Happy Black Friday

To all who choose to celebrate this most sacred of days.

Which is not entirely snark since this is pretty much the most universally honored “holiday” remaining on the US calendar. It’s also one that I don’t think anyone has added a “support the troops”/military spin to. Yet.

Of course Black Friday isn’t really a single day. I think the first pre-sale/early notices started popping up somewhere before Halloween. And Santa, who traditionally first appears at malls on this day, was firmly seated on his throne in several area centers a couple of weeks ago.

Also like almost all holy days, the origins are steeped in myth and stories.

Contrary to popular opinion, today is not the “start” of the Christmas buying season, although there is some evidence that FDR put Thanksgiving where it is on the calendar to give a boost to retailers during the depression.

It is also not the day on which retailers begin making a profit for the year (as in get out of the red on their ledgers) or even the busiest shopping day of the year. Black Friday is also not international, although many other countries have adopted their own approaches to generating mass panic capitalism. 

And the concept of over-hyped shopping days is certainly expanding, thanks in large part to the First Church of Amazon, which is working to build out its own celebratory calendar.

They started with Prime Day in the summer of 2015 – “Black Friday in July” – and added another in the fall a few years later, an event with a slightly different name I can’t remember and can’t be bothered to look up.

But, as with Macy’s “one-day” sales that always seem cover a three-day weekend, Prime rituals can never be contained to just one day. Before too long, I expect Amazon to claim one or more sacred buying days every month.

Anyway, however you enjoy this most revered of days, please remember to buy responsibly. Think before you mash the “Buy Now” button.

As for me, I’m going to stay out of the stores, physical and digital, and find a nice warm place to read. How un-American!

Remember in the times BCP (before COVID pandemic) when shoppers would flood into stores at 4am to fight each other for the big sale items, like the flat screen TVs in the picture above. Fortunately, that mob mentality (with the accompanying injuries and even deaths) doesn’t happen much any more. Online shopping is good for something.

2 Comments Happy Black Friday

  1. Mark

    Always good hearing your take on Education and America. Because the two things can be confused and often are. But what most don’t get, and you do, is Education is just a mirror for society, not a catalyst for societal change.

    1. tim

      Thanks, Mark. But I still believe teachers can be a catalyst for change, even if the education system as a whole has long since abandoned that opportunity. I chose this field because I thought I could help my students (kids and adults) change for the better. Maybe too optimistic? Can you be a good teacher without being an optimist?


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