There’s something truly grotesque about pairing Thanksgiving — the ideals of which, if not the political history, are worthwhile — with the annual nadir of American culture.
I’m serious. This is a day that makes me disgusted to call myself American. Sure, not all of us participate; most of the people I know hide indoors the day after Thanksgiving rather than face the savage, feral hordes desperate to buybuyBUY at the lowest price possible, and nevermind the cost paid in other ways. It isn’t just the people who die on Black Friday; it’s the circumstances that make those low prices possible, and the vomitous commercialism that convinces people the only way to show their love for their darlng offspring is to buy them whatever this year’s hot-ticket item is. That makes them willing to stand outside a Wal-Mart at 5 or 4 or 3 a.m. on Black Friday and join the mindless mob that will break the doors off their hinges in their rush to get inside. And then knock down a pregnant woman, trample a man to death, and ignore the emergency workers as they try to resuscitate him, because hey! Somebody else might beat you to the last XBox!
This is the ugly face of American capitalism. This is our consumer society at its absolute worst.
This happens, year after year, and we treat it like it’s normal.