Distasteful on several levels, “Black Friday” annually generates stories such as this one,[*] to the point where we need Black Friday Death Count, keeping track so you don’t have to. Black Friday, at least, isn’t as abhorrent as actually opening, thus forcing employees to work, on Thanksgiving itself.
Lacking a Thanksgiving tradition or four day holiday, it is perfectly understandable to assume that Britain doesn’t experience Black Friday. The whole concept is predicated on the existence of Thanksgiving, that most (if not all?) schools, and a large number of states, have the Friday following Thanksgiving as a holiday. It’s not a federal holiday, but it is tradition to take the Friday off work if one both has the desire and opportunity (and many do not have the latter even if they have the former).
Logically, then, the entire concept hinges on a firm foundation of having this thing called Thanksgiving. Britain doesn’t have one of those, therefore why in hell would one expect a Black Friday to happen here?
Turns out, it now does, complete with all the delicious trimmings:
The rush to secure the best deal, however, led to one women ending up in hospital. The ambulance service confirmed that it was called to an incident at a west Belfast shopping centre, where a fight had broken out at an Asda branch. The woman was taken to hospital with a suspected broken wrist after a scene that was described by one onlooker as “bedlam”.
Several hundred people had queued outside the shop from 5am for the promotion which started three hours later.
There were also reports of scuffles inside the Asda Superstore at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol, leading to the arrest of a 35 year old man. Another shopper in Birkenhead spoke of “absolute chaos” as people pushed and jostled to get to the discounted goods.
Sound familiar? It’s even more familiar when one learns that Asda is a subsidiary of a certain Walmart.
Before too long, I expect the Brits to be celebrating the 4th of July in order to spur the sales of hotdogs, hamburgers, and fireworks (because why have only one night when you spend money to blow shit up when you can have two?)
[*] That story was recycled by the New York Daily News today, even though it happened in 2008. The date on the article clearly states “FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2008, 10:46 PM”.
Of course, that didn’t prevent this ignorant and vaguely racist contributor to the right wing blogosphere from writing about it here, under what he or she certainly believed to be a terribly clever headline of “Terrible Irony – New York Wal Mart Employee Killed By Rampaging Black Mob Who Trampled Him To Death on Black Friday….” under the dateline of November 29, 2013. Writing as though it actually happened on the 29th of November 2013, it goes on:
Wal Mart employee trampled to death by 2,000 people who stormed Wal Mart to go shopping. The people who tried to help him became victims to the swarming mob also. Guess this answers my previous question about are there any normal people left in New York?…… Apparently NOT !
New York – A Wal-Mart worker died early Friday after an “out-of-control” mob of frenzied shoppers smashed through the Long Island store’s front doors and trampled him, police said.
To underline the obliviousness of it all, it wasn’t until the 16th comment for someone to raise their hand and point out that the story is actually five years old. Here at LGM, our commentariat would be on such an stupid error with sublime alacrity.
The idiocy would be hilarious if it wasn’t, you know, racist. And the comments are worse.