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Syndicated Cynic: A Friday blacker than most

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

The Woodland Hills Mall opens at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving. I hope you’re happy, America.

While my comrades are sitting at home, watching football and spending time with their loved ones, I am going to be out living the American dream and selling shoes to the bourgeoisie until roughly 2 a.m., at which point I will grab a quick nap before returning for another nine hours of retail nightmare.

It never used to be quite this bad though. Things have become much worse over the past five years for the clerks and cashiers needed to save people a few bucks. Five years ago when I began my expedition into shoe sales, most malls in the area opened somewhere around 6 a.m. in the morning, which is still earlier than I would like to work, but it left time to spend with my family. Each subsequent year the mall I’ve worked at has opened earlier and earlier, and now the good people of retail are left with little-to-no time to celebrate our thankfulness with those we love.

Charlie Brown, the fictional, though well-known advocate against the commercialization of holidays, would be thoroughly disappointed.

This commercialization of the final holidays of the year is breaking the backs of good American people.

Despite the fact that I will have minimal time in order to catch up with family members that I rarely see, I’ll be fine, as I’m a fully capable man in my 20’s with decent mobility and a lot of life left to live, but what about the sweet, old lady in Dillard’s that sees her family twice a year, once being on Thanksgiving? Are we really going to make her miss out on that for our own perverted purchasing habits?

A poll conducted in 2013 by Harrison Interactive found that nearly one in seven people polled admitted to “rushing through Thanksgiving dinner, skipping it entirely or even blowing-off relatives,” just to shop on Black Friday.

People are giving up time with family and friends to buy stuff. Consumerism is, ironically, consuming the American people.

Is our society finally declaring that the movement of capital is more important than the well-being and happiness of citizens? Will Thanksgiving even be a real thing next year?

Hopefully. Individuals throughout the United States are beginning to recognize the problem of Black Friday consumerism. Last year, protestors even took to Wal-Marts across the country in order to stand against the unfair treatment of the labor force through the increasing demand for even longer Black Fridays.

Join in this spirit. Look at the obvious disconnect between the promoted commercialization of this time of year and the actual sentiment behind the holidays therein, and minimalize shopping on Black Friday. If nothing else, keep your cart empty during Thanksgiving. Americans need to show the corporate, consumerist forces behind Black Friday that it is impeding on the rights of workers all across the country.

If you don’t want to stop shopping on a traditional family holiday because you hate greed and empathize with those having to miss out on a proper Thanksgiving meal, then do it for the pre-pubescent bald kid. Do it for Charlie Brown.

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