, ,

When Black Friday comes
I’m gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it ’til
I satisfy my soul…

Steely Dan

Today should be no surprise to you.  After all your TV has been spewing ads for this day since October.
Pictures in today’s paper of people waiting in line for hours — camping out for days even — just to get their hands on an Xbox One or a cheap flat screen TV.

Why are we willing to wait for silly ass events like these, but not for the government’s healthcare site when it crashes?  It amazes me how we will not tolerate any delays in shopping for bargains pertaining to our health care, but we will camp out overnight at a Target just to get 60% off on a Sonic Care Toothbrush.

And when did “Black Friday” become a positive event?  How does one go from associating black with death and plagues, to shopping and “door buster bargains”?  As you might expect, it was the work of retailers and marketers.  For so many centuries the color black has just had bad PR.  The same re-branding has worked in other areas.  Before Super Bowls, the only major events to have Roman numerals in their names were World Wars (and European Monarchs).  Lucky for us, Super Bowls lead World Wars 48 to 2.  So far.

Here is another interesting New Yorker article on why we’re so impatient for black Friday and what makes people so impatient in general.  The authors claim: retailers know how to play on people’s “scarcity mentality”; amping up the fears of missing out on a good deal, and consequently, causing people’s desires for black Friday sales to start right after Thanksgiving dinner.  Me?  I think people use black Friday as a way to avoid Thanksgiving left overs.

By the way, did you know that the Pilgrims had eel for their Thanksgiving feast?  Yeah.  Imagine three weeks of left over cold eel sandwiches!  Makes black Friday seem more “appetizing” doesn’t it?