Friday, November 28, 2008

Blackest Friday

Apparently out of control, borderline insane, holiday season consumerism is not as rip-roaringly hilarious as Arnold would have you believe. Despite all the news of bloodshed in Mumbai, Somali pirates hijacking tankers, and the killings in Congo; somehow this recent story about a Walmart employee being trampled to death on Black Friday filled me with a special sadness.

I once read a story about a zookeeper who, while tending to a contispated elephant, was killed when he was suddenly buried under hundreds of pounds of fresh elephant feces. This Walmart employee's death seems somehow an even worse way to go. If you start thinking in grand cosmic, existenalist themes, you could say this man could have died fighting for his country in a war, or randomly struck by lightening, or at a ripe old age surrounded by loved ones after living a long and fulfilling life. Instead, he was murdered by about two hundred crazed surburbanites, at five in the morning, at a Walmart on Long Island, looking to save a few bucks on some off brand dvd players and digital picture frames.

I mean what a way to go. It's bad enough that you're working at Walmart and they've got you stocking inventory since probably around three in the morning, the day after Thanksgiving; now you're being stomped to death by a stampede of individuals insane enough to be storming a Walmart at 5 in the morning after Thanksgiving. I'm sure anti-commericalism activists are going to be all over this perectly gift-wrapped example of holiday commercialism gone wrong, but for me it's just the human tragedy of the whole thing. I just wonder if any of those early bird shoppers will realize, wearlily sitting at home after a day of piling up debt, carrying bags and boxes, and sitting in traffic, that they had collectively put a man to death.

Men be acting all like zombies at the mall indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Better yet, apparently once management realized the situation and told shoppers that a man was dead and they would have to leave the store, the shoppers refused, complaining that they'd been waiting since the day before. Nice.