on Black Friday.  It's seriously the best time of year to shop for games (at least in retail, Steam keeps an overall high level of discounts going during all of their seasonal sales, so it's basically just on par with those sales for steam).  As far as I understand it, the video games industry is also one of the deepest discounted and most promoted facets of Black Friday (or so many yahoo news articles tell me -- I'm a bit skeptical).

Today, the majority of blockbuster video games are developed in America.  The majority of hardware is engineered here and the profits generally flow into American companies.  Japan has seem some serious decline as of late, with Nintendo and Sony both taking pretty big hits overall and Microsoft amping up its marketshare.  You even have foreign companies handing over their intellectual properties to American developers because the idea is that America (or at least the West) is where it's at for software design as of late.  Gearbox is in Texas, Bethesda is in Maryland, Infinity Ward and Treyarch are in California, Volition is in Illinois, Valve is based in Washington.

So you can game guilt free knowing that a large chunk of what you buy goes to American retailers, American software developers, and American companies (Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Activision, etc.).  The only thing that's foreign now a days is the CD manufacturing, as far as I understand it.

So go digital!

Offline Capone

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2011, 08:21:43 AM »
I feel a bit guilty now. Camping out in front of stores Thanksgiving night was actually one of the highlights of my holiday. I had spent the morning, afternoon and evening with my family, there were no arguments (first time in years!), and all the right chemicals were flooding my brain to make me feel happy (some of that may have been the tryptophan). But the Wal-Mart in my area was organized well enough that there were no fights, no trampling, no death or injuries sustained. It was pretty calm as far as Black Friday goes, though I was only going for Games/Movies (and I didn't arrive in time for games, but that's because I arrived 30 minutes before the sale started at 10pm).

Nothing bad happened, but I DID get to talk to some of the other folks in line. Typically when I go shopping, everyone in line is just keeping to themselves, mind yer own business, etc. People spoke freely with me as we waited. Went to GameStop after that, and two hours of sitting in a line I got to meet new people, have a lot of good fun and conversation, and was even reminded that I can be a desirable male to the opposite sex. I got a great gift for my friend at half off, too.

Best Buy was right after, and once again, in line waiting to check out I got in a conversation with the guys around me. By time we reached the registers, one of them actually wished me Happy Holidays. I got a Happy Holidays from a complete stranger!

While people at Wal-Mart and Best Buy were a bit cranky at the store, everyone was talkative, social, and overall positive. It was an experience that I haven't had since going to PAX East, and Otakon years before that.

So while I do hate how commercialist the country has become, I think I'm going to go to GameStop next year, sit down in front of it at 10pm, and make some new friends. The deals were nice, and I got some good movies to stuff into some stockings, but it was honestly worth it for the social aspect.

Unfortunately, I had already spent enough money on Christmas gifts on Amazon and ThinkGeek earlier that week that I can't afford going to one of my local stores today and buying a gift. More sad, my town is built so the only local businesses we really have are restaurants and coffee shops. Otherwise, you pretty much have to go to a big retail chain.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2011, 10:57:01 AM »
I'm all for localization also. I think it is good for the economy among a host of other things, namely the environment and energy conservation.

That said, one can look at it another way. These people who work at these big retailers are local too. They live locally, eat locally and spend locally. Completely abstaining from big retailers might satisfy one's aversion to big consumerism, but I think cuts off your own nose despite your face. Or something like that.

While part time, and seasonal jobs may be of small benefit, they do give someone a foot in the door, an opportunity to shine, and shows any future employer you sought out work even when work was sparse and not glamorous. Any good employer is going to recognize that.

Offline Ramman

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2011, 10:42:03 PM »
Personally I hope the people who got pepper sprayed sue the store for creating the hysteria. People being trampled for $2 waffle makers which probably suck, a woman pepper sprayed like 20 people to get an x-box...it's insane. People are like sheep sometimes, these corporations can guide them to the slaughter. The only thing a good Black Friday does for the economy...it lets the rich corporate big-wigs get bigger bonuses. I say support your local lumber yard and make stuff for Christmas the way we used to...make your parents a rocking chair, you little sister a doll out of some socks...dirty gym ones if you don't like her. We need to go back to the way things used to be when people weren't full of greed and we all looked out for each other.

Offline Torch

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2011, 10:44:08 PM »
We need to go back to the way things used to be when people weren't full of greed and we all looked out for each other.

Unfortunately, that time only exists in fairy tales.

Offline Capone

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2011, 10:50:47 PM »
Unfortunately, that time only exists in fairy tales.

Not to mention I don't have the expertise to make all those things for family.

I don't necessarily blame the corporations, though. I do hate some of the things corporations do, but let's face it. They do these sales at the end of Thanksgiving Day because people go to them, and people are willing to do stupid shit. I refuse to blame anyone for stupid or asinine decisions other than the person making it. It's why I don't hate cigarette companies. By this point, if you're smoking, it's because you made a stupid choice. There's no way you can start smoking and say "I just didn't know!" Blaming the cigarette companies for making a product people are willing to buy despite all the problems with the product is silly. They are simply profiting on bad decisions.

In which case, you blame those making the decisions.

Offline lollipop

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2011, 12:03:44 AM »
I wonder what the emergency personnel and military personnel think about a Walmart employee complaining about having to work on Thanksgiving? I don't think I've ever heard any of them complain about it.

Online OniyaTopic starter

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2011, 12:50:10 AM »
I don't think a Walmart employee is on the same level of critical need as a first responder.  Fires, crimes and medical emergencies happen regardless of what day it is.  This year's hot X-Box game can sit there until whenever the store opens.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2011, 01:51:24 AM »
Personally I hope the people who got pepper sprayed sue the store for creating the hysteria. People being trampled for $2 waffle makers which probably suck, a woman pepper sprayed like 20 people to get an x-box...it's insane. People are like sheep sometimes, these corporations can guide them to the slaughter. The only thing a good Black Friday does for the economy...it lets the rich corporate big-wigs get bigger bonuses. I say support your local lumber yard and make stuff for Christmas the way we used to...make your parents a rocking chair, you little sister a doll out of some socks...dirty gym ones if you don't like her. We need to go back to the way things used to be when people weren't full of greed and we all looked out for each other.

We are responsible for our own actions, first and foremost. The person responsible for the pepper spraying is the person who brought the pepper spray to the store and used it.

This is a very common, and distressing line of thought. Deflection of responsibility.

Like the same people who try to blame 9/11 on anyone but those people who flew the planes into the buildings.

I am responsible for my own actions. I am not responsible for anyone else's. Period.

Offline Capone

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2011, 08:39:36 AM »
I wonder what the emergency personnel and military personnel think about a Walmart employee complaining about having to work on Thanksgiving? I don't think I've ever heard any of them complain about it.

I imagine the emergency personnel at least complain to each other. The only craziness I saw during the midnight rush was a car accident and one asshole driver begging to get into an accident. I heard of others, though. I imagine the number of incidences are at least slightly higher on Black Friday than a usual day, but there are a lot of times of the year for that.

As for military, well, I know my cousin was often sad that he missed several years of Thanksgiving, but he was proud of what he was doing.

In terms of Wal-Mart, GameStop, Best Buy, and any other major retailers, I imagine it's more "I could be at home sleeping".

I will reiterate what Zeitgeist is saying, though. I don't blame Capitalism or Corporations for this behavior. I blame the gullibility of the common man to believe they NEED to get these items, rather than shrugging it off and saying "Oh well", and resorting to such low levels to get it. That's the choice of an individual, not a corporation. See my cigarette example above.

Offline Ramman

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2011, 08:49:47 AM »
As a former EMT i hated having to work on EVERY major holiday. That said Thanksgiving and Black Friday were the worst! Accidents, heart problems, and trample injuries galore on BF, and every year we'd have a make shift Thanksgiving down at  our station and every year no matter what time we had it we'd get called to the same stupid jack@$$ who knew she was allergic to turkey but had to eat it because "it's Thanksgiving, and what do you care you get paid to be here!" BTW I was a volunteer the paid service had those holidays off. Sorry for the rant but Lollipop's post was almost challenging me lol.  :-) And for the most part we usually do complain to each other.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2011, 10:58:45 AM »
We are responsible for our own actions, first and foremost.

First and foremost, this is a lie. A rather horrific lie, at that. It denies civilization's ultimate purpose - the ability to anticipate and mitigate circumstances like these, and worse.

If someone is mentally unstable, it falls, ultimately, upon society to pay that price. It can pay a price to prevent a tragedy, or it can pay the price -of- that tragedy. Since deinstitutionalization, the US has gone the route of the latter, at least with those cases. Your line of thinking tells the victims 'oh well, it happened, it wasn't worth it to prevent your friend's macing, assault, rape, or murder'.

We are beings of emotion and instinct, and it's quite feasible to plan and account for erratic behavior. We even have these horrific things like regulations to help plan for worst case scenarios, like oh, maximum occupancy limits. Hell in Saint Paul some restaurants have it electronically enforced (not well, but still).

Which is probably what it's going to take for this to become actually addressed. A very preventable disaster happens, a lot of people die, and finally the political will exists to fix it.

Quote
The person responsible for the pepper spraying is the person who brought the pepper spray to the store and used it.

And yet if an arsonist takes down a store which was found to have massive fire code violations, thus escalating casualties, the store will be found to be responsible. Is that 'wrong'?

If I let Elliquiy's server get hacked, I am in part responsible for the damage my server does to other servers, as well as Elliquiy's visitors, both legally and morally. Who would you blame if visiting Elliquiy infected your machine, 'just' the attacker?

When Steam got hacked, did they 'just' blame the hackers? They apologized, and for good reason.

You have a public place, you have some measure of responsibility for what goes on with it. I disagree with the government where that line needs to be drawn, but it does need to be there, even for the Internet. It simply would not function otherwise.

Quote
This is a very common, and distressing line of thought. Deflection of responsibility.

I find your line of thought far more distressing, if only because many policy makers currently think like you do. And they see the logical end-conclusion of it, but because they think like you do, they don't see an alternative to what they see as an inevitable biological holocaust. One of them told me, flat out, he doesn't expect humanity to last another fifty years, so why plan further?

...because blaming it on 'just the perpetrator' denies society's capacity to prevent an omnicidal maniac from doing it in the first place.

That is a cop out. The coward's path. Or short-sighted sociopaths.

Quote
Like the same people who try to blame 9/11 on anyone but those people who flew the planes into the buildings.

You play the game where you lose 100 people to their 1, I'll play the game where we don't lose any.  Who will win, in the end?

Quote
I am responsible for my own actions. I am not responsible for anyone else's. Period.

You antagonize someone into attacking you, and your antagonism gets witnessed, you may end up being the one charged. It's the 'fighting words' defense.

Similarly, you refuse to contribute to society to provide such security (reinstitutionalization, for one example), you have that much more of a chance of eventually paying the price - or someone you know and care for does.

Unfortunately, that time only exists in fairy tales.

Measures of empathy do have correlations with various societal trends. Despite various groups trying to sing its praises, sociopathy is not the societal norm. Most humans are naturally inclined to care for each other, as a matter of reflex. It's only when stressed that they start thinking of themselves first. This is a natural response, but when over half of our productive output is going to security in various fashions (including legal), something is in fact very wrong.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2011, 11:15:34 AM »
Vekseid,

I think you take far too much license with my words. If say a business ignores occupancy limits, or fire codes, then by all means they should be held responsible for their actions, or inaction.

But that by no means excuses the actions of an arsonist or the frenzied behavior of someone pepper spraying a crowd of shoppers.

And yes, it is my responsibility to put food on the table and look after my loved ones, not the government. And that is where we depart ideologies.

Offline Torch

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2011, 11:20:58 AM »
Most humans are naturally inclined to care for each other, as a matter of reflex. It's only when stressed that they start thinking of themselves first.

No argument on that point, but please show me a point in time in recorded human history when human beings were not stressed. The 50's, with rampant racism and sexism? The 19th century, when human beings were still kept as slaves? The 14th century....bubonic plague in Europe?

Ramman's comment on wishing for the "good 'ol days" is merely a rose-colored glasses view. It never existed in the first place. Those "good 'ol days" weren't so good for everyone.